Based on its sustainability strategy 20.25, Helvetia has drawn up a climate strategy with long-term goals and specific measures, which it is now implementing systematically. The measures comprise its own CO2 emissions, the insurance business and the investment business. In parallel to implementation, Helvetia is continuously developing its climate strategy with interim targets and detailed implementation plans.
Net-zero target for business activities by 2040
Calculated in terms of its workforce, Helvetia has reduced its CO2 emissions by 48% since 2012 and since 2018 has qualified as a carbon-neutral company. The insurance company is stepping up the measures it has already launched and is committed to achieving its net-zero target by 2040 for its group-wide activities. This means that by then, all avoidable greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced and the remaining ones will be completely removed from the Earth's atmosphere by means of offset measures. The reduction focuses on emissions from buildings (heat), business travel and the use of electricity.
Exit strategy for coal-related insurance business
In parallel to the focus on its own business activities, Helvetia will also reduce its carbon footprint in the insurance business. Here, a clearly defined exit strategy for coal-related business is particularly important for the insurance group. In its primary insurance segment there are therefore specific requirements and deadlines for exiting these business activities. Helvetia is already no longer insuring coal mines, related infrastructure projects and new coal-based electricity generation projects. As of 1 September 2023 it will no longer insure energy companies that are expanding their coal-based activities. The continual exit from coal-related business activities is being implemented in an initial step by 2035 in the OECD countries and by 2040 worldwide.
Net-zero target by 2050 for insurance business with oil and gas
Further measures and exclusion criteria have also been defined for business activities related to oil and gas. The gradual exit from these business activities is an important part of the CO2 reduction pathway for indirect emissions from the insurance portfolio by 2050.
Helvetia is also committed to gearing its investment portfolio in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and is setting itself a net-zero target for indirect emissions by 2050. In this way, the insurance company is promoting a sustainable and in particular a low-carbon economy.
The Principles for Responsible Investment supported by the United Nations serve as a framework for Helvetia's sustainable action in the investment field. To implement them, the insurance company has established group-wide approaches, guidelines for responsible investment and clear governance.
Opportunities in the field of renewable energies
In order to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement together, it is important to make the transition to an energy economy in order to reduce CO2 emissions and avoid them as far as possible. Philipp Gmür, Group CEO of Helvetia, emphasizes: "As an insurance company we take a long-term view and are committed to a sustainable future. At the same time we take the topic of energy security seriously and are therefore supporting the necessary transition to low-carbon energy with our climate strategy."
By expanding its insurance solutions for renewable energy production and the related infrastructure, Helvetia also sees possibilities for contributing to mitigating climate change and exploiting its own business opportunities. The insurance company has set up a team of specialists and is well positioned in this market: over 25% of business in the power portfolio of Helvetia already involves projects and infrastructure for production of renewable energy.
A detailed overview of the already decided business policy measures derived from the climate strategy in the insurance and investment business can be found on Helvetia's website. Starting in 2024, comprehensive climate reporting will clearly show the progress that Helvetia has made with its climate strategy. Up-to-date information about the company's commitment to sustainability can be found on Helvetia's website.