UK-based international savings, retirement and insurance company Aviva announced today a new partnership with WWF, one of the world’s leading conservation charities, calling on the UK government to mandate regulated financial institutions to develop credible transition plans, aligned with net zero and the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

With the new partnership, Aviva will also become WWF’s lead partner on pensions and insurance.

Amanda Blanc, Aviva Group CEO, said:

‘We’re living in the midst of a climate emergency and, as the UK.’s leading insurer, we’ve got a big responsibility to do something about it. Our new partnership with WWF will help us tackle the causes of climate change and help our customers and communities cope better with the consequences. We will campaign with WWF to ensure the financial sector gets its act together and makes a more significant contribution to a sustainable planet.’’

Earlier this year, Aviva launched a series of climate goals and initiatives, becoming the first major insurer in the world to target net zero carbon by 2040. The company also set a goal to invest £10 billion into low carbon strategies by the end of 2022, and announced targets to source 100% renewable electricity for all its offices by 2030.

With the launch of the partnership, Aviva and WWF jointly published a policy paper, outlining a series of recommendations on how the UK government could contribute for a greener financial system. These include requiring financial institutions to produce Net Zero 1.5C-aligned transition plans, bringing together regulators, industry and civil society to develop guidance on the most appropriate metrics, methodologies and specifications for transition plans, and creating a clear policy framework to drive net zero across the real economy. The paper also calls on the government to use its position in the G7, G20 and other platforms to empower other economies to implement transition globally.

Aviva’s collaboration with WWF will extend beyond the UK, across Aviva’s core markets. Over the next three years, both organizations will also be helping communities in Canada build more resilient ecosystems to reduce the risk of disasters such as flooding, and Aviva plans to engage millions of consumers to increase awareness about the power of their choices – including investment choices – to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Tanya Steele, WWF-UK Chief Executive, said:

“We know that the finance sector has a staggering climate footprint, and that simply has to change if we are to stand a chance of meeting the Paris Agreement targets of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. But as we look to build a greener, stable planet with a sustainable economy, the sector can also be a force for positive change. Together, we hope to inspire other financial institutions along this journey and to jointly call for ambitious government reform of the sector in the run-up to COP26.”