Swiss Re unveils Solar Plant at Americas HQ

On Thursday, June 15, Swiss Re cut the ribbon on a brand-new solar power plant on the grounds of its Americas Headquarters in Armonk, New York.

In a ceremony held at the 10-acre installation, Eric Smith, President & CEO of Swiss Re Americas and President Bill Clinton, flipped the switch on the two megawatt facility, the largest installation of its kind in Westchester County and among the largest in New York state.

The installation is comprised of more than 7,700 individual solar panels and will produce, on average, 60% of the daily power required by the 700 employees that work at the Swiss Re campus in Armonk. The $7 million facility is expected to generate energy cost savings that will pay back the installation’s cost within seven years.

“Our mission as a company is to help make the world more resilient,” said Smith. “The activation of this landmark project, and our willingness to help de-risk the renewable energy sector by insuring their projects across the world, underlines our commitment to sustainability."

President Clinton said: "I have spent a lot of the last ten years trying to promote economically responsible ideas to tackle climate change so we can leave an inhabitable planet for our grand- children and generations to come. That’s why the Clinton Foundation works with people and partners like Swiss Re who embrace our shared responsibility. They are committed to addressing the issue in a way that works for the company, their employees, and the economy as a whole.”

In 2013 President Clinton announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting Swiss Re's partnership and commitment to support 100 Resilient Cities. The goal of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative, which is still ongoing, is to support at least 100 cities become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. Swiss Re's contribution consists of providing practical risk management insight, access to risk assessment and risk financing tools, and expertise to help define the role of the Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), as well as supporting the development of the CRO network.

Committed to 100 % green electricity by 2020

Swiss Re is also a founding member of the RE100 initiative, a global initiative of influential and sizeable companies like Google, Ikea, Nestle and many others, that have committed to deriving more of their electricity from renewable sources.  

Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, praised Swiss Re for its move: “Congratulations to Swiss Re on their new solar power plant. It’s fantastic to see another RE100 company demonstrating leadership on renewable energy. The short payback period for this investment clearly shows the strong business case for renewables – solar energy will not only reduce Swiss Re’s emissions, it will also add to the bottom line.”

The construction of the solar power plant in Armonk is one of the biggest efforts that Swiss Re will be making globally to meet its commitment to 100 % green electricity by 2020. Similar solar energy plants are currently operating at Swiss Re’s locations in Switzerland, Italy, and the U.K.

The next solar plant project for Swiss Re will be installed at the company’s offices in Bangalore, India. Later this year, Swiss Re will install a 300 kilowatt installation that will provide 20% of electricity consumption for the 1,200 employees in that location.

Swiss Re’s commitment to drive solar power extends directly to its employees via the company’s “COyou2 reduce and gain” program. This program incentivises employees to install solar panels or make other low carbon investments to their homes by offering financial subsidies. It also encourages low carbon transportation for employee commutes, including the subsidising of bicycle purchases and public transportation

"Coupled with our global efforts across three continents, projects like the Armonk solar plant help to reach our goal of utilizing 100 % of electricity from renewable sources by 2020," said Vincent Eckert, Head Internal Environmental Management, Swiss Re.

President Bill Clinton speaking at Armonk's Solar Plant opening.

Swiss Re employees and the media gather for the ribbon cutting.

Watch live how much energy the solar plant in Armonk is generating and its environmental benefits.

Watch this video to find out more about our solar power plants around the globe.

Our environmental footprint

Our environmental footprint

We take care to minimise the environmental impact of our operations. Through innovative initiatives we have achieved a substantial reduction of our CO2 emissions and encourage our employees to reduce...

Read the whole story

Swiss Re to build solar power...

At the beginning of Climate Week NYC, Swiss Re announces concrete plans to further reduce the carbon footprint of its US-based operations.

Read the whole story