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    • Protect the environment. Think before you print.

Impacts and opportunities of COVID-19 over the next 18 months

May 21, 2020

As countries seek to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, some of the more lasting economic, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are only beginning to become visible.

The World Economic Forum's COVID-19 Risks Outlook report, A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications, published on 19 May and informed by the views of nearly 350 senior risk professionals, identifies the main emerging concerns and fallouts, and analyses the pandemic's implications and effects. This goes beyond the immediate crisis response, providing insights on the current and future global risk landscape.

We are in a healthcare crisis that is also an economic crisis combined with an energy crisis. Add to that a looming humanitarian crisis in some emerging economies and you have a multitude of challenges, all of which are exacerbating geopolitical risks. How will these crises play out over the next 18 months - and what does it mean for the actions we take today?

In a time of great uncertainty, decisions are being taken today by governments and businesses that will determine how these risks or opportunities emerge and play out. In particular these include:

  • To what extent do we manage the operational trade-offs between a quick return to work, but still protect our employees, customers and society more broadly?
  • At a time of change for our business, with changing industry structures and changing competitive positions, how do we not only survive, but also find the silver linings?
  • How can we accelerate our commitments to sustainability and drive a low-carbon transition?
  • How will consumer behavior change in our sector - and how will that affect our propositions and the way we deliver them?

For risk managers and businesspeople, in addition to all the current risk-management activities designed to protect employees and customers in the immediate crisis, how will we deal with this future uncertainty.

Watch our video presentation featuring John Scott, Head of Sustainability Risk for Zurich Insurance Group, to learn more about these growing risks, the interdependencies between them and the unique opportunities the crisis presents. Also hear what you should consider as you address the risks and opportunities in your risk-management mitigation and planning.