By Maitane Sardon
Zurich Insurance Group AG on Tuesday laid out plans to slash its carbon footprint as part of its goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, including plans to cut air travel emissions by 70% by 2022.
The Swiss insurance major said it plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with its operations and its value chain, which would involve changes in how its employees meet with existing clients and how its offices are powered.
The company, which pledged in March to cut the emissions from its operations by 70% by 2029, said some measures developed during the pandemic would endure, such as virtual meetings and conferences that help cut costs and emissions. Zurich said it aims to reduce the emissions associated with air travel by 70% by 2022, compared with pre-pandemic levels. The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on its use of offsets to meet its travel-related emissions target.
"The experience of the global pandemic has shown us a pathway to improving many aspects of our daily and working lives, and there's no going back," said Mario Greco, chief executive officer at Zurich Insurance Group. "The climate crisis calls for urgent action and small steps taken by each of us: individuals, organizations and businesses, will add up to a giant leap over time."
As well as reducing air travel, Zurich said all the new company cars it provides to its employees will be electric or hybrid. Its goal, it said, is to eliminate internal combustion engine-only vehicles from its fleet by 2025.
By the end of next year, the company also plans to implement a sustainable buildings program in 50 offices, it said, adding that it aims to have all its buildings powered by renewable energy next year.
The measures would help Zurich cut the carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions in its operations by more than 40,000 metric tons annually, or 20% compared with levels in 2019, it said.
The company also said it has launched a fund to invest in low-emission companies, named the Zurich Carbon Neutral World Equity Fund.
In November last year, Zurich said it would stop setting monetary targets for its impact investments and start investing "as much as needed" to meet its climate and social goals.
Write to Maitane Sardon at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 07, 2021 01:29 ET (05:29 GMT)Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.