Zurich Insurance sets climate steps to curb C02 emissions

CEO Mario Greco of Swiss Zurich Insurance addresses a news conference in Zurich, Switzerland February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance Group (ZURN.S) unveiled new climate measures that the Swiss insurer said would cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by a fifth -- or more than 40,000 tonnes per year -- by 2025.

The actions include reducing air travel by 70% as of 2022, switching to only electric or hybrid vehicles, slashing paper use by communicating digitally with clients, and adopting new energy efficiency targets for real estate, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

By the end of next year, all Zurich's company restaurants were expected to serve seasonal and regionally sourced food and to introduce waste-management programmes for leftovers.

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"The climate crisis calls for urgent action and small steps taken by each of us – individuals, organizations and businesses – will add up to a giant leap over time," Chief Executive Mario Greco said.

It announced new products that include the sector's first carbon neutral fund for life insurance clients and expansion of insurance offerings for the clean energy sector.

Zurich, which aims to be a net-zero emissions business by 2050, is one of eight major insurance and reinsurance companies that in July launched an alliance to help speed up a transition to a cleaner economy. read more

It said in March it planned a 25% cut in carbon intensity for listed equity and corporate bond investments by 2025 and a 30% cut for direct real estate investments.

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Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Silke Koltrowitz

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