Zurich brings net-zero target forward by 20 years

Zurich Insurance Group is bringing forward its net-zero target by 20 years, aiming to reach the goal by 2030.

After implementing plans announced last year to achieve deep cuts in absolute emissions this decade, the insurer has signed carbon removal agreements with several suppliers of nature-based solutions, where it can have the biggest impact on the development of the carbon removal industry. It has also made advance payments that will help these suppliers further develop, scale and commercialise their early stage and innovative technologies.

The projects were also selected to align with Zurich’s broader sustainability goals including flood resilience, wild fire prevention and – through support for good quality jobs in sustainable industries.

“Since we first started measuring our carbon footprint in 2007, we have avoided an estimated 1 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions, and our focus remains on reducing them to a minimum,” said Alison Martin, CEO EMEA and bank distribution, and the executive committee member responsible for sustainability. “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.”

The chosen carbon removal suppliers are InterEarth from Australia, Bio Restorative Ideas from Puerto Rico and Oregon Biochar Solutions from the United States. Zurich’s participation in these projects, facilitated through carbon removal marketplace Puro.earth, is instrumental for the projects to start and expand their operations.

Image: Inside Zurich's Quai Campus in Mythenquai, Zurich (Courtesy Zurich)

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