The Co-operators announces net-zero targets for 2040 and 2050

‘We must significantly reduce our emissions to mitigate the increasing risks and impacts of our changing climate’

Canadian insurer The Co-operators has set net-zero targets for its investments and operations.

The financial services co-operative, which has over $57.8bn in assets under management, aims to be net-zero in its operations and its investments by 2040 and 2050, respectively. It also aims to invest 60%, by the year 2030, of its invested assets into “impact investments” or “those that support the transition to a sustainable, resilient, low-emissions society”.

Interim targets and milestones have been put in place to monitor progress; the co-op plans to reduce emissions from its operations by 45% by 2030 and reduce the emissions from its investments by 20% by 2026.

The Co-operators currently invests 20.8% (CA$2.45bn) of its total portfolio into impact investments that measurably address the world’s pressing environmental and social issues, 75% of which are directed towards funding climate-related investments and solutions.

There is no question that collectively, we must significantly reduce our emissions to mitigate the increasing risks and impacts of our changing climate,” said president and CEO Rob Wesseling. “As a purpose-driven organisation, the Co-operators has historically embraced our role to embed sustainability into all our investment and operational decisions. Today, our climate targets further reflect our intention to use our financial and co-operative strength to lead positive change toward a net-zero-emissions future.”

Chief financial officer Karen Higgins added: “Fundamental to our mission of providing financial security for Canadians and our communities is ensuring that we help protect the long-term health, sustainability and well-being of the planet and the societies that it supports. 

“Setting these targets and joining the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance are natural extensions of our co-operative identity and are crucial to maintain the financial strength of our organisation, our sector and our economy.”

The Co-operators is the first Canadian insurer and second Canadian organisation to officially sign up to the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, an international group of over 40 institutional investors committed to transition their investment portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.