Climate: Interview with Anne Nielsen Sønderskov, Risk Engineer

A lot of claims could be avoided

Anne Nielsen Sønderskov experiences a higher awareness of increased climate risks among clients. Working on risk analysis has become a fundamental part of If’s sustainability work – and it is mutually beneficial, since it lowers costs for both If and the clients.

‘People in the Nordic countries understand the risks caused by climate change. Still, we see a lot of claims that could have been avoided easily. When Copenhagen suffered from cloudburst, a lot of vital equipment, such as IT systems, were destroyed – since these were kept in the basement,’ says Anne Nielsen Sønderskov.

Anne Nielsen Sønderskov works as a risk engineer with focus on forecasting clients’ risks and making plans for how these could be handled. Potential risks vary and could involve fire, flooding or cyber related threats. She is specialised in building materials and conducts, for example, analysis on building constructions and  materials – evaluating the fire and smoke contamination hazards.

We see new solutions and materials invented all the time and one needs to be up to date on all potential dangers connected to them. “It is still common for clients not to completely understand the risks, for example that new insulation actually could lead to more damages in case of fire. These situations are possible to tackle, but you need to know about them,’ says Anne Nielsen Sønderskov.

Risk engineering is not only about assessing risks, it is also about planning the recovery. Sustainable and resilient businesses can maintain their activities even when problems or accidents occur. If works on limiting damages and enabling business continuity for the clients. This requires prevention and recovery systems that deal with potential threats.

The most important thing in my job is to reduce uncertainty, which I call the unknown unknowns. I need to see risks holistically and work together with the clients on minimising potential harm to businesses,’ says Anne Nielsen Sønderskov.

Anne Nielsen Sønderskov experiences a higher awareness of increased climate risks among clients.