First milestone reached: Munich offices carbon-neutral since 2009
In 2007, the Board approved a carbon-neutrality strategy for the reinsurance group. The first major milestone was reached when Munich Re’s Munich offices went carbon-neutral in 2009. The global reinsurance group will follow suit in 2012. Carbon neutrality is in keeping with a commitment set down in our guiding principles for corporate responsibility: that we will protect our natural environment through measures such as the careful use of natural resources. Reduction of our carbon footprint marks a major step forward in protecting the climate and assuming our corporate social responsibility. We have achieved our carbon-neutrality target by cutting the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions produced in the course of our business operations to the absolute minimum. Unavoidable emissions (such as those associated with air travel) have been cancelled for offset accounting purposes by the purchase of emission credits. However, our declared aim in the long term is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions even further “under our own steam” wherever possible, for instance by introducing energy-efficiency measures and investing in renewables.
The following measures were implemented in 2008 and 2009:
- Increasing energy efficiency: Shutting down workplace PCs overnight (introduced in 2008), reducing the number of servers through more efficient usage (2008), maintaining and upgrading building facilities. (This is an ongoing process that includes, for instance, installing a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system in the garden dining room in 2009/2010 to reduce our consumption of energy by 30 percent.)
- Purchasing “green” power: Our Munich (and Milan) office energy supply has been 100 percent green since 2008.
- Offsetting unavoidable emissions: Purchasing emission credits for a high-grade emissions-reduction scheme in Brazil (based on a voluntary standard) designed to produce energy from biomass waste sources. As well as reducing the quantity of waste, and thus emissions, a further beneficial effect is decreased dependence on fossil fuels.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on current assumptions and forecasts of the management of Munich Re. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the forward-looking statements given here and the actual development, in particular the results, financial situation and performance of our Company. The Company assumes no liability to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.