Munich Re and ERGO launch climate protection projects
As part of their corporate responsibility strategy, Munich Re and ERGO jointly support projects combating climate change. Resource deployment is concentrating on two topics: fostering cleantech start-ups and setting up Solarkiosks, which supply off-grid and climate-friendly electricity in countries, in which only parts of the population has access to energy supply.
Munich. Rising temperatures and an increase in extreme weather events in many regions worldwide are only two indications for a changing climate. Addressing the consequences of this trend and finding solutions to the challenges deriving from it is more important today than ever before. For some four decades, Munich Re has been researching climate change and its impacts, calling attention to necessary mitigation, adaptation and prevention strategies. This is set by risk measurement activities, by providing adequate insurance solutions, in asset management, and in the area of corporate responsibility. “Part of our Group’s corporate responsibility strategy is to mitigate the impact of climate change. This benefits not only the Group but also society as a whole”, says Joachim Wenning, CEO of Munich Re.
Commitment: The next level
“The effects of climate change threaten many people worldwide. We consider it our responsibility to contribute to climate protection, which is why we get involved in these projects.” adds ERGO CEO Markus Rieß. In addition to financial support, Munich Re and ERGO also contribute experience and expertise in the field of climate research: in the EU climate initiative Climate-KIC’s start-up accelerator, and in supporting the company SOLARKIOSK, which enables resource-efficient power supply in underserved regions all around the world.
Focus on cleantech start-ups
Climate-KIC focuses on sustainable business models based around climate protection. The accelerator for young entrepreneurs is part of the European Union’s largest public-private innovation partnership in the field of climate change. Its programme includes an intense technical and financial support for the fledgling companies – from the germ of their idea, through business development to financing. Three start-ups judged particularly worthy of nurturing were selected in September 2017: Refurbed from Vienna, with its online marketplace for refurbished electronic devices; twingz – also from Vienna -, with an energy-saving tool that can also be used for loss prevention; and NÜWIEL from Hamburg, that manufactures electrically controlled, intelligent bicycle trailers. The current Climate-KIC accelerator phase began on 4 October and will last until the end of March 2018.
Climate-neutral electricity provision
Some 1.5bn people worldwide have no access to electricity. With its E-HUBBs – kiosks equipped with solar panels – the Berlin-based company SOLARKIOSK is supplying off-grid electricity in East Africa, especially in Kenya. The inhabitants benefit twofold from this: they can access the internet or charge their mobile phones, and the E-HUBBs protect the environment by replacing high-emission diesel-powered generators. The first E-HUBBs financed by Munich Re and ERGO are to be set up in Kenya from November 2017 to the end of the year, with more installations planned for 2018.
Further information on the projects, their progress and the milestones reached can be found at http://www.ergo.de/en/microsites/tacklingclimatechange/Start, at http://www.climate-kic.org/ and at http://www.solarkiosk.eu. A commentary by Joachim Wenning, CEO of Munich Re, and a technical article look at current developments on the topic of climate change are accessible via the following link: https://www.munichre.com/topics-online/en.html.
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