Rapid response key in environmental crises, says Emma Bartolo, ACE’s environmental risk manager, UK & Ireland


Businesses need to be better prepared to deal with environmental incidents and often fail to understand the complexities of such crises, according to ACE.

Yesterday’s workshop entitled ‘Proactively managing environmental crises’ presented by ACE, provided risk professionals with practical guidance on how to limit the damage created by such incidents.

Emma Bartolo, ACE’s environmental risk manager, UK & Ireland, who presented this session, said the workshop aimed to cover a number of key areas, including: the need for specialist help, underestimating claims complexity, acting quickly and decisively and obtaining legal support.

“Environmental claims are complex, time consuming, expensive, and require a range of specialists to manage the various aspects of the claim, such as environmental consultants and eco-toxicologists, crisis management and reputational damage experts to help manage public relations and social media, in addition to specialist loss adjusters and environmental lawyers,” Bartolo said.


“The range and intricacy of an environmental loss is often underestimated by clients, and can go on for a significant period of time, diverting both management resources and money away from the core operations of the organisation.”


Bartolo said that companies are often ill prepared for the complexities of managing environmental incidents.

“Environmental claims need a rapid response, but clients are often slow to react in the event of an environmental incident. Lack of immediate remedial action can exacerbate the problem and substantially increase costs. Having expertise on hand to manage the incident effectively from day one is invaluable in reducing costs and the overall effect on the environment.

“In addition, environmental law is complex and differs from country to country. Interpreting the law can sometimes be challenging and clients require special legal advice.”