The Co-operators studies future climate, social trends

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GUELPH, ON, March 24 2008 – Environmental and demographic changes could greatly affect the way insurance companies provide products and services in the years and decades ahead, according to a study commissioned by The Co-operators. Entitled The Future of Sustainable Insurance: A Thought Leaders Study, the report outlines the opportunities and threats the insurance industry will face over the next ten years, and outlines the approaches that responsible insurance companies should take to contribute to the betterment of society, the economy and the planet itself.

The study was commissioned by The Co-operators to help integrate sustainability into all aspects of its business. The research conducted by Strandberg Consulting, a Burnaby-based consultant in sustainability and corporate citizenship, included interviews with ten thought leaders in sustainable insurance from Europe, North America and Australia. The ten experts from various insurance and environmental organizations shared insights about best practices, anticipated trends in sustainability, threats to the insurance industry, and opportunities for new products and services.

“Industry efforts to bring together governments, business and civil society to craft a sustainability roadmap are key to sustainability leadership, as are on-the-ground steps to demonstrate commitment to sustainable communities and risk reduction,” the study concluded.

The Co-operators is making the results of the study available in the interest of sharing information that may further other organizations’ sustainability initiatives. “We’re committed to embedding sustainable practices into all aspects of our operations,” explained Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “This study has helped us plan our sustainability journey. But there’s no point in keeping it to ourselves so we’re making it publicly available in hopes that others will use these ideas to further their own sustainability objectives, which would ultimately benefit us all.”

As a whole, the insurance sector – the world’s second largest asset-based industry – is already beginning to face considerable challenges resulting from climate change, social change, and economic shifts. These issues are expected to worsen in the years ahead, which will create significant new challenges related to such things as increasing claims costs related to extreme weather events; a growing poverty gap; new technologies; energy security; and threats from terrorism and pandemics.

To download a copy of the report, visit

About The Co-operators:

Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is a group of Canadian companies offering home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators Group Limited is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned co-operative with assets of $7 billion. Owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit unions and like-minded organizations, The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.

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