Meeting Nature's Challenge

We’re helping to reduce the impact of natural hazards and climate change.

Our focus

Nature is intrinsic to New Zealand’s national identity. It underpins much of our success, while also being the frequent cause of hardship.  Events like earthquakes and floods show just how powerful nature can be and the enduring impacts it can have on our lives.  Reducing these impacts is at the heart of meeting nature’s challenge.  Here’s what we’re focused on:

Reducing our carbon footprint

We’re continuing our work to reduce our carbon emissions and offset those that we cant avoid.  We have been carbon neutral since 2012.

Reducing the impact of natural hazards

We’re working to improve how New Zealand reduces and prepares for the physical, economic and social impacts of natural hazards.  This includes our work to support changes in Government policy and practice.

Helping others adapt to climate change

We're working to improve how New Zealand adapts to the physical changes of our warming climate.  This includes our work to help others understand the consequences of climate change. 

We reduce our vehicle emissions

IAG is transitioning its 270 strong corporate vehicle fleet to electric and hybrid cars.

In early 2021 IAG New Zealand decided to transition our 270-strong corporate vehicle fleet to electric and hybrid cars. This decision was made as part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and limiting the impacts of climate change. We have a science-based target to reduce emissions from electricity use and our vehicle fleet by 40% by 2025 (based on FY17 levels), and this change will help us deliver on that target.

On 17 September we officially began our Electric Vehicle Early Adopter Programme, which will see six volunteers from our NZI business take our first individually assigned electric vehicles. We already have four EVs in our pool fleet. Our three Christchurch drivers were the first to collect their vehicles, with one driver in Wellington and two in Auckland due to collect theirs in the coming weeks. All drivers will have Hyundai Ioniqs.

The Early Adopter Programme is designed to help us learn from the experience of our volunteers, especially around range, charging infrastructure, ongoing support, cost and carbon savings. Four of our early adopters have home chargers installed, while two will be relying on office chargers (which we have in our Fanshawe Street and Christchurch offices) as well as public charging stations. We will be gathering insights from the programme over the next three months and sharing these with our other IAG drivers, with a view to encourage broader uptake of electric vehicles over the coming years.  

IAG’s EV journey is being supported by our vehicle lease supplier, LeasePlan, who have been integral in assisting us with vehicle choices and home charging infrastructure.

We promote climate adaptation

IAG believes that climate change is a critical issue and wants New Zealand to focus a lot more on adapting to tis inevitable and growing impacts.

At IAG we believe that climate change is a critical issue for New Zealand.  We are committed to reducing the impact we have on the climate but also deeply concerned about the increasing impact that our changing climate will have on our towns and cities. 

So, since 2018 we’ve been asking New Zealanders about climate change and their expectations of what might be coming, what it means for them and how the country should respond.  Each year we share the key findings with the public and especially those who are in a position to advance how we adapt to the impacts that climate change will bring.

In 2021, for our fourth survey, we have looked more closely at peoples’ expectations of business and the vexed question of who pays, particularly when people upgrade their home or have to move their home when the risk they face is too great.

Overall, the findings highlight a sense that New Zealand isn’t making the progress it needs to and that Government and business must do more. And that we are still to confront the hard trade-offs that lie at the heart of a well signalled and fair response.

Find out more about IAG’s latest climate poll here.

We bring people together

Bryce Davies is helping to create a strong focus on adaptation in New Zealand’s response to climate change.

Our climate is changing in profound ways, creating both risks and potential rewards for businesses. How businesses adapt to the impacts that climate change is bringing will spell their success or failure.

To highlight the urgent need for action and encourage businesses to get more involved, IAG has continued its series of Climate Adaptation events in 2021. These were targeted at members of the Sustainable Business Council and Climate Leaders Coalition.

The first event focused on ‘What the Science is Telling us’ and featured two prominent climate scientists – Professor James Renwick and Dr Rob Bell – talking through the changes occurring in our climate and their impacts - especially through sea level rise and flooding.  Their insights prompted questions and discussion on how to apply this science to understand the climate risks businesses will have to disclose under impending legislation.

