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The Co-operators studies future climate, social trends

Mar 24, 2008

    GUELPH, ON, March 24 /CNW/ - 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.

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators,
1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707

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