Greenhouse Neutral Programme - first phase
Through our pioneering Greenhouse Neutral Programme, we substantially reduced our own CO2 emissions between 2003 and 2013. Offsetting all the remaining emissions has made Swiss Re carbon neutral for the whole ten years.
Tackling our own carbon footprint is one of four pillars of our climate change strategy. To meet this objective, we launched our Greenhouse Neutral Programme in 2003. This voluntary initiative combined two original commitments: cutting our CO2 emissions by 15% per employee and offsetting all the remaining emissions. To our knowledge, we were the first major financial services provider to have made such a commitment.
The first, ten-year commitment phase of the programme reached its conclusion in 2013. By the end of the year, we achieved a total reduction of CO2 emissions per employee by 49.3% and had compensated all remaining emissions, amounting to 553 000 tonnes of CO2e. For this purpose, we bought and retired high-quality Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs) from projects that also have strong social benefits.
We achieved the 49.3% cut in CO2 emissions per employee through the following measures: switching to renewable energy at all locations where this is available in reliable quality; continuous improvements in energy efficiency; and, to a lesser degree, curbing business travel. The gain in energy efficiency (ie reduction of energy intensity) we achieved by the end of 2013 was 46.5% per employee.
Second phase of the programme
Seamlessly continuing from the first commitment phase of the Greenhouse Neutral Programme, we have launched a second phase running from 2013 until 2020. For details, see Greenhouse Neutral Programme – second phase.