Compared to manufacturing companies, the environmental impacts of Hannover Re’s commercial operations as a service provider in the financial sector are relatively slight. The company nevertheless takes its responsibility for the environment very seriously and is committed to minimising the adverse environmental impacts of its own business activities. With this in mind, the focus of these efforts is on reducing CO2 emissions.
Climate Alliance Hannover 2035
Hannover Re is a member of the "Climate Alliance Hannover 2035", which was launched in 2008. Under this initiative the company has undertaken by 2020 to emit 40% less harmful greenhouse gases than in 1990. The specific contributions made by Hannover Re have been regularly checked every two years since 2011. Under the "Climate Alliance" Hannover Re additionally participates in the Business Strategy Group of the "Master Plan 2050 for the City and Region of Hannover, 100% for Climate Protection". In 2019, the decision was taken by the initiators to continue the programme as the Climate Alliance Hannover 2035 (German) – we are very pleased to be on board once again.
Hannover Re participates in other environmental initiatives. These can be found under our frameworks and initiatives.
A comprehensive and consistent approach to the challenges posed by climate change also includes managing the environ-mental and climate-related impacts of our own operations.
Our environmental policy forms the core of our Environmental Management System. All our other policies and environmental activities are based on this. Responsibility for the system rests with Hannover Re's entire Executive Board.
As part of our environmental management, we are committed to continuous improvement and compliance with all applicable legal obligations and other requirements. The environmental policy is an integral component of our Sustainability Strategy.
Hannover Re has offset all calculated CO2 emissions at its German location since as long ago as 2016. Furthermore, since 2018 all CO2 emissions due to air travel for the locations in Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia and Shanghai have been offset through the voluntary purchase of climate protection certificates.
From 2020 onwards, the offset payments have been made in support of the Rimba Raya project in Borneo and the project to provide more efficient cook stoves in Uganda. Both projects not only support measures to fight climate change, they also promote some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (inter alia SDG 1: End poverty, SDG 3: Healthy lives and well-being, SDG 5: Gender equality and empowerment).
In 2022, we expanded the recording of our CO2 emissions to additional international locations. Going forward, the goal is to calculate and offset at least 85% of our global emissions.
The focus of our climate protection efforts is on reducing CO2 emissions, which are caused above all by our business travel and more broadly by the supply of power and heat to our buildings. We have operated with a net zero carbon footprint at our Hannover location since 2016; by the year 2030 this target is to be achieved for all business operations worldwide. . Key factors in this achievement were the changeover in our electricity supply to renewables from 2012 onwards as well as the offsetting of our remaining greenhouse gas emissions through a not-for-profit provider.
The Moorland® project
As a natural retainer of carbon, moorland can play an important role in reducing CO2 emissions - but only if its water-rich ecosystem remains intact. That’s rarely the case in Germany, where more than 90% of all moorland was drained during the last century to promote agriculture and forestry. There are now efforts to restore some of these moors to their original condition, so they can once again trap greenhouse gases rather than releasing them into the atmosphere.
The Moorland® project of BUND, one of the largest environmental associations in Germany, implements measures to revive moorlands with the help of donations. As part of this project, Hannover Re supports BUND’s efforts to restore an area known as the Poldergruenland in the Northern Wietingsmoor, about 80 kilometres west of our German headquarters. We want to restrict greenhouse gas emissions and restore habitats for native flora and fauna.
In addition to our international conservation projects, we also want to express our local responsibility for climate and environmental protection at our location in Lower Saxony. Our goal is to offset the unavoidable emissions caused by building management and company cars in Hannover.
Detailed information about our environmental management, our emissions pursuant to Greenhouse Gas Protocol as well as our environmental initiatives can be found in our Sustainability Report.