The world’s largest insurer and risk adviser, Marsh, this week opened for the first time in Gaborone.
Marsh Environmental Services (MES) Offices are a division of Marsh (Pty) Ltd Botswana.
With these new offices, the company, which recognizes the growing need for environmental risk management wishes to assist its clients in managing the new environmental legislation in Botswana and take advantage of international trends in environmental risk management.
“MES is the largest environmental risk advisory service in the insurance sector globally and is principally offering service of ensuring that investment in developing economies takes place in accordance with the principles of Sustainable Development,” said James Brice, Senior Vice President and Managing Executive of Marsh.
He said MES can teach and show people how to minimize the liabilities while benefiting from progressive environmental strategies.
Explaining further, Brice said MES is a company which has developed a reliable source of complete and practical environmental training presented by a team of instructors who are practicing professionals in the field.
“The team is also dedicated to the provision of comprehensive environmental training,” he added. Touching on their professional service, Brice stated that their approach to environment problem solving is driven by a strong Project Management Philosophy.
According to Brice, the Government should be serious about facilitating property Development. He said delays in Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) are probably one of the biggest risks in terms of project development.
He pointed out that the role of the Department of Environmental Affairs is to see to it that they regulate the common role and focus on protecting the receiving environment ÔÇô the physical bodies of the staff working on that environment. Though there will always be some impact on the environment when projects are carried out, Brice said the impact should be brought to an acceptable, satisfactory level.
He stated that the earth is like a person ÔÇô alive and conscious. Before projects are carried out, he said there should be thorough evaluation on risk assessment on the inter-relations between the project and the community and find out how it will affect one another. He stated that humans enjoy playing a guessing game and lack information on how to do things. Citing an example, Brice said there are countries that still prefer using drinking quality water in the toilets rather than grey water, though water is very scarce in those countries.
With, EIA Brice said they intend to make businesses much better. He said EIA process should be started as early as possible. According to Brice, the environmental contamination not only affects property values, but has the potential to create liabilities that far exceed that value. He said the impact of liabilities in terms of capital outlay, management time and impact on reputation, means that such liabilities must be considered and incorporated into an organization’s acquisition, ownership and exist strategies “It is very expensive to clean up the pollution once it’s done but much cheaper to do things on paper in the beginning. Prevention is always better than cure,” he noted.