Zurich supports the global efforts to avert the threat of climate change

1 April 2021 — Alexandra GUZUN
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is intensifying action regarding the climate change and wants to become one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. It will use every channel like investments, operations and products and services to accelerate the transition to a net-zero emission economy.

As part of the targets, Zurich has set for the planning actions:

  • Over next few years set to curb emissions in line with Paris Agreement ambition to limit global warming to 1.5C;
  • 25% cut in carbon intensity planned for listed equity and corporate bond investments by 2025 and reduce the intensity of emissions of direct real estate investments by 30%;
  • Emissions from operations to be cut by 50% by 2025 and 70% by 2029.
Zurich is setting new climate targets for its investments and operations and, crucially, will help finance the transition and require the companies it invests in to set targets aligned with the Paris Agreement. Zurich pledges to take a leading role in developing industry-wide methodologies to measure emissions from insurance underwriting.

Group Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco declared: "Our role as an insurer is to protect people and climate change is the greatest risk there is. We are using our influence as a global insurer and investor to drive deep cuts in emissions, because working with others is where we can make the biggest impact. Our own operations have been carbon neutral since 2014, and we've since been focused on reducing our remaining emissions. Over the next few years, big cuts will come from measures such as switching to renewable power and electric vehicles, savings in data centers and curbing business travel."

Zurich also pledges to use influence as investor and insurer to press for change, and urge companies it invests in to set their own targets for a 1.5C future. At the end of 2020, Zurich had engaged with more than 250 companies and stopped doing business with or investing in more than one-third of them. As a result, the Group did not renew more than USD 30 million in gross written premiums and divested assets worth nearly USD 500 million since 2017.

The measures underscore a commitment made in 2019 when Zurich became the first insurer to sign the Business Ambition for 1.5
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