Taking action for the environment
Crédit Agricole Assurances has been committed to protecting the environment for several years. Our ambition is to make insurance a catalyst for sustainable development and the energy transition. As France’s leading insurer and biggest institutional investor, we are implementing a variety of measures.
A commitment to French forests
Since 2019, Crédit Agricole Assurances has been conducting a reforestation operation with Reforest'Action to promote the replanting of forests in France. The “1 policy signed = 1 tree planted” operation is linked to family protection, with one tree planted in France for every insurance policy (personal risk or socially responsible savings) taken out. Promoted by 34 Crédit Agricole Regional Banks, this corresponds to a total of 300,000 trees planted each year.
At the same time, Crédit Agricole Assurances has also launched a corporate sponsoring initiative in order to offset our carbon emissions.
The leading institutional investor in renewable energy sources in France
Crédit Agricole Assurances – the biggest institutional investor in the energy transition in 2018 – is actively involved in regional development through its major investments in infrastructure and renewable energy sources.
- In 2013, Crédit Agricole Assurances signed an initial partnership with ENGIE in the onshore wind power sector, and acquired a 50% stake in its subsidiary Futures Energies Investissement Holding (FEIH). This partnership was reinforced in 2019.
- In 2016, Crédit Agricole Assurances acquired gas-fired combined heat and power assets operated by Dalkia, Europe's leading provider of energy services and decentralised energy production. At the end of 2018, its combined heat and power assets amounted to commitments of €250 million.
- In 2017, a second partnership agreement was signed with Quadran (since taken over by Total Direct Energie). At the end of 2019, this partnership concerned 200 MW of wind power assets.
- Crédit Agricole Assurances subsequently set its sights on the municipal heating systems market by investing in heating and cooling network assets.
- In 2019, Crédit Agricole Assurances, in association with ENGIE and Mirova, acquired EDP's Portuguese hydroelectric power portfolio, representing 1.7 GW of hydroelectric generation capacity, with an enterprise value of €2.2 billion. This transaction in Portugal has strengthened Crédit Agricole Assurances’ commitment to the energy transition in Europe, and is perfectly consistent with the Group’s climate action strategy, in conjunction with partners renowned for their experience in this sector.
These capacities make CAA the leading institutional investor for this type of assets in France, in terms of its market share in the onshore wind and solar power sectors.
- €721 million invested in energy transition programmes at end 2018.
- €3.9 billion invested in green bonds at end June 2019.
- €250 million invested in bond investment vehicles dedicated to financing renewable energy production at end June 2019.
- A joint portfolio of assets: wind and solar power rising to 1.9 GW at end December 2019.
More responsible real estate investments
The Crédit Agricole Assurances Group continues to increase the proportion of environmentally certified real estate assets in its office portfolio:
- HQE (high environmental quality distinction for sustainable buildings): certification for urban and building design or renovation that minimises environmental impacts.
- BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method): method for assessing the environmental behaviour of buildings
- LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design): North American system for standardising buildings of high environmental quality
From now on, all new programs set out to obtain environmental quality certification.
At the end of 2018, the “green” office property portfolio (i.e. environmentally certified premises) corresponded to 46% of the total office real estate investments in m2 (i.e. 619,503 m² out of more than 1.3 million m² of office space in total). In 2019, investments continued with the onus on obtaining the highest levels of environmental certification.
Support for our farmers
To help the agricultural sector make the transition towards increasingly sustainable practices, Crédit Agricole Assurances has signed a three-year agreement with AgroParisTech to become a partner in the Grignon Positive Energy (GE+) scheme. This technical research programme aims to improve the three dimensions of agricultural performance: economic, energy-related and environmental.
Crédit Agricole Assurances will contribute its expertise and focus on assessing and quantifying the new risks for farmers associated with changes in farming practices. The aim is to propose risk-management tools adapted to these new practices.
Crédit Agricole Assurances is also helping farmers to cope with the climate-related hazards we have experienced in recent years. As they depend on both the selling price and the yield of their crops, farmers have seen their incomes decline. This is why we insure most standing crops (field crops, vines and orchard crops) against extreme weather events such as drought, hail, excess water, flooding, storm damage and frost.
To help combat global warming, the Crédit Agricole Group has stepped up its coal disengagement policy by lowering the exclusion thresholds and using the Urgewald NGO’s list in its analyses.
In 2018, the percentage of revenue generated from coal mining that leads to an exclusion was reduced to 25% and the monitoring of portfolio exposure to emitters linked to the coal industry was maintained.
In 2019, Crédit Agricole Assurances launched a plan to dispose of the main exposures identified in its portfolio.
In the coal industry, 2019 saw CAA disengage from:
- emitters in coal mining, which generate more than 25% of their revenue from coal or produce 100 million tonnes or more of coal per year;
- emitters whose revenues from electricity production (from coal) are equal to or greater than 50% of their total revenues;
- emitters in electricity production and coal mining (threshold between 25% and 50%) which do not intend to reduce their percentage of income from these activities.
“Climate Action” with Pacifica
In February 2019, our General insurance subsidiary Pacifica launched its “Climate Action” (“Agir pour le Climat”) initiative, which aims to reduce its CO2 emissions over the long term. This Action Plan includes short-term initiatives, some of which are already in place, and longer-term projects in our five priority areas:
- Energy and offices
- Information technology
The priorities range from raising awareness of eco-friendly actions (concerning energy, waste and digital consumption), extending the lifespan of IT equipment, and adopting paperless customer correspondence to implementing a mobility plan and developing new low-carbon regional sites.