People in a workshop People in a workshop

Become a resilient organisation

We can help build your adaptive capacity, to transform your business
We can help build your adaptive capacity, to transform your business

With the increasingly volatile operational environment in which today’s organisations find themselves in, traditional risk management isn’t enough: we need to build resilience.

What is organisational resilience?

While governments consider significant interventions in response to climate change and other future shocks and stresses - businesses too must adjust to the changing needs of their people, their customers and suppliers, while navigating the financial or operational challenges.

We associate many words and definitions with organisation resilience. At Arup, we define resilience as:

The increased need to understand the factors that will affect our business in both the short and long term, demands that we make informed decisions and safeguard our assets. Our work extends across cities, transport networks, water and beyond. 

Organisational resilience is a strategic enabler, protecting and enhancing the delivery of your business goals. We combine this cross-sector global knowledge with local sector-specific and organisational understanding to bring value to our clients at the highest level.

Our resilience approach

Our resilience team integrates input from Arup’s full array of experts to offer a holistic approach to resilience.

We support our clients to create a comprehensive understanding of the resilience of their organisation or asset through a 5-step approach.

In this process we believe adaptive capacity is key to resilience and a competitive advantage.

Adaptive capacity allows the organisation to be well informed and prepared for incoming threats and opportunities, providing the ability to manoeuvre away from risks and to capitalise on opportunities. This leads to business longevity and competitive advantage.

  • Define

    • Understand context
    • Engage stakeholders
    • Value workshop
    • Data collection
    • Interviews
    • Team formation
  • Diagnose

    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Maturity assessment
    • Adaptive capacity assessment
    • Hazard and risk assessment
    • Value chain gap analysis & prioritisation
  • Strategise

    • Leadership & management solutions
    • Technical solutions
    • Digital solutions
    • Team development
    • Business case for investment
  • Implement

    • Manage programs
    • Capacity building
    • Awareness raising
    • Training
  • Continually improve

    • Testing & exercising
    • Re-assessment
    • Lessons learned workshop
    • Audits
    • Horizon scanning
    • Team reflection

How resilient are you?

The first step to making your business resilient is understanding how resilient you currently are.

Through use of our diagnostic tools we help organisations gain understanding of where they are now, and where they’ll go next.

We articulate risk tolerance and translate that into risk management decision-making frameworks and the development of adaptive pathways to guide action and investment.

Arup resilience framework Arup resilience framework

Using a multi-factor resilience framework we look at all aspects of an organisation and its supply chain and then centre around how it delivers value. This provides a baseline of where the organisation currently is and helps prioritise areas for improvement. This quantitative measure will also assist in building the business case for investing in resilience measures as the cost-benefit can be clearly measured and articulated over time.

Approaches tailored by sector

Using our approach to organisational resilience, we have developed a number of sector specific frameworks aimed at helping organisations understand their existing resilience and illustrate a path to improvement.

Energy Resilience Framework

Energy Resilience Framework

We launched a high-level Energy Resilience Framework to support those responsible for energy systems in evaluating their overall resilience to disruptors and identifying improvement measures.

The broad framework facilitates evaluation of system resilience not only by considering the physical assets, but also by acknowledging the equal importance of other non-technical factors such as leadership, policies, institution and human factors.

Find out more

Water supply resilience

Water supply resilience

Arup has worked with companies across England and Wales to support their understanding of resilience. This work has been wide-ranging, from the development of frameworks, the mapping of interdependencies, the prioritisation of investment, the assessment of maturity and the development of investment cases.

In April 2017 Arup and DCWW were awarded the winner for the Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water Resilience Strategy in the category Finance and Risk Management at the Management Consultancy

Explore our work with Welsh Water

City Water Resilience Index

City Water Resilience Index

With cities worldwide expected to grow an estimated 2 billion residents by 2050, there is an urgent need for urban water management that ensures consistent, adequate and high-quality water services for all.

The City Water Resilience Approach (CWRA) outlines a process for developing urban water resilience, and provides a suite of tools to help cities grow their capacity to survive and thrive in the face of water-related shocks and stresses.

