Howden Group Holdings (Group) has teamed up with ocean clean-up organisation Seven Clean Seas (SCS) to achieve plastic neutrality.
As part of the partnership, SCS will help the Group measure and reduce its plastic consumption then offset what remains.
“Plastic pollution is a major risk to the health of our oceans and wildlife, and, potentially, to human health. Plastic accounts for 12% of total oil consumption, so using it is also directly contributing to climate change,” said David Howden, the chief executive officer of Howden Group Holdings.
“Based on SCS’s estimations, if our 8,500 employees reduce their plastic consumption by just 25%, that’s a reduction of over 23,000kg annually. While reducing plastic consumption to zero may not be feasible at this stage, for the plastic we do continue to use, Seven Clean Seas’ offsetting initiative will allow us to remove at least as much plastic as we have generated from the world’s most polluted rivers.
“By entering this partnership, Howden sees a real opportunity to engage employees, clients, and the insurance industry to take proactive steps in tackling the plastic problem before it is too late.”
So far, with the help of SCS, Howden has already offset over 66,000 kilograms of plastic – the estimated amount used by its workforce during 2020. The Howden Group Foundation is also helping SCS remove plastic from the marine environment by funding its River Plastic Recovery System.
Tom Peacock-Nazil, the founder of SCS, commented: “Our partnership with Howden has come at a pivotal moment for Seven Clean Seas. Howden’s funding has enabled us to take our River Plastic Recovery System from design to prototype this year, while the group’s wider commitment to reducing its own plastic consumption is the type of action we’re calling employers to make across the globe to minimise their plastic footprint and the devastating consequences of plastic pollution.”
Howden Group Holdings expects the partnership with SCS to complement its existing initiatives focusing on minimising its impact on the environment, such as its ongoing partnership with The Nature Conservancy, which has offset 25,000 tonnes of CO2 on behalf of the group through purchasing certified carbon credits for projects in Africa.
“When we talk about sustainability, we are talking about building value for the long term and creating a business that our employees can be proud of,” Howden said.
“Our job as an insurance group is to mitigate risks, so while we’re looking at what products we need to develop to help our clients respond to increasingly prevalent ESG risks, we equally need to look internally and curb the impact our own businesses are having on the environment. Our partnership with Seven Cleans Seas is an important part of this.”