UK-based international savings, retirement and insurance company Aviva announced today a new set of climate goals and initiatives, including a commitment to targets net zero Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions by 2040, in a first for a major insurance company. The company will also take significant steps to reduce exposure to coal, both in its investments and its underwriting business, and has pledged to put its Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) to an advisory vote at this year’s AGM in May.

Amanda Blanc, Aviva Group Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Aviva is taking bold steps to help tackle the climate crisis. As the UK’s leading insurer, we have a huge responsibility to change the way we invest, insure and serve our customers.”

As part of its new climate commitments, Aviva has outlined green investment goals, including investing a further £10 billion from its auto enrolment default funds and other policyholder funds into low carbon strategies by the end of 2022, investing £6 billion in green assets, including £1.5 billion of policyholder monies into climate transition funds by 2025, and investing £2.5 billion in low carbon and renewable energy infrastructure and deliver £1 billion of carbon transition loans by 2025. The company also set energy transition targets to source 100% renewable electricity for all offices by 2030, and to reach 100% electric/hybrid vehicle new leases for its 1,540-motor fleet by 2025.

Aviva also committed to sign up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), with the goal to establish science-based environmental target setting as a standard corporate practice.

On the coal front, Aviva said that by the end of 2022, it will divest from all companies which make more than 5% of their revenue from coal unless they have signed up to the SBTi, and that by the end of 2021, the company will stop underwriting insurance for companies making more than 5% of their revenue from coal or unconventional fossil fuels, unless they have signed up to the SBTi.

Blanc added:

“For the world to reach Net Zero, it’s going to take leadership and radical ambition. And it is going to take Aviva to play our part.”