Using A ‘Polluter Pays’ Principle to Engage Employees in Carbon Reduction

THE ISSUE

As a responsible business and a global insurer working in the business of risk management, Aviva takes the threat of climate change seriously. Aviva’s sustainability programme includes a robust carbon management plan, which recognises the crucial role their business can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, minimising environmental impacts and encouraging others to follow their lead.

From energy efficiency measures to renewable energy, Aviva continues to reduce the company’s environmental impacts year-on-year, but also recognises some emissions are unavoidable. Aviva became the first global insurance group to offset their total operational emissions and become carbon neutral, back in 2006. Yet, effective carbon management and further emission reduction requires buy-in and support across the business – going beyond CSR and sustainability teams.

 

THE SOLUTION

Working with ClimateCare to devise a bespoke Climate+Care programme has allowed Aviva to reach out and engage with colleagues across the business, to embed effective carbon management and raise awareness of the raft of positive social and environmental impacts delivered through Aviva’s partnership with ClimateCare. Here’s how.

Since 2010, Aviva has implemented a polluter pays policy across the business, to support implementation of their carbon reduction programme and build employee understanding of Aviva’s actions as a responsible business.

Using internationally recognised standards, Aviva robustly measures CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. Internal efficiencies and reduction policies are applied to help to cut emissions wherever possible, then each year, Aviva’s unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to each market across the business. With senior backing  for the ‘polluter pays’ policy, each business area is then recharged internally for their emissions to be offset through a smart Climate+Care programme, which not only reduces emissions but also delivers a raft of measurable social impacts in the communities Aviva supports. Better still, the policy increases awareness across the company of Aviva’s actions as a responsible business, its carbon reduction programme and the need to reduce emissions further.

 

THE IMPACT

Zelda Bentham, Group Head of Sustainability at Aviva says:

Understandably at first we were questioned by colleagues for passing on these costs internally across the business. This provided us with an opportunity to engage with our colleagues and to build awareness of the breadth of actions we take to reduce our environmental impacts.”

“Through this dialogue, colleagues not only realised the measurable social impacts our Climate+Care programme delivers on the ground, including in countries where Aviva operates, but they also began to ask for more detailed information relevant to their own operations – what their energy consumption was, what else Aviva was doing, how they could further reduce their impact”.

For Aviva, being able to robustly report the lives improved and social value delivered through their Climate+Care programme has made all the difference. It allowed Aviva to demonstrate not only the business value of their carbon offset programme, in supporting effective technologies to reduce unavoidable emissions, but also the social value and raft of social impacts delivered through Aviva’s smart, integrated Climate+Care programme – whether empowering women through reducing the amount of time and money spent finding fuel for cooking, improving health by reducing harmful indoor air pollution in the home through clean cooking technologies, or enabling access to low-carbon technologies such as solar.

Choosing to support an integrated Climate+Care programme that not only cuts carbon but improves lives, robustly measuring and communicating these social impacts to colleagues with ClimateCare and implementing smart carbon management policies across the business have helped Aviva to engage colleagues in its sustainability programme, build awareness and stimulate interest in company action to reduce carbon emissions even further.

 

CLIMATECARE’S ROLE

ClimateCare has worked with Aviva for a number of years to create a bespoke Climate+Care programme which cuts carbon, delivering robust emission reductions, whilst also demonstrably improving lives. Their programme is devised to deliver multiple social impacts and social value, in at-risk and vulnerable communities, to help to free people from fear of uncertainty and to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals –all through one smart Climate+Care programme.

ClimateCare has worked closely with Aviva to devise a programme aligned to their core business and to enable Aviva to robustly measure and report the social value derived from their programme in the same way their broader community investments are assessed. You can find out more about Aviva and ClimateCare’s leading impact measurement work here.  Together, Aviva and ClimateCare continue to create opportunities to engage employees and communicate the impact of their smart corporate responsibility programme across the business.