Titan chief stresses building resiliency in Rio+20 policy talk

Addressing last month’s Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Portland Cement Association Chairman and Titan American CEO Aris Papadopoulos called on business leaders of the world to include resilient construction in public policy, noting that just building “green” is not enough to protect human lives and business investment.

“To me, the conversation on sustainability was missing one element—resilience. Urbanization investment over the next 20 to 30 years will exceed all such investment made so far in human history. It’s very important this investment is resilient, so we don’t have to build it twice,” he said, speaking formally in his capacity as chairman of the United Nations International Strategy on Disaster Reduction Private Sector Advisory Group.

In the last 12 years, natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes have caused $1.3 trillion in damages worldwide. Speaking at the session, “A Changing World: Business as Unusual,” Papadopoulos was joined by other business leaders seeking to build a consensus on a more sustainable course for the world.

He stressed that there is now a call for making enhanced resilience of a structure to natural and man-made disasters the first consideration of a green building. Improved disaster resistance results in the need for less energy and resources for repair, removal, disposal, and replacement of building materials and contents due to routine maintenance and operations, as well as disasters.