Zurich Commits to UN Climate Pledge, Plans to Lower Fossil Fuel Exposure

Zurich Insurance Group has committed to setting new climate targets in line with the framework of the UN Global Compact Business Ambition Pledge, which aims to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C.

Source: Zurich/Reinsurance News | Published on June 25, 2019

Zurich life insurance deal collapses

As part of its commitment, Zurich will expand its existing thermal coal policy by engaging with clients and investee companies to assist them in adopting plans to reduce their exposure to carbon intense fossil fuels.

The insurer will enter a dialogue with companies that have more than 30% exposure to thermal coal, oil sands and oil shales over a 2 year period to develop a mid to long-term transition plan.

Additionally, Zurich will no longer underwrite or invest in companies that generate more than 30% of their revenue from mining these fuels, or which are in the process of developing any new coal mining or coal power infrastructure.

It will also rule out companies that generate more than 30% of their electricity from coal or oil shale.

Zurich itself has committed to utilize 100% renewable power in all its global operations by the end of 2022.

Additionally, Zurich will take “aggressive actions” to eliminate single-use plastics and reduce internal paper usage by 80%.

“As one of the world’s leading insurers we see first-hand the devastation natural disasters inflict on people and communities,” said Mario Greco, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zurich Insurance Group.

“This is why we are accelerating action to reduce climate risks by driving changes in how companies and people behave and support those most impacted. It is simply the right thing to do.”

Zurich began instituting environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into its core business practices in 2012, and became carbon neutral in 2014.