Less is more in the climate change war

Delegates at the specialist ILC event The Environmental Challenges of Property Claims were told that when it comes to meeting sustainability objectives less is definitely more.

The event took place at etc.venues in London on 9 June and was supported by headline sponsor CoreLogic, as well as sponsors sponsors Gateley Vinden, Polygon, QuestGates, RSK Group and JCS Jewellery, along with ILC home and property division corporate partners Carpenters Group, Claims Consortium, CoreLogic, ICAB, Innovation Group and Sedgwick.

A packed agenda which included five panel debates began with a keynote address from Lucy Thomas, Director and Chief Scientist, RSK Group, who said that the most effective way to reduce the carbon footprint of claims was to strip unnecessary steps from the process and deliver a shorter, faster more efficient journey.

She began by underlining the seriousness of climate change, which was identified as one of three global crises by the UN in 2020. She pointed to the surge in catastrophic weather events in recent years, such as flooding and fire, revealing that the cost of tackling such events had risen 800% in 20 years.

In response, the UK government amended the Climate Change Act in April 2019 to set 2050 at the new Net Zero deadline, and in April this year it became the first G20 government to make it mandatory for banks, insurers, and organisations with more than 500 employees or a turnover of above £500m to deliver reports on their climate-related risk factors and what mitigating steps they are taking.

These reports have to be aligned with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which covers governance, strategy, risk management, and targets.

For insurers, which are central to tackling climate change both in reducing their own carbon footprint and encouraging more sustainable behaviour among policyholders, a key part of this is greater accountability is streamlining their own processes.

Lucy said that in this area there were great opportunities for the sector. For example, she said that a standard claim following an oil spill would typically require 17 visits from a range of engineers, contractors and specialists to assess the job, do the job and then verify the job.

She said that remote technology and closer partnerships with suppliers could negate many of those visits, resulting in a dramatic decrease in time, cost, and energy usage.

Lucy concluded by saying that the world is changing and so must industry, but change would only be possible if the entire supply chain worked together to make sustainability normal business practice.


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