As we observe Earth Day and reflect on our shared responsibility to be good environmental stewards, it is important to recognize Zurich’s leadership, commitment, and advocacy to address the climate crisis.
On April 19, The North America Climate Resilience Program (a collaboration between Zurich North America, Resilient Cities Network and the Z Zurich Foundation), announced that New Orleans was joining the program as a “Champion City.” New Orleans joins Boston and Houston, which are already part of the North America Climate Resilience Program. The cities will share experiences, lessons learned and develop solutions that will incorporate a holistic approach to climate resilience and social equity. Relatedly, Zurich NA’s Chief Underwriting Officer, Brandon Fick, recently spoke to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) about the program and Zurich’s commitment to addressing climate change.
In March 2022, Zurich announced that the company was “bringing forward by 20 years its target to achieve net-zero emissions in its operations” to 2030 from 2050. To help achieve this ambitious goal, Zurich also announced that it was participating in some innovative and exciting projects on carbon removal. One such project is an agreement with Oregon Biochar Solutions, which produces biochar from forestry waste. In addition to carbon reduction, this program can help reduce future forest fire risk.
As Brandon Fick noted in his presentation at the NAIC, Zurich has identified climate change as “one of the most complex risks we are dealing with as a society.” The Zurich NA GRR team is actively engaged with policymakers, regulators, and stakeholders at the federal and state levels to develop, implement and invest in public policies to address the climate crisis and reduce the harmful impacts of climate change. In 2021, as Congress developed and debated the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Zurich NA was invited to provide Congressional testimony on two separate occasions to discuss the importance of investing in climate adaptation and resiliency. Ultimately, the IIJA included considerable investments in climate resiliency and advancing a clean energy infrastructure.
The examples above highlight Zurich’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis and its leadership on the topic. Taking actions to reduce its own carbon footprint, sharing its knowledge and expertise on risk reduction, and investing directly in community resiliency distinguishes Zurich as a trusted and constructive source for policy makers, across the political spectrum, as they develop and implement solutions to deal with climate change and its impact.