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RenRe offsets emissions by helping communities, wildlife and forests

RenaissanceRe is offsetting its greenhouse gas emissions by supporting a project in the Gola Rainforest in Sierra Leone, an afforestation and community project in Uganda, and reforestation in Chile (Photograph by Pixabay)

More than 6,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas is generated by RenaissanceRe's Bermuda operations each year, with air travel and purchased electricity accounting for the bulk of the carbon emissions.

To offset the impact of those emissions it is supporting a rainforest project in Sierra Leone, a community and afforestation project in Uganda, and reforestation efforts in Chile.

The Bermudian-headquartered reinsurer, which has offices on Crow Lane, has created a website to provide insight into sustainable activities at the company, which includes divesting from direct investment in mining companies that get a third or more of their revenue from thermal coal.

RenRe has operations in the US, Australia, Britain, Ireland, Switzerland and Singapore, as well as here. It estimates it globally generates 10,795 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas each year.

By calculating its carbon footprint, the company is then able to offset its greenhouse gas emissions by buying carbon credits equivalent to its carbon impact. It does this through the organisation ClimateCare, which supports sustainable development projects around the world.

RenRe is a certified partner of ClimateCare, and has chosen three projects to support. One is rainforest protection in Sierra Leone. The Gola Rainforest is one of the world's important biodiversity hotspots, and the support project is working with local communities to protect the forest through agroforestry, education and health programmes.

The second initiative is a community-led project in Uganda to plant trees, cut carbon, tackle poverty and empower women and communities. While the third project is focused on reforestation in Chile.

Launching its new ESG website, RenRe said its three strategic areas of focus are to promote climate resilience, induce positive societal change and close the insurance protection gap.

Kevin O’Donnell, president and chief executive officer of RenRe, said: “We are committed to helping solve the world’s most complex challenges and being a positive force for change. This new website provides our stakeholders with a deeper understanding of our ESG [environmental, social and governance] activities and demonstrates our commitment to acting with integrity and upholding the highest standards of service and responsibility. It is through these values that we build employee engagement and maintain the trust of our clients, brokers and investors.”

On its new website, RenRe said its approach to investing includes eliminating direct investments in companies that are classified by the American finance company MSCI as ESG laggards.

Regarding closing the protection gap, RenRe said it is partnering to provide "sustainable risk mitigation solutions for those that are vulnerable in society". The company has also stated its focus on inducing positive societal change, and this includes investing in its people, having a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and supporting communities.

Ian Branagan, RenRe's group chief risk officer and head of corporate strategy, said: "Our commitment to good corporate citizenship has always been a central part of our culture and strategy at RenaissanceRe and is firmly embedded in our values. Our new website outlines how we will focus our core business strengths to make a meaningful impact on society. The RenaissanceRe team has long sought to create value and innovation for our partners and we hope to find new ways to apply our energy and expertise to make an impact in our communities and for our fellow citizens.”

RenRe’s new ESG website is at https://www.renre.com/about-us/esg-at-renaissancere/

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Published January 14, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated January 13, 2021 at 6:35 pm)

RenRe offsets emissions by helping communities, wildlife and forests

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