Although it continues to be debated, there is clear consensus that the threat posed by climate change is heightening. Friends Life recognises it has a responsibility to respond to this threat, both through managing our own impacts and influencing the behaviour and practices of others.
Externally, the nature of our engagement has been wide and varied. In 2011, we signed the 2oC Challenge Communiqué, calling on governments to break the deadlock on international climate change negotiations and take action at a national level. We successfully retained the Carbon Trust Standard for our carbon management programme and we supported the Carbon Disclosure Project, both as a signatory and as a reporting company.
In 2011, Friends Life was one of only four companies to be awarded a ClimateWise integration score of 100%, equivalent to a gold rating, and we achieved an overall score of 98% for the application of the ClimateWise principles.
Case study – ClimateWise
We are working with others in our industry to respond to the risks and opportunities presented by climate change. Through ClimateWise, we are committed to working with over 40 of the largest insurance companies in the world and to building climate change considerations into our risk, investment and governance frameworks. We report every year on our progress against the six main ClimateWise principles:
- Lead in risk analysis
- Inform public policy making
- Support climate awareness among our customers
- Incorporate climate change into our investment strategies
- Reduce the environmental impact of our business
- Report and be accountable.
You can read our most recent ClimateWise report here
Case study – Investing in energy efficiency
Throughout 2011 and early 2012, we have invested over £100K replacing lighting in our Dorking office. A new state-of-the-art low-level 14-watt T5 lighting system has improved the working environment for staff and reduced carbon emissions for the site by 13.6kg CO2 per hour.
In 2012, we also started a seven-month project to upgrade the electrical systems at the office. The works include replacing existing computer-room air-conditioning equipment with a highly efficient free air-cooling system, bringing Friends Life’s data centre up to the very latest resilience and industry-leading standards. The Free Air Cooling system represents a significant investment of over £135k and will significantly reduce the carbon emissions being produced in cooling our Data Centre.