WEF 2016: Veolia and Swiss Re have joined forces to help cities around the world to increase their resilience to climate change

In Davos, Veolia and Swiss Re unveil a pre-funded infrastructure resilience partnership, brokered by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative. Following the damage caused by natural disasters, the goal is to help cities around the world to recover their vital infrastructure more quickly.

Veolia, Swiss, 威立雅
From left to right: Antoine Frérot, Judith Rodin and Agostino Galvagni

Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Agostino Galvani, CEO Swiss Re, and Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO of Veolia, jointly announced the launch of this innovative program, designed to help cities around the world to quickly recover their critical infrastructure in the event of natural disaster. In their strategies to adapt to climate change, cities will therefore be able to increase their resilience, limit the disruption to their economies, and begin to repair the damage more quickly, without waiting for insurance assessments and payments.

Veolia, a water, energy and waste management expert, and Swiss Re, a reinsurance company with extensive expertise in understanding and quantifying risk exposure, will together evaluate the risks for all the cities, identify their most vulnerable and most valuable assets in order to build resilience plans on the basis of current and future climate scenarios. So if disaster strikes, the financial capacity to repair these assets will already be in place, through prior evaluation of reconstruction costs. With this pre-planning, cities will bounce back more quickly and restore their vital infrastructures.

Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, said, “Through the combination of their expertise, this initiative will help cities identify both vulnerabilities and opportunities, and pave the way for enhanced resilience. Investments in resilience-building ensure that the very fabric of our communities remains strong, in good times and bad.”


“This partnership is a sign that the private sector better understands what cities need to build resilience,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities [1]. “Hopefully, this is the just the beginning, and when other market leaders recognize the importance of what Swiss Re and Veolia are doing, they too will begin to really innovate.”


“Our partnership with Swiss Re embodies the fact that resilience goes much beyond risk prevention and recovery in case of natural disaster,” said Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO of Veolia. “We are strongly convinced that resilience reinforces cities’ attractiveness and represents a competitive advantage for cities.”

Veolia and Swiss Re will work to develop a pilot for the initiative in an 100RC city, such as New Orleans (USA).


“With our partnership with Veolia we're convinced that if we can make this first project a success, the concept can be scaled and replicated for other cities, and for other services. It's an important step in moving resilience from talk to action," concluded Agostino Galvagni, CEO of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.