Global Insurer Zurich Sets New Green Goals after Outstripping 2020 Emissions Targets

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Insurance giant Zurich has announced a raft of new green targets after hitting its 2020 carbon and energy reduction goals several years ahead of schedule.

The Swiss firm revealed yesterday that since 2007 it has more than halved its carbon emissions from its buildings and business travel, as well as cutting its energy consumption per employee by over 40 per cent – targets it had originally sought to achieve by 2020.

Zurich – which claims to have been ‘carbon neutral’ since 2014 – said it was now sourcing 45 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources as it drives towards its goal of 100 per cent renewable power by 2020.

The carbon and energy efficiency targets were reached early thanks to investments made in sustainable projects according to Zurich, such as its newly built headquarters in both Schaumberg, USA, and Zurich, Switzerland – both of which achieved LEED ‘platinum’ certification for sustainability from the US Green Building Council.

But the insurer said hitting several of its 2020 targets “does not mean the journey is at an end” and it therefore set a number of new environmental targets for 2025.

Using 2015 as a baseline, the company is now aiming to cut its CO2 emissions from facilities and business travel by at least 20 per cent per employee by 2025, as well as cutting its energy consumption by 20 per cent over the same timeframe.

Anja-Lea Fischer, Zurich’s group head of environmental performance, said the company did business today “to shape a more resilient tomorrow”.

“Taking care of the environment is not only the right thing to do, it also makes sense from a business perspective,” said Fischer. “We actively aim to mitigate environmental risks and advance our understanding of those risks – through our flood resilience program, by making impact investments and by reducing our own environmental footprint. This latest achievement is a great example of Zurich’s commitment to sustainable business practices and shows what we can accomplish working together across our businesses.”