You can change the planet without changing your life

One person presenting from iPad to two other persons

Everyone is talking about COP26, the UN climate change conference, that’s happening in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November 2021. We’re not going to be any different – as our Group CEO, Amanda Blanc, is one of the speakers.

That’s because we’re passionate about tackling climate change. And we’ll be there, asking governments to take even greater actions to meet their climate commitments. 

Turn on the news and you hear about turbulent temperatures, frequent floods, wild weather and forest fires. And as an insurance business that’s been around for 325 years and a retirement business, we care about you, your environment, your future – and everything in between – as we all want to be around for a lot longer.

We’re getting our house in order, putting plans in place to combat climate challenges. That means as one of our customers, you’ll know your money’s going towards doing good, without you having a lift a finger.

We’re grafting for a greener planet 

We plan to clean up our act a decade sooner 

It’s our goal to be a net-zero company by 2040. That’s a whole 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement – a climate action plan set out by world leaders to tackle climate change. 

You might be wondering what that means for you. Well, when you take out our insurance or put money into your pension pot with us, over time your money won’t be used to add any extra greenhouses gases to the environment than we take away..

Our 2040 goal applies to everything we do. That means taking actions like opening one of the UK’s largest combined solar carports at our Perth office – a carbon saving equivalent to powering over 500 homes or a small town every year. And offering a variety of sustainable impact, climate transition and net zero-aligned funds for you to invest in.

Some big carbon emitters get a big no from us the end of 2022, we’ll no longer invest in or insure companies who make more than 5% of their income from thermal coal unless they're signed up to specific climate targets.

When it comes to big carbon emitters, we’ll be encouraging these companies to take climate action. If they’re one of the 30 companies who are part of our climate escalation programme, they’ll need to make significant changes – or we’ll stop investing in them. We’ve got experience in this area – Aviva Investors has been rated one of the best investors in the world for using our influence with companies to drive climate change.

We’ll also be looking at the way we work with companies who make money from practices we know have the very worst impact on the planet. And by the end of 2022, we'll no longer invest in or insure companies who make more than 5% of their income from thermal coal unless they're signed up to specific climate targets.

Build the planet’s future as you build your own 

Our research shows over 90% of people don’t realise where their pension is invested contributes to their carbon footprint.

Not many people know the impact a pension can have on the planet. Our research shows over 90% of people don’t realise that where their pension is invested contributes to their carbon footprint.  You might just think it’s for your future. But it can make a big difference to the planet’s future too.

When it comes to pensions, we know that investing in lower-carbon funds can be 21x more effective at reducing your carbon footprint than things like giving up flying, switching to renewable energy and going veggie  – another reason for us to reach net-zero by 2040 for our investments.

By the end of 2022, we expect to invest £10 billion of assets into low-carbon strategies for:

  • pension funds that our workplace customers automatically invest in if they don’t choose a different fund
  • other funds our pension customers invest in  

Giving you greener choices

The more eco-friendly options you have in front of you, the easier it is for you to pick an option that works for you. That’s why we’re offering you sustainable changes in everything from your pension to your home insurance. Here are some of the things we’re doing:

  • Offering you a greater number of sustainable products and investments  
  • If we have to replace fridges, freezers and washing machines, we’ll offer you an energy efficient replacement that usually has an energy efficiency rating of at least ‘A’– and recycle your old appliance 
  • Suffered a flood? We’ll offer you repairs that should make your home more resistant to future flood damage for the same price as standard repairs
  • We're a market leader in insuring electric vehicles, insuring over 170,000 personal and commercial electric and hybrid vehicles

It takes strong partnerships to reach a brighter future 

Working alone only leads to small change. To make a big change, we need to work together – with you, communities, governments, global organisations, everyone.

We’re already working on a number of initiatives to support communities to tackle climate change with actions like helping to develop flood strategies and strengthening planning regulation to protect UK properties.

We’ve partnered with leading climate action organisations such as Make My Money Matter and WWF to spread the climate action message further and build on each other's expert know-how.

We’re also a member of UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owners and Net Zero Insurance Alliance. It’s made up of eight of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers playing their part to help reach net zero.

And it’s why we’re at COP26. To call on governments to do more to change the rules so that finance supports a sustainable world instead of adding to the damage, including by taking four targeted climate actions. And to represent each and every one of us who wants to see world leaders do more so we have a better chance at reaching the brighter future we’re aiming for.

Why where your money goes matters

See why having a better understanding of where your money’s being invested can make a world of difference.