Fortis to launch global carbon neutrality programme in
Brussels / Utrecht, 20 December 2006
The programme includes carbon neutrality for global operations, formulation of climate change policy and study of Fortisís overall carbon impact, risks and opportunities.
The Executive Committee (ExCo) has committed Fortis to carbon neutrality on a global scale, through a comprehensive programme to be launched in January 2007. This will lead to energy savings, the purchase of green electricity and the offsetting of the remaining carbon emissions arising from Fortisís operations - netting out the impact of almost 195,000 tons of carbon (2005).1 The ExCo has also undertaken to expand Fortisís carbon banking and renewable energy financing activities. The company will draw up a climate change policy, and will investigate the overall carbon impact, risks and opportunities related to its lending, insurance and investment activities.2
Fortisís carbon neutrality programme comprises seven specific measures:
1. Reducing worldwide operational and travel-related energy consumption3 by 10% per FTE by the end of 2010.
2. Switching entirely to high-quality green electricity (power from renewable sources) in Belgium in 2007, and in the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 2008.
3. Acquiring a portfolio of high-quality carbon offsets in 2007 for the significant global emissions that remain.4
4. Increasing Fortisís carbon banking commitment in 2007 by means of equity investment in carbon reduction, fund or asset companies.
5. Increasing Fortisís commitment to renewable energy financing in 2007 by enhancing MLA business, advisory services, and debt and equity financing.
6. Investigating the overall carbon impact, risks and opportunities related to Fortisís lending, insurance and investment activities.
7. Drawing up a Fortis policy on climate change.
This carbon neutrality programme forms a prominent part of Fortisís broader Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy and goals, and is a cornerstone of Ďclimate changeí, a key theme of Fortisís CSR policy.
1 This figure has been extrapolated to 100% of FTEs using the data in our Sustainability Report 2005, which are based on a weighted average of 74.3% of FTEs.
2 The policy is intended to act as an umbrella for carbon neutrality, Fortisís Environmental Statement, and Fortisís membership of the United Nationsí Environment Programme Finance Initiative and United Nationsí Global Compact. Both the policy and the study will be based strictly on the realities of global energy demand and supply, endorsing Fortisís commitment to supporting the energy sector.
3 Worldwide operational and travel-related energy consumption includes electricity, other energy sources, e.g. gas, oil and coal, and business travel by lease car and aeroplane (excluding commuting).
4 Even after the realisation of 10% energy savings, and the purchase of green electricity in the Benelux countries, more than 50% of Fortisís (2005) carbon emissions of 195,000 tons will still need to be offset.
Lex Kloosterman, Chief Strategy Officer and ExCo member responsible for CSR, explains:
ďWe consider climate change as probably the most important challenge facing the world and business leaders. Fortis has already developed highly visible business opportunities in carbon banking and renewable energy financing. We want to expand this experience into a thematic approach, leading to full carbon neutrality for all our operations as of 2007.
To prove that we are serious in our commitment, we will first do our job of Ďgood housekeepingí. We will then focus on the carbon impact, risks and opportunities related to our core business activities - lending, insurance and investments. With this comprehensive carbon neutrality programme we intend to establish Fortisís position as a climate leader and first-choice provider of environmental products.Ē
Fortis will give regular updates on the programmeís progress through its formal reporting channels, such as its annual Sustainability Report.
Fortis is an international financial services provider engaged in banking and insurance. We offer our personal, business and institutional customers a comprehensive package of products and services through our own channels, in collaboration with intermediaries and through other distribution partners. With a market capitalisation of EUR 40.1 billion (30/11/2006), Fortis ranks among the 20 largest financial institutions in Europe. Our sound solvency position, our presence in 50 countries and our dedicated, professional workforce of 59,000 enable us to combine global strength with local flexibility and provide our clients with optimum support.
More information is available at www.fortis.com.
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