How the Zurich Insurance Group leads with data

Net zero with a cutting-edge, data-driven approach

Zurich Insurance is Switzerland’s largest insurer, and places a high priority on sustainability-driven developments. The Group is committed to using every lever available – investments, operations, and products and services – to accelerate the transition to a net-zero emission economy. Zurich is setting new climate targets for its investments and operations and, crucially, will help finance the transition. It also requires the companies it invests in to set targets aligned with the Paris Agreement.

The action plan is part of Zurich’s ambition to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. The measures underscore a commitment made in 2019, when Zurich became the first insurer to sign the Business Ambition for 1.5°C Pledge to limit global warming.

The targets address three key areas on the road to decarbonization: emission reduction in the portfolio, engagement with companies to bring about change, and direct investment in solutions.

Together with BuildingMinds, we are leveraging the power of ESG data to realize effective emission reductions through data modelling and reduction scenario analytics. Roger Baumann COO and Head of Product Development Global Real Estate at Zurich

„Data-driven decarbonization“ project

Together with BuildingMinds, Zurich (https://www.zurich.com) has set out to collect, analyze and visually present all the insights needed for an effective decarbonization plan for its owned and managed real estate assets. The project focuses on the Swiss-based portfolio and is broken down into two main work streams:

  • Determination of the operational carbon footprint 
    Zurich is calculating the carbon footprint of its Swiss portfolio by connecting all data in a single repository that encompasses its scopes 1,2 and 3 – and projecting its future carbon footprint based on the current trend. An automated, detailed data analysis based on market and location, and for portfolio, sub-portfolios, business units, regions or individual buildings, makes it possible to optimize the building and portfolio performance based on advanced benchmarks.
  • Monitoring and managing carbon risk
    With the BuildingMinds solution, Zurich benchmarks building carbon performance against the CRREM decarbonization pathways (Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor) and calculates the exact stranding moment and the implications thereof for each real estate asset. With carbon taxation cost simulations from portfolio down to single building level, Zurich determines the financial impact on the portfolio value. Finally, energetic retrofit simulations allow to compare the impact of planned energetic retrofits and to determine the best course of action with regards to a decarbonization roadmap that ensures both sustainability and resilience.
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