ZurichDecember 6, 2022

Z Zurich Foundation launches new Climate Resilience Program in urban communities worldwide

The Z Zurich Foundation (the Foundation) is further scaling up efforts to combat the negative impacts of climate change and has announced its latest initiative – the Urban Climate Resilience Program (UCRP), set to launch on 1 January 2023 and support urban communities in ten countries across the globe.

The Urban Climate Resilience Program is a collaboration between the Foundation, several members of the Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich), the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance and a number of city networks.

“The need for adaptation has evolved to be both more urgent and more permanent than what any of us could have predicted. Against this backdrop, we welcome the launch of the Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda at COP27 and are pleased to bring this new contribution which further complements our existing climate adaptation work. We are excited by the prospects of this new urban program and invite the public and private sectors to join us in this important journey: the time to act is within everyone’s term-of-office.” says Gregory Renand, Head of the Z Zurich Foundation.

Indeed, climate change is transforming our planet. With disasters increasing in scope and intensity, the most vulnerable in our society are those who already suffer the greatest impact – on their homes, livelihoods and safety. The Foundation is committed to supporting vulnerable urban communities to thrive, positively adapting to the shocks and stresses of various climate-related disasters.

“Building resilience at a community level is dependent not only on local action, but on the systems that impact that community,” says David Nash, Climate Change and Partnerships Senior Manager, Z Zurich Foundation. “Our program will help identify tailored local solutions which communities can work on with our partners. It will also harness Zurich’s own networks to engage the wider private sector in scaling those solutions. And by working directly through our partners with the local authorities we aim to influence the ways in which systems can be adapted to better support vulnerable people.”

The Urban Climate Resilience Program consists of a four-step approach:

  • Identify and engage with urban communities in need
  • Conduct in-depth analysis of each community’s climate-related issues
  • Plan, develop, deliver customised solutions
  • Capture learning and scale the program

Over the past year, the Foundation – together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Plan International, and Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) – has rolled out pilot programs in approximately 40 highly vulnerable communities in cities across Colombia, Ecuador and the US.

In January 2023, we intend to launch this program in seven more countries in collaboration with Zurich’s local offices and the following charitable organizations:

  • C40 Cities in Italy, Japan and Malaysia
  • ICLEI in Turkey
  • R-Cities in Malaysia and UK
  • IFRC in Australia and Spain

Linda Freiner, Zurich’s Head of Sustainability adds: “As an insurance provider, we see first-hand how climate change impacts urban areas with multiple and interconnected hazards. Zurich’s employees in these ten countries will volunteer their expertise to support the development and delivery of intervention plans. Our commitment to supporting community resilience and adaptation is unwavering. A sustainable future depends on it.”

For further information on the Urban Climate Resilience Program, please visit our dedicate webpage.


Manon Parmentier
Z Zurich Foundation, Head of Advocacy and Communications