The cost-of-living crisis, climate change and the war in Ukraine bring enormous social and environmental pressures. As a result, the need for us to look out for each other and the environment around us has never been greater.
As a business, we’re stepping up to support our customers and local communities and play our part in creating a more sustainable future. We recently published our 2022 sustainability report, charting our progress to deliver long-lasting impact in specific areas.
In this, the first of two articles on sustainability, we’ll be looking at just a few of the highlights.
Managing our carbon footprint
As one of the UK’s largest personal lines insurers, we want to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy. But of course, this starts with managing our own carbon footprint.
So, what progress have we made at Ageas?
Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 46% compared to 2021 and 73% to 2019.
- Electricity use has decreased by 47%*.
- Commuting emissions have decreased by 80%*.
*compared to 2019.
Following the pandemic, hybrid working is now the norm for most of us. It has helped us to reduce the number of car journeys and emissions. We’ve been analysing work patterns and building occupancy to identify further opportunities to reduce consumption.
We continue to encourage employees to use more sustainable travel with a lease car scheme for electric vehicles and hybrids, electric car chargers at our offices, and a cycle-to-work scheme.
We’re also supporting global projects that deliver long-term environmental and social impact. We’re thrilled to be involved in a project in Malawi involving forest protection and the distribution of clean cookstoves, helping to avoid carbon emissions by decreasing the need for fuelwood. We’re also supporting UK reforestation projects, designed to remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere and increase biodiversity.
Switching to green car repairs
Our award-winning green parts programme, originally established in 2019, is reducing the environmental impact of car accidents. Where repair is impossible, we strive to use green car parts to fix our customers’ vehicles after an accident (except for safety-critical parts).
Green car parts are taken from one vehicle to fix another. This reduces the use of raw materials, extends the life of existing parts, and minimises the likelihood of damaged cars being scrapped due to the high cost of new parts.
In 2022, 31.5% of all our qualifying invoiced repairs had a green part. Research suggests that our use of green parts is industry-leading – with most UK body shops using less than 10%.
Repair over replace
Our partners in home, contents and vehicle repairs share our repair-over-replace philosophy. Using innovative repair techniques, our home suppliers offer hard-surface repairs and resurfacing that fixes scratches, dents, cracks, chips and burn marks. Wherever possible, our suppliers also salvage electrical parts and clean, mend and restore items such as furniture, ceramics, glassware, and jewellery.
We’re always looking for ways to reduce waste across our business. Office waste that cannot be recycled is sent for recovery at an energy-from-waste plant, so zero goes to landfill. With more and more customers choosing to engage with us digitally, we’ve also significantly reduced our paper-based marketing.
Sustainability across our supply chain
Sustainability is increasingly guiding decisions about our choice of suppliers.
To help us get it right, we've set objectives on sustainability in our claims supply chain.
We’ve been certified as a CarbonNeutral® company by Climate Impact Partners for the second consecutive year and we’re encouraging our motor repairs partners to work towards becoming carbon neutral too. Our goal is to have a completely carbon-neutral supply network by 2024.
Sustainability is not only influencing our choice of partners but also how we choose to invest.
We’re committed to growing profitably through ethical and responsible investments:
- As part of the Ageas Group, we’ve joined the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a group of the world’s largest pension funds and insurers committed to decarbonising their portfolios by 2050.
- We’ve achieved an AA MSCI ESG (environmental, social and governance) rating for our bond portfolio – defining us as an industry leader in sustainable investments.
We have also pledged that ESG considerations will be integrated into 100% of our investment decisions by 2024 – playing our part in global efforts to move towards a sustainable future. As we navigate through unprecedented change driven by climate change, this will continue to be our priority.
Look out for our next article, where we’ll look at how we support people – our customers, our employees and our local communities in unsettling times.