Suncorp New Zealand on track to meet accelerated net-zero ambitions
27 September 2022
Suncorp Group has brought forward its Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emission (GHG) net-zero target by 20 years to 2030, as it forges ahead with decarbonising its operations.
The insurer’s previous net zero target was set for 2050.
With the release of recent data, Suncorp New Zealand says it is on track to meet the insurance group’s new ambitions, having achieved both its prior FY22 and FY30 targets (22% and 51% reduction respectively) well ahead of schedule.
The emissions reductions the insurer has achieved to June 2022 equate to a 61% reduction Scope 1 and 2 emissions since its 2018 baseline measurement.
Ongoing emissions reductions efforts have meant over the past financial year a 30% decrease in fleet fuel (diesel & petrol) emissions, 7% decrease in electricity emissions, 57% and 34% reduction 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 (Vero and AMP) and customer forms.
Hybrid vehicles now make up more than 42% of its total fleet and the company has more on order. The insurers total Scope 1, 2 and 3 net emissions are down 73% on base year, taking into account the Renewable Energy Certificates applied to purchased electricity coming from 100% renewable sources (electricity which has no associated emissions).
Suncorp New Zealand’s Sustainability Manager, Rob Siveter however acknowledges the reported emissions equate to primarily those of its corporate operations and as a financial services company, a large majority of its emissions sit 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. 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.”
He says another priority is to seek ways of ensuring some of the environmental benefits of behaviour change brought about by COVID-19 restrictions are maintained and is looking at ways to maintain the reduced regularity of employee travel and encourage employees to identify and reduce their own impact on their environment.
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