Corporate Client: Co-op Insurance

Location: Europe

Co-op Insurance has ambitious targets to reduce its carbon footprint and already sources all its electricity from renewable sources. Climate Impact Partners supported the company to develop an easy and innovative way for customers to make a positive impact – by offsetting part of their emissions each time they buy an insurance policy.

The pioneering program helped Co-op Insurance offset many times more than its own relatively small direct carbon footprint. The initiative has cemented its place at the forefront of climate-responsible companies in their sector. Highlighting the program has also helped to attract new customers and improve their business performance.

About the client

Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-operative Group and has been providing insurance to customers for 150 years.

In recent decades, the insurance sector has felt the impacts of climate change more and more. Keen to face up to their responsibilities and help to address this growing crisis, Co-op Insurance turned to Climate Impact Partners, a longstanding partner of the wider Co-operative Group. 

The company wanted to reduce its customers’ carbon footprint while generating positive outcomes for people in developing countries, reflecting its commitment to give back to communities.

As a result, Co-op Insurance became the first insurance company to launch a car policy that offsets 10% of its customers’ carbon footprint from driving. It has since extended this to cover all new home and car insurance policies, helping to make sustainable living easier.

What we did

Climate Impact Partners worked closely with the Co-op Insurance team to build a best-in-class carbon offset program. This included choosing climate and development projects that would deliver high-quality carbon credits, as well as other positive social and environmental outcomes, in line with the Co-op’s values.

One of the projects supported by Co-op Insurance is Gyapa Stoves in Ghana. The clean cookstoves it supplies helped to improve the lives of 178,000 people’s lives in 2017 alone. 

In the same year, a group of the company’s employees visited the project to see for themselves how it’s improving indoor air quality, helping families to save money by using less fuel, and preventing deforestation, while reducing carbon emissions.

We also helped Co-op Insurance to identify the best way to communicate these positive outcomes to consumers, backed up by clear evidence of the project’s impact on the ground. For example, we brought the positive outcomes to life by advising customers that every Co-op home insurance policy helps two people in Ghana to access clean cookstoves. 

What positive outcomes did we deliver?

Co-op Insurance has halved its direct carbon footprint in 10 years. By working with Climate Impact Partners, it has been able to go further, offsetting an impressive 1.32 million tonnes of CO2 since the project’s inception, many times more than its direct footprint.

And there have been real business benefits, too. Not only is the company demonstrating environmental best practice, but it’s also enabled customers to offset part of their emissions as a standard part of their policy. 

This has increased interest in its car and home insurance policies. The company’s marketing campaigns, focused on the cookstove project, achieved a host of successes:

  • 210 pieces of press coverage, 600,000+ video views and 6,793 social media engagements
  • Increase in both calls from consumers (compared to the previous year’s marketing campaign) and ‘click to quote’ rate

The campaign was awarded the Insurance Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Insurance Marketing and PR Awards 2018 for their campaign, and the company also won the Carbon Offset Programme of the Year at the Better Society Awards.

We’re committed to doing business ethically. We all have a part to play in addressing the pressing issue of climate change, and through this offer we’re making it easier than ever for Co-op customers to make that choice.
Mark Summerfield, CEO of Co-op Insurance

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