AXA Announces €6m Carbon Initiative16 Aug 2021
AXA - Ireland’s largest car insurer – announces plans to spend €6 million to offset the carbon impact of over 650,000 customers this year
Investment will include the planting of 600,000 native trees across Ireland
AXA CEO - “There is a huge consumer appetite to address the carbon issue and we want to work with customers to help them to do so”
Monday 16th August 2021. AXA, the largest provider of motor insurance in Ireland, is to spend €6 million to offset the annual carbon impact of over 650,000 private cars insured by the company across the Republic and Northern Ireland.
The investment will mean that AXA will offset more than the entire annual carbon production linked to the company’s insured private motorists in Ireland over the coming 12 months. AXA calculate that the programme will offset the equivalent of 1 million tonnes of CO2. There is no cost to consumers and the programme is being financed from AXA’s own resources. The announcement comes just one week after the publication of the ground-breaking reports on Climate Change by the IPCC and Ireland’s EPA.
The €6 million investment will provide:
- €2 million to finance the planting of 600,000 trees across 200 hectares around the country. These new native woodlands will be developed over the coming years as public amenities for the benefit of communities, public health, and the environment for generations to come.
- €4 million investment in carbon offsets around the world using wind, hydro, and solar projects.
The investment represents one of the largest carbon offset programmes ever undertaken in Ireland. It is part of a broader climate action programme being undertaken by AXA worldwide which aligns with the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. AXA, headquartered in France, is one of the largest insurance companies in the world.
Philip Bradley, CEO AXA Ireland said:
“The move marks a step-change in AXA’s response to the climate issue. There is a huge consumer appetite to address the issue and we want to work with our customers to help them to do so. From the perspective of scale and infrastructure, there are things we can do as a large company which would be much more difficult for individual consumers to do so this is an example of how we can work with customers to achieve a shared goal at no additional cost to those customers.”
Pippa Hackett, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine welcomed the announcement:
“In the week that the IPCC launched its Climate Report, the climate emergency is more central than ever, and this meaningful investment by AXA in Ireland on behalf of their customers is significant. It demonstrates the seriousness with which the corporate world is now beginning to address the climate and biodiversity crisis, and shows the ability of large companies such as AXA to make a difference. I am particularly encouraged with the commitment to invest in Irish forestry with a focus on native woodlands, and the creation of vibrant amenity spaces for the benefit of the community.”
Consumer Research on Carbon Issue
AXA has consulted widely with customers in Ireland about the climate issue and there is a marked interest in taking direct action on the climate issue. In a recent survey of AXA customers findings included:
- 59% of respondents across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland said that they are proactively reducing their own carbon footprints.
- The survey also showed that consumers want companies to treat climate change seriously. 77% of respondents said that AXA should treat climate change as “a high or top priority”.
How the Programme will work:
Woodland Planting Programme
In respect of the native woodland planting programme, AXA will partner with a carbon offsetting social enterprise called Forestry Partners and Coillte to create a new not for profit entity. The aim of the new organisation is to create new native woodlands at scale by leveraging the growing interest in ESG investment and carbon reporting within the private sector. AXA will fund the planting programme via Woodland Nature Credits developed by Bank of Ireland for this project. Tree planting will commence in October of this year.
Carbon Offsetting Programme
AXA will invest €4 million to finance wind, hydro and solar based projects designed for carbon offsetting. The programme will be managed by Ecologi which supports carbon offsetting projects across the world, and which works with partners like the Eden Reforestation Project. Ecologi recently received €4 million in investment from General Catalyst which was one of the first companies to back Snapchat, Airbnb and Deliveroo. Ecologi which is headquartered in Bristol in the UK is backed by 16,000 members of the public and over 6,000 businesses.
Relevant Facts and Figures:
AXA is the largest insurer of private motorists in the Republic and Northern Ireland. The company insures over 650,000 private motorists across the island.
AXA has calculated the carbon produced by private motorists based on the manufacturers published carbon output data for individual vehicles and the expected annual milage of those vehicles. It is estimated that the average cost of offsetting the carbon linked to each insured car is €6.
AXA has created a calculator for customers using the MyAXA portal which will enable them to calculate the carbon produced by their own vehicle each year.
Issued on behalf of AXA Ireland by Gordon MRM