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Direct Line Group Goes Carbon Neutral

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  • Announcement marks long-term commitment to offset emissions
  • Insurance group demonstrates full support for the Paris Agreement – committing to science-based emissions reduction target and taking the first steps towards net zero

As part of Direct Line Group’s commitment to take responsibility for its environmental impact, the Group is proud to announce that it is now carbon neutral through offsetting. This commitment is part of its three-step strategy to significantly reduce its carbon footprint year on year:

Step one: Disclose to track progress

We will disclose the Group’s carbon footprint including, for the first time, scope 3 emissions excluding investments. Once the work has been completed to calculate the investment portfolio, the Group intends to disclose the Group’s total footprint across Scope 1, 2 and 3. Ahead of many other organisations, Direct Line Group will be releasing their first TCFD disclosure in December, further strengthening the Group’s climate transparency reporting.

Step two: Commit to tangible actions

This year the Group committed to set Science Based Targets (SBT) for Scope 1, 2 and 3 and aims to submit those for approval within the 2 years’ timeframe set out by the SBTI. On Scope 1 and 2, the Group intends to set a target so that it can play its part in holding off some of the worst climate impacts, and avoid irreversible damage, by holding the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Step three: Offset while we reduce

The Group has partnered with ClimateCare to make a long-term, three-year commitment to offset those emissions under its operational control whilst working towards reducing emissions over time. This includes Scope 1 and 2 emissions and the Scope 3 activities under its direct control. This carbon neutral programme sees emissions offset through three high-impact projects that reduce carbon and support communities for a cleaner future:

Rainforest protection, Brazil

Deforestation continues to affect the Amazon, which produces more than 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen and contains 44,000 plant and animal species. This project cuts carbon emissions by reducing deforestation across 350,000 hectares of the Portel micro region of the Amazon rainforest. It does this by training and educating local communities in alternative agroforestry methods. The project reduces slash and burn agriculture, which has been one of the largest contributors to deforestation, provides access to official land titles for native families, and provides key habitat for more than 30 vulnerable species.

Water filters, Kenya

Fewer than half of Kenyans have access to safe drinking water, collecting it from open rivers, streams and other unsafe sources – leaving families vulnerable to disease. To counter this, the Aqua Clara project distributes safe water filters for families. As well as delivering health impacts, the project also reduces the need for people to boil water to make it safe to drink, which requires the burning of unsustainable energy sources such as wood or charcoal. This reduced reliance on fuel wood reduces family expenditure and reduces pressure on forests, as well as cutting carbon emissions. The team at Aqua Clara provides education and maintenance services to ensure that the filters are used correctly and remain operational.

Clean cookstoves, Bangladesh

Less than 20 per cent of the 35 million Bangladeshi households have access to clean cooking methods. Instead, cooking is done using traditional “three-stone” fires, which burn inefficiently, contributing to 49,000 premature deaths per year from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases caused by indoor air pollution. The Bondhu Chula project works with entrepreneurs to manufacture and distribute clean cookstoves. These cookstoves not only cut carbon emissions, but also funnel harmful pollutants – released during burning – out of the home, reducing indoor air pollution and improving health.

Penny James, CEO, Direct Line Group said:

“We are committed to a greener future but we know also that we cannot make change happen overnight. We see becoming a carbon neutral company as a significant step towards both protecting our business from the impact of climate change and giving back more to the planet than we take out.  But we are also very clear that the goal we are working towards is reducing our emissions year on year so that we can be carbon neutral without the need to offset.”

ClimateCare’s Director of Partnerships, Robert Stevens explains:

“We work with forward-thinking organisations to turn their climate responsibilities into positive outcomes. Our trademark Climate+Care approach helps organisations take a smart approach to addressing their environmental impacts by offsetting their carbon emissions through projects which also support sustainable development.”

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