Co-op Insurance is working to offset its customers’ carbon emissions by helping to fund cleaner cookstoves in Ghana.
Over 140,000 people have benefited from the project, which enables people in Ghana to gain the skills and knowledge required to manufacture, market and sell Gyapa stoves. Each month 12,000 stoves are produced by 350 manufacturers, benefiting over 500 local retailers. The stoves reduce carbon emissions and produce less smoke. They also require 60% less charcoal than traditional stoves, saving families around $100 a year in fuel costs.
Mark Summerfield, chief executive of Co-op Insurance, said: “We offer new customers carbon offset as standard on all home and motor policies, at no extra cost. We have chosen this project specifically as in addition to its environmental impact, it offers excellent long-term social benefits such as job creation and is helping to facilitate a better quality of life for thousands in the developing world.
“This exciting project is one of the many ways we’re committed to doing business ethically; we already source 99% of our electricity from renewable sources (including our own wind farms), and have reduced our direct carbon footprint by 46% since 2006.
“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.”
For this project Co-op Insurance has partnered with ClimateCare, a profit for purpose company focused on tackling climate change.
Edward Hanrahan, chief executive of ClimateCare, added: “By tying climate action into its products as standard, Co-op Insurance is showing real ambition on climate change, and driving carbon emissions reductions at scale. Through projects such as Gyapa stoves, Co-op and ClimateCare are working together to enable scalable, locally appropriate solutions to climate change which create opportunities and develop skills in some of the world’s underserved communities.”
Since 2006 Co-op Insurance has also been offsetting customer emissions through its specific ‘Ecoinsurance’ motor policy: through which Co-op customers have offset more than a million tonnes of CO2 to date.
One of those benefiting from the programme is stockist Ebrahim Dowda, who said: “I can sell 900 liners a month which gives me enough money to send my son to school.”
Gifty Aberig Awimpowa, a local retailer has also managed to expand her retail network by selling the Gyapa cookstoves. These get sold for USD $10 and save the customers $100 in fuel costs each year.
For each new motor policy, Co-op Insurance offsets 10% of customers’ car carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the first year. Similarly, for each new home policy, Co-op insurance offsets 10% of customers’ home energy CO2 emissions in the first year.