© Unilever

The majority of industry large property and business interruption losses in the past decade are to a large extent driven by Natural Catastrophe related events impacting business directly or indirectly. Securing the continuity of production capacity becomes more and more important for a supply chain. A potential threat for a supply chain is the risk to flooding. Unilever decided to pro-actively address this risk. In recent years Unilever has experienced the impact of some serious floods on manufacturing and storage locations, like in the Philippines and Turkey. Floods can cause severe disruption in the supply chain for a longer period of time and result in damage to assets, business, environment and even loss of life. Unilever’s goal for 2014 was to raise the flood resilience of a selection of large manufacturing sites around the world which were prone to flood risk.

Unilever has requested Royal HaskoningDHV to assist in the 2014 flood resilience program. The project comprehended studies to assess the flood resilience (both from a structural and non-structural point of view) for a number of sites which were prone to flooding. Also, several illustrative and effective communication tools have been developed to provide site management better insight into the possible flood hazard and possible actions to reduce the local flood risk. Furthermore, guidance on the implementation of Flood Emergency Response Plans (Flood ERPs) has been provided so that any residual risk can be addressed appropriately. Dissemination of these tools, which aim to increase the flood awareness on Unilever sites, has been achieved by organising several online meetings in which over 60 sites participated. 

In this project customized tools have been developed which were supported by site management. The field visits, the discussions with Unilever, the interaction with a selected group of site managers to review the draft results and the large group of participants during the online meetings have all contributed to the success of this project.