Aviva Leads Sustainability Efforts by Underwriting Engineered Timber in Commercial Buildings

Aviva Leads Sustainability Efforts by Underwriting Engineered Timber in Commercial Buildings

(IN BRIEF) Aviva, one of the largest insurers in the UK, is expanding its underwriting appetite to include engineered timber in commercial developments as part of its sustainability commitments. The company aims to support the construction and real estate sectors in reducing their carbon footprint by working with developers on sustainable building projects. Aviva’s risk management-centric approach focuses on safeguarding buildings from water damage and fire, promoting resilience and repairability. By committing dedicated underwriting resources and risk management expertise, Aviