The global climate change occurring in many parts of the world today is mainly caused by an increase in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted by our daily lives and economic activities, leading to a rise in temperature.
There is a need for a social shift to economic development that does not involve increased greenhouse gas emissions, such as the innovative efficiency of energy use, the use of renewable energy, and the expansion of greenhouse gas absorption.
Through the provision of insurance and consulting services, we will support the development and implementation of technologies that will contribute to a decarbonized society, thereby supporting the mitigation of climate change.
Case1 : Supporting companies to become carbon neutrality
In October 2020, then Prime Minister Suga declared carbon neutrality in 2050, and moves to realize a decarbonized society have accelerated in Japan. For the attainment of the goal, not only major companies that are leading the way in environmental efforts, but also small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Against this backdrop, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance was among the first to launch support for decarbonized management for SMEs in June 2021 in partnership with WasteBox, a professional company that tracks greenhouse gas emissions. Subsequently, in August of the same year, we launched the fire insurance products “Carbon Neutral Support Clause (Decarbonization Countermeasure Cost Compensation Support Clause)” to corporate customers which covers additional costs for installing equipment that reduces greenhouse gas emissions at the time of restoration of damaged buildings. Whereas our traditional fire insurance products covered only the cost of restoring fire-damaged equipment to its original status, we are supporting companies' efforts to decarbonize by providing new coverage as a special contract based on the “Build Back Better” concept※1.
※1 The “Build Back Better” is a concept advocated in the field of disaster control proposes that local communities devastated by disaster be rebuilt to be even better than before by implementing measures for greater resilience.
At the MS&AD Group Sustainability Contest 2021※2, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance was awarded the grand prize for its “Carbon Neutral Support Clause” products and services.
※2 The contest was launched in 2018 to help individual employees deepen their understanding of the initiatives for Creating Shared Value (CSV) and for the SDGs and to encourage them to implement related measures in their daily business operations.
Case2 : Promoting the spread of renewable energy
Because the amount of electricity derived from renewable sources largely depends on weather conditions such as hours of sunshine and wind velocity, as a precondition for achieving the widespread use of renewable energy it is essential to make necessary adjustments to maintain the supply-demand balance. In order to overcome these issues, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance participated in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s renewable energy aggregation demonstration project for FY 2021. Through the project, we are working on forecasting the amount of power generation and demonstrating control technologies such as storage batteries to ensure a balance between supply and demand for their combined use with solar and wind power generation facilities. Moreover, we invested in a company that generates power from renewable sources for local communities※1and launched an experimental trial for the reduction of damage caused to solar power generation facilities by natural disasters such as storms, flooding and lightning strikes. We will make use of the data and know-how obtained through this trial to advance insurance underwriting for renewable energy-related businesses and provide even better insurance products and services. Moreover, we are promoting the use of renewable energy for the electricity that we consume ourselves in our corporate activities. To power the Tokyo Sumitomo Twin Building (West Tower), in which MS&AD Insurance Group companies are located, we switched to electricity derived from renewable sources in October 2021 in order to achieve zero CO2 emissions for the building. We have also been fostering the use of renewable energy-derived electricity across multiple bases.
※1 Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance invested in the company together with Machimirai Seisakusho Co., Ltd. and Higashimatsushima Organization for Progress and Economy, Education, Energy. The company will foster the use of renewable energy in local communities and also examine the combined use of renewable energy and storage batteries to function as a power supply station in emergency situations.
Case3 : Supporting the decarbonization of the value chain, with agents and customers
In order to contribute to the decarbonization of society, in addition to reducing emissions from our own business activities, it is essential that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the insurance business value chain. Based on this recognition, we started to provide insurance agent organizations※1
with the cloud-based “zeroboard” CO2 emissions calculation and visualization service※2
free of charge. Moreover, we will purchase Green Power Certificates※3
as a means to help our insurance agents introduce renewable energy. Also, as one of the measures to protect the natural environment taken in cooperation with our customers, we are promoting “the MS&AD Green Earth Project”. Under this program, customers are encouraged to choose “eco-friendly” certificates of insurance, online insurance policies, electronic conclusion of contracts, use of recycled components for environment-friendly repair of automobiles, and other options for decarbonization and reduced paper consumption. In proportion to the numbers of customers who select these options, we are making donations to projects such as those to protect the global environment. We will contribute to the mitigation of climate change by leading the decarbonization of the insurance business in cooperation with agents and customers.
※1 Insurance agent organizations: MSA, composed of companies specializing in the insurance agent business, and the Advance Club, whose members are agents for automobile maintenance companies
※2 A cloud service for calculating and visualizing CO2 emissions provided by Zero Board Inc. It can be calculated based on the internationally recommended standard called "GHG Protocol."
※3 Certificates issued by Japan Natural Energy Company Limited, which show the environmental value added by the reduction of CO2 emissions