Find out more

Resilience shift: infrastructure resilience

Resilience shift: infrastructure resilience

The Resilience Shift is a global initiative to catalyse resilience within and between critical infrastructure sectors, contributing to a ‘safer and better world’.

Arup has been appointed as host institution and programme manager for this £10 million, five-year programme. The Resilience Shift wants to re-orient professional practice from a focus on infrastructure as an asset, to a focus on infrastructure as part of a system that provides services under both ordinary and extraordinary circumstances.

Building a business case for resilience

It is prudent to plan for the short, medium and long term. Is your organisation able to cope with further government restrictions due to Coronavirus? How about the knock-on effect that Coronavirus restrictions have had on the availability of materials and the current supply-chain disruption? What about the geopolitical factors at play which are contributing to the worldwide spike in energy prices? How about preparedness for the transition to net-zero? All of these factors substantiate the need for a resilience plan.

Our team will provide the insight needed to quantify the business case for investing in resilience measures, to ensure that your business delivers its strategic goals without being deflected by unforeseen events.

Horizon scanning

Resilience planning imagines different scenarios, and charts possible futures. We work with our Foresight team to determine which factors are driving change in your sector and market, mid and long term. Is it climate change, changing consumer tastes, or digital disruption? Resilience planning adds confidence to wider business strategy.

Read the market

Good awareness of your operating environment is crucial. Make sure you are capturing the real time data that can shape informed decisions. A platform or processes for sharing this with colleagues and partners is key – our digital experts can help with this.

Discover more

Improving resilience

From the deployment of flexible adaptive pathways to mitigate risk, to the creation of new lines of value delivery in times of disruption, we can establish processes to set you on a path toward increased resilience over time.

We work with organisations to bring goals and understanding to life. Whether it means retrofitting facilities to withstand the impacts of climate change, partnering with communities to develop infrastructure, or designing digital tools to enable real time information in dynamic situations, our team of engineers and specialists can help you deploy the solutions that provides the greatest benefit to you.

Airport adaptive capacity


Improving client resilience

Airport adaptive capacity

This study examined the adapative capacity of a number of airports and their partners, utilising a staff survey as a key tool to determine an organisation's agility and adaptability. This was correlated to performance information in terms of productivity and disruption.

A program of interventions was drawn up including horizon scanning workshops, learning pilot and digital strategy to address the weaknesses our assessment identified. In this case, relatively simple interventions can yield a significant return on investment.

Energy supply chain


Energy supply chain

Understanding energy supply

We developed bespoke supply chain analysis to help a UK energy sector client understand the impact that COVID-19 had on their supply chain. We paired this with our organisational resilience framework to provide a measurement of each suppliers resilience over key areas such as people, production and finance. The automated process enabled up to 2000 suppliers to be input and processed and alerts provided on those that were most severely impacted.

Food supply chain


Improving client resilience

Understanding food resilience

We worked with London Resilience to understand the vulnerabilities in the food system that supplied London. This highlighted a number of potential impacts to parts of the value chain when Brexit happens.

Our research has also looked at impacts of Brexit on the wider UK grocery supply chain, utilising surveys and supply chain mapping to examine the UK's good supply chains and the infrastructure they rely upon.

Download the report

Water supply systems


Improving client resilience

United Utilities resilience review of water supply systems

We used existing asset information to plan a number of resilience workshops to align attendees’ understanding of resilience, discuss what this meant for UU’s ability to cope, respond and recover from shocks and stresses, and how this may impact customers.

Vulnerability of sites to a range of events was quantified, allowing a risk score to be calculated. Mitigation methods were proposed as well as a number of systemic activities related to management practices which applied more generally across the organisation.

We can help you draw lessons from change events and develop the systems and culture to make this part of your continuous improvement process. This is particularly important given the possibility of an ongoing pandemic threat, and possible secondary and tertiary lockdowns around the world. These experiences can and should strengthen your response tomorrow.

Talk to us

We believe resilience is transformational. It’s a joined-up way to deepen your understanding of your business’s true potential and invest in its improvement. It strengthens your ability to evolve and thrive. Our approach to resilience is an integrated one. We provide you with a comprehensive technical, digital and operational package of measures.