The second event focused on ‘The policy Response’, and we heard from Climate Change Minister James Shaw, as well as representatives from the Climate Change Commission and the Ministry for the Environment. There was discussion about the proposed Managed Retreat legislation, the upcoming National Adaptation Strategy, as well as about the linkages between mitigation efforts and the adaptation response. At this event IAG also launched the results of the fourth annual Climate Change opinion poll carried out in conjunction with Ipsos.

We encourage others

Asia Rattenbury is using her commitment to the environment to help IAG raise awareness and foster climate action amongst her colleagues.

A key pillar in IAG’s Climate Action Plan is ‘preparing our people’. Climate change is everyone’s responsibility, and this pillar is about providing access to tools and initiatives that help us manage our own climate change impacts, as well as provide pathways for us to contribute to the action plan itself.

In December 2019 we recognised that a good place to start was to form a group where everyone who’s passionate about the environment can come to learn, share, discuss and act. And so, the Eco Action Group was formed.

The Eco Action Group is focused on three main streams of work: helping to bringing our IAG Climate Action Plan to life and influencing decisions within the business; working to reduce waste within IAG and our supply chain; and empowering our people to engage with the science behind environmental issues and providing resources to help them take action

Since its launch the Eco Action Group has run speaker events, including most recently during Plastic Free July. They are also working on a couple of pilot initiatives which could lead to real change within the organisation and the supply chain. Although the Group’s activities have been hampered somewhat by Covid-19, they have secured a large and growing membership which sees regular sharing of ideas and discussion about environmental issues.

It’s early days but the group is led by three committed and passionate IAG people who can’t wait to do more and build engagement further. 

We reduce our footprint

Tim Griffith uses his passion for sustainability to help IAG contribute towards lowering New Zealand’s carbon footprint.

His role is about creating environments that reflect who we are as a company. It’s making sure our spaces are safe, resilient, productive and great places to be.

Work environments are continually changing, and COVID-19 has shown us that what we consider to be a work environment is changing too. That requires property teams like ours to adapt quickly and think creatively.

Since 2016 we have been focused on consolidating our property footprint to improve energy efficiency and the quality of our sites for our people. We have reduced our number of sites by 30, including consolidating Auckland locations from nine down to three. This has meant that since 2016 we have reduced our m2 by 26%, reduced property costs significantly and cut our electricity emissions by over 50%. In total, from 2016 to 2020 we saw a reduction of 442 tCO2e from electricity emissions alone.

Beyond emissions reduction and the obvious cost savings, the introduction of flexispace and more strategically located sites meant we saw more efficient use of space, enabled more choice of work styles, enabled greater access to public transport, and improved end of trip facilities.

Our focus remains on improving the energy efficiency of our existing sites, like our 11-year-old 5 Green Star rated NZI Centre in Auckland, as well as looking at changes to our footprint to reflect both changing customer demand and staff working from home preferences.

Tim is proud to be playing a role in bringing IAG’s commitment to sustainability to life.

Our carbon footprint

Since 2004 we have measured our carbon footprint and had it independently assured.  In 2012 we became carbon neutral by offsetting all the emissions we can’t avoid, which we continue to do.

We are focused on reducing our emissions as much as possible and have set science-based targets for our Scope 1 (company vehicles) and Scope 2 (electricity) emissions based on FY17 emissions. 

20%

2020

40%

2025

70%

2030

95%

2050

In FY20 we achieved our first target of 20% through steady reduction of our company vehicle emissions and significantly cutting our electricity use.  We have continued to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions in FY22, but have seen an increase in Scope 3 as a result of reporting on staff work from home emissions, and an increase in air travel. Full details of our footprint can be found here.

Collaboration

Our climate change activity is underpinned by our Group Climate Action Plan and our sustainability memberships.  We were also one of the 12 founding members of the Climate Leaders Coalition in 2018 and have signed up to their higher ambition pledge in 2020. We are also active members of the Sustainable Business Council. We were a founding signatory to the UN Principles for Sustainable Insurance in 2012 and a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.