Sompo Insurance is undertaking a 360-degree long-term corporate social responsibility project that will raise awareness of global warming and climate change. The company cooperating with the Meteorology and Disaster Management Professor Mikdat Kadioglu, plans to undertake initiatives that will be transformed into action under the project. We discussed the project with Sompo Insurance Sales and Marketing Assistant General Manager Özer Simsek and Prof. Dr. Mikdat Kadioglu.
What is the main purpose of the 'Respect for Earth' project?
Özer Simsek: Today, we aim to raise awareness on climate change, which is one of the biggest risks to the continuity of life, from a commercial and pragmatic point of view, on a social and individual level. In this context, starting from Sompo employees; we aims to raise awareness of Sompo Group agencies, insurance customers, young people and the general public under the project.
What is the size of climate change in the world and what are the social effects of this change?
Mikdat Kadioglu: The climate change issue should be on the agenda of the whole world. The tornado disaster took place in Antalya recently, was an important message to entire world, especially to Turkey. Unfortunately, this issue has just begun to take its place on the agenda of the whole world including our country. If we specify and make the chronology of climate change;;
Urban floods, storm, hail and tornados have become frequent in Turkey recently ...
Mikdat Kadioglu: nature has begun to give the signal for the whole world, including Turkey. In coming years, we will have a warmer and drier climate in general. This climate type is not called tropical climate; it is rather a desert climate. Snowfall will decrease in the coming winters. In the hot months, rain showers, hail, lightning and meteorological tornados will increase. In other words, precipitation regime will change and meteorological disasters will increase. This means scarcity. We are rapidly moving towards becoming a water poor country. We are currently using half of our annual water potential of 112 billion cubic meters and putting us under stress whether there is drought every year. When we have to use all of our annual water potential four years later in 2023, we will feel more water shortages and the socio-economic problems that it will bring.
What can be done to raise public awareness and awareness of climate change?
Özer Simsek: We are all responsible for the fact that the world is like this now. We can overcome this by taking responsibility together. We have to deal with the problem of climate change again with a collective mind as humanity. First, we need to increase social awareness by increasing initiatives like 'Respect for Earth', and then move on to the common struggle phase at the level of consciousness. This is because climate change affects not only our daily lives as natural disasters but also investments in agriculture, food, economy, energy and industry. In addition, as disasters become inevitable as a result of climate change, we must first face this reality, raise awareness of social disasters, and learn and apply methods of protection against disasters. Moreover, we must do this starting from childhood and educational age.
What is your responsibility as Sompo Insurance?
Özer Simsek: The main purpose of insurance companies should not only provide assurance and pay damage to their customers, but also to undertake sustainable initiatives that will contribute to the development of society and prevent risks in a way that is free from commercial concerns. With this in mind, we start the 'Respect for Earth' project. We are planning to organize awareness seminars for Sompo agencies all around Turkey with Mikdat Kadioglu. In this way, we want to position our agents as ambassadors in their respective regions and localities. We will also have a photography exhibition with Respect for Earth” theme. Again with the participation of Prof.Dr. Dr. Miktad Kadioglu, we aim to reach the general public through radio spots on 'a better future' theme. Together with the Climate Volunteers group, we want to actively involve the company's employees in the project. Most importantly, we aim to introduce a new product to the market to cover damages caused by natural disasters such as floods, hailstorms and storms caused by climate change.
EVERYBODY NEEDS TO ACT
Prof. Dr. Mikdat Kadioglu lists what can be done individually for 'Respect for Earth':