While others are announcing their respective net zero targets for 2050, Zurich Insurance Group has decided to move things up the timeline by now aiming to reach that emissions goal by 2030.
Alison Martin, Zurich’s chief executive for Europe, Middle East, and Africa and bank distribution, stated: “Since we first started measuring our carbon footprint in 2007, we have avoided an estimated one million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions, and our focus remains on reducing them to a minimum.
“To balance out our unavoidable residual emissions, we are supporting innovative carbon removal solutions. The urgency of the situation means we need to be proactive and help scale up the carbon removal industry, which is still in its infancy.”
According to the insurer, it has signed carbon removal agreements with nature-based solutions suppliers, where Zurich said the company can have the biggest impact on the development of the carbon removal industry. Additionally, the group has made advance payments to help these suppliers further develop, scale, and commercialise.
The suppliers are Australia-based InterEarth, Puerto Rico’s Bio Restorative Ideas, and US firm Oregon Biochar Solutions. Zurich noted that its participation is instrumental for the projects to start and expand their operations.
“We believe by shifting the focus on net zero for our operational emissions to 2030, from 2050, we are helping validate the urgency to achieve significant emissions cuts and the need to scale up investments in removal solutions now,” declared the insurance group.
“We are also looking to our supply chain to set emissions reduction and net zero targets. Our goal is for 75% of our managed procurement spend to be with suppliers that have science-based emissions reduction targets by 2025 and net zero targets by 2030. We aim to use our influence and press for change, expecting suppliers to set their own targets – consistent with an approach already taken as an insurer and as an investor.”