Suncorp New Zealand said that it is on track to meet the Suncorp Group’s new net zero targets, having achieved both its prior FY22 and FY30 targets (22% and 51% reduction, respectively) well ahead of schedule.
This comes after Suncorp Group brought forward its timeframe to achieve net zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions. Previously set at 2050, the insurance group has brought the deadline forward by 20 years to 2030.
According to Suncorp NZ, the emissions reductions it has achieved by June represent a 61% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions since its 2018 baseline measurement.
Over the past financial year, emissions reductions efforts have led to a 30% decrease in fleet fuel (diesel and petrol) emissions, a 7% decrease in electricity emissions, and 57% and 34% reductions in domestic and international air travel emissions, respectively. These reductions were partially offset by a 19% increase in paper emissions, related to multiple policy wording upgrades for the Vero and AMP businesses and new customer forms.
Suncorp NZ said that hybrid vehicles now make up more than 42% of its total fleet and it has more on order. The insurer’s total Scope 1, 2 and 3 net emissions are down 73% since 2018, taking into account the renewable energy certificates applied to purchased electricity coming from 100% renewable sources, which have no associated emissions.
Suncorp New Zealand sustainability manager Rob Siveter said that while the reported emissions reductions are from its corporate operations and as a financial services company, a large majority of its emissions remain in the insurer’s value chain as Scope 3 emissions.
“Our next priority is to measure our Scope 3 value-chain emissions, which we aim to complete by the end of FY23,” Siveter said. “This will allow us to understand and target actions towards reducing GHG across our wider sphere of influence, including our customers, investments and suppliers. Following measurement, we aim to set Scope 3 emissions targets on operations, supply chain, and ultimately financed emissions, including our underwriting and investment portfolios. However, measuring and reducing this scope comes with significant challenges owing to the lack of operational control. But as a responsible insurer we recognise this is the place we need to head.”