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Caroline Hill, Head of Sustainability, Public Affairs, Health Safety & Security, Landsec

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Please give us some background information on yourself and how your organisation plays a leading role in the climate risk agenda?

I am Head of Sustainability, Public Affairs and Health, Safety & Security with FTSE100 listed real estate company Landsec. We aspire to lead the real estate sector on sustainability and see climate risk management as critical for the long-term success of our business.

How do you see climate change affecting your organisation/the organisations you work with?

Although the most serious effects of climate change are often illustrated at 2070 or 2100, the physical effects are already being felt, even in the UK. Landsec has a relatively low level of climate risk compared to some investors operating in other geographies where extreme weather is more prevalent. But the risk is also lower because Landsec has a good-quality and, mostly, less than 10-year-old real estate portfolio. So whilst the physical effects of climate change are certainly influencing the way we select, design and operate our assets, the risks for the sector more widely are profound, and more work needs to be done to get a thorough understanding of those risks.

How should companies manage climate-related risks?    

Climate-related risks will be very different for every company, so it’s imperative businesses act now to understand the risks specific to them. The risks could be in your directly held assets, and easy to quantify, or they could be in the supply chain, and far more complex and emergent.

What will you be discussing at The Economist’s Climate Risk Summit?

I will be presenting a case study outlining research we have performed to assess the long-term physical health of our real estate portfolio, taking into account the various possible scenarios that could unfold due to climate change. I’ll be talking about how we’re preparing for these physical effects, and how our efforts will benefit our stakeholders and investors.

What’s the one thought you would like attendees to take away with them from the Climate Risk Summit?

All of the data suggests climate change is happening much faster than we realise so the time to think about resilience is now. Risk analysis is simple and can be completed quickly with the right internal stakeholders and external expertise.