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Countdown to Christmas – insurers can learn from retailers how to improve sustainability

Thanks to shows such as Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II and Greta Thunberg’s relentless environmental campaigning, public awareness of sustainability issues has never been higher.

According to the report, Foundations of Sustainable Business, the number of companies investing in sustainability has doubled since 2010, and KPMG report that more than 90% of the world’s top 250 companies now produce an annual report on CSR.

We were interested to read about Selfridge’s recent launch of its eco-friendly fashion range – just in time for Christmas. Featuring brands such as  Stella McCartney, Ganni and Calvin Klein, the launch of this range forms part of the retailers ‘Buying Better’ labelling scheme, which tells shoppers how the items they are purchasing are helping the environment.  It follows research conducted by Selfridges which found that almost 75% of consumers think retailers could do more to educate them on making informed sustainable choices.

And they’re not the only ones – more and more companies are introducing innovative methods of promoting sustainability by integrating green initiatives in their business practise.

Tesco ensure the energy powering its stores is from wind power. It has also heavily invested in recycling, the use of biodiesel delivery trucks and estimating its carbon footprint on each item sold to gain a better approach towards environmental sustainability.

Coca-Cola, with its iconic Christmas identity, has made substantial strides in improving its sustainability credentials including reducing its water efficiency by 20%, energy and climate protection and sustainable packaging. It is also actively involved in community recycling programmes, the use of efficient energies in production and supplies and green packaging designs.

Sustainability in the insurance arena is becoming even more critical.  We’ve certainly come a long way in the last 20 years.  Sustainability and corporate social responsibility in particular have never been so important, yet 20 years ago being sustainable was just not on our agenda, today it’s at the very core of our industry.

Head of insurance at Plastic Surgeon, the UK’s largest surface repair specialist, Chris Edwards comments:

“The industry is continually developing new processes, equipment and technologies to further improve its approach, but to look at where we’ve come is extraordinary. 

 “Plastic Surgeon began 24 years ago, and since this time our work in the insurance industry has grown massively.

 “When we first started, we worked solely in the construction industry but now insurance is our fastest growing division.

 “In the past insurers would just strip out and replace damage but we’re happy to report that they are now realising the benefits of a restoration over replacement strategy, which not only improves their sustainable practices, but drives down costs.”

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