Aviva to be the first insurer to carbon neutralise its operations worldwide

Aviva, the international savings, investment and insurance group, has announced its commitment to become the first insurer to carbon neutralise its operations on a worldwide basis.

Aviva, the international savings, investment and insurance group, has announced its commitment to become the first insurer to carbon neutralise its operations on a worldwide basis.

This is an important step in Aviva's ongoing programme to limit its environmental impact following its progress on energy efficiency and sourcing of zero emission electricity.

Aviva will offset the remaining emissions – approximately 110,000 tonnes annually - on a retrospective basis starting with emissions generated in 2006. Aviva will compensate for the carbon output of its consumption of non-renewable sourced electricity and gas from buildings and business travel, including air, car and train, across all of its global operations.

In order to neutralise the carbon impact of the whole of the business, Aviva will invest in projects which generate carbon credits. The credits will come from a combination of carbon mitigation methods such as tree planting and renewable energy generation projects which do not release carbon to the atmosphere such as solar or wind power.

Richard Harvey, group chief executive, Aviva said: "Our decision to go carbon neutral is a significant step and one we have not entered into lightly. We believe climate change to be the most important environmental issue facing the world and as a forward thinking company we are playing our part in addressing this challenge and would encourage other businesses to follow suit.

"Aviva operates in 25 countries around the world making us well placed to make a positive impact on the environment and educate others on the importance of the issue and its effect.

"We are committed to making a positive contribution to the environment and shall continue to focus on reducing our energy use and attempting to source zero emission power where we can. We are also looking at ways in which to help our customers reduce their CO2 emissions through the provision of innovative products such as 'Pay-As-You-Drive' and we continue to encourage other companies to reduce their CO2 emissions through Morley, our fund management company."

Aviva has already made good progress in reducing CO2 output. Since 2002, Aviva has cut building and travel related CO2 by 54%. Over the same period, Aviva's UK business, Norwich Union, has reduced energy consumption by 5.5GWh across its locations. Alternative fuel vehicles have also been added to Aviva's car fleet.

Aviva uses 100% zero emission electricity in UK, Dutch and German businesses and 20% in Ireland and the Czech Republic. Currently 64% of electricity used by Aviva globally is obtained from zero emission sources.

Aviva's general insurance operations have been seeking solutions to limit the effects of climate change on customers through its flood mapping and lobbying on the issue of flood defences and floodplain planning. It also offers reduced premium insurance products for drivers of flexi-fuel Ford cars.

With more than Ł165 billion assets under management through its fund management business Morley, Aviva has been a leader in socially responsible investment and has long been promoting effective corporate response to climate change. More recently it has become a signatory to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and the Institutional Investors' Statement on Climate Change.



Sue Winston, head of group media relations +44 (0)20 7662 8221
Vanessa Booth, group media relations manager +44 (0)20 7662 2482

Notes to editors:

  • Aviva's statement on climate change:  "The core of our business is making provision for future events. As a forward thinking insurer we are making provision for the effects of climate change through adapting and creating new products and services to meet this challenge. We also seek to reduce our own CO2 output and we encourage others to do the same through our influence as an investor and purchaser. We will work with others to better understand the future implications of climate change and play our part in helping to develop and deliver society’s continuing response."
  • Aviva has been managing and reporting on environmental performance since 1998.
  • Aviva is a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Climate Change Working Group.
  • Aviva established an internal Climate Change Forum in 2004 to coordinate activity on climate change.   

About Aviva

  • Aviva plc is the world's fifth-largest insurance group and the UK’s largest insurance services provider (based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2005), and is one of the leading providers of life and pension products to Europe, with substantial positions in other markets around the world.  
  • Aviva's principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of Ł36 billion and assets under management of Ł322 billion at 31 December 2005.
  • The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, logos, company and product information and a news release archive.
  • Visit Aviva's CSR website for full details of environmental programme developments within the CSR programme at www.aviva.com/csr.