Zurich Focuses on Climate Change

January 22, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Zurich Financial Services Group has announced the launch of a global initiative focused on the development of products and services addressing the evolving risks associated with climate change and the establishment of a long-range carbon management strategy.

According to the announcement, Zurich has established an internal Climate Office that will be charged with driving an understanding of climate related risks across its businesses. Under Zurich’s Global Chief Underwriting Officer, Mike Kerner, the Climate Office will be fully embedded in Zurich’s underwriting infrastructure.

In addition, Zurich has established a Climate Change Advisory Council consisting of both internal functional leaders and external advisers that will directly report to Zurich’s Group Management on strategic and operational issues associated with climate change. The first two external members of the Climate Change Advisory Council are former U.S. Congressman Sherwood Boehlert and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Dean of Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the announcement said.

The final element of Zurich’s climate initiative is the launch of an applied research program with organizations and institutions to examine the economic, finance, and policy issues associated with climate change. Its first such partnership is with Dean von Weizsäcker’s Bren School, where Zurich will fund a distinguished visitors program. As part of the partnership, the Bren School will assess Zurich’s carbon footprint and develop an approach for Zurich to actively manage its carbon emissions.

Zurich Financial Services Group is an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and other markets.