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Torolf Hamm, Global Head, Catastrophe & Climate Risk Management, Willis Towers Watson

Torolf Hamm

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

Willis Towers Watson is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions organisation that has been taking a lead role in the climate risk agenda and is already driving initiatives such as Willis Towers Watson Climate. Willis Towers Watson is very involved in tackling the climate agenda as part of the World Economic Forum, TCFD, PPRA, ESG and many other initiatives.

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

One of the key strands of our business is to assist our clients (insurance markets, financial institutions, investors and corporates) in quantifying the risks to their organisations and/or portfolios. Climate change is a key emerging risk that really affects everyone and has made it to board-level agenda. 

How should companies manage climate-related risks?    

Essentially there are 3 steps: 

  1. Assess what climate change-related risks (physical and transitional) are likely to materially affect your company

  2. Analytically quantify the impact of climate change to your organisation for strategically relevant future time horizons

  3. Assess the return on investment of potential climate change adaptation/mitigation strategies and implement the most appropriate options

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

I will share what we have been hearing from our clients with regards to what climate change means to their organisations. I will present case studies of clients that are actively managing climate risks, elaborating on any challenges faced and overcome.

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

What are you currently doing in your organisation to reduce climate risks? We are all part of the same journey and what we do now will directly impact the climatic environment future generations will live in.

What are the biggest risks facing businesses when it comes to facing/dealing with climate change?

Ignoring the exam question of “What does Climate Change mean to my organisation?”

How can diverse stakeholders, governments, the private sector, academics and nonprofits more effectively collaborate to reach climate-related goals? 

One example – Willis Towers Watson already supports and collaborates with academia and nonprofit organisations as part of the Willis Towers Watson Research Network. From our experience this catalyses a fresh way of thinking of how we can help clients to address and quantify the risks, as well as equally important opportunities that arise from tackling the climate agenda.