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Zurich cuts ties with over 90 companies over green issues

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Zurich has terminated business relationships with more than 90 of its insured clients or companies that it had invested in as part of a pledge to withdraw support from carbon-intensive businesses.

The carrier has previously said it would end its relationship with companies that generate more than 30% of their revenue from mining, generate more than 30% of the electricity from thermal coal, oil sands of oil shale, extract more than 20 million tons of thermal coal, or continue to invest in coal mining.

In its 2020 sustainability report, Zurich said it had identified 268 companies falling into these categories, and that it would terminate its business relationship with 36%, with dialogue ongoing with a further 42%. Another 22% have agreed to adopt greener practices.

Zurich has made a number of commitments to environmental sustainability, including a pledge to itself become a net-zero carbon company by 2050.

In May last year, however, it was revealed that the carrier was providing insurance for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project in Canada.

Elsewhere in the report, Zurich said that it had increased the amount it invests in assets meant to help avoid CO2 emissions to $5.8bn, exceeding a $5bn target set in 2017.

Group CEO Mario Greco said: “For many years now, we have been embedding sustainability into every fibre of the group and have been operating as a carbon neutral business since 2014.

“We remain a profitable, well capitalized and highly diversified business, and this gives us the freedom to plan for the long term.”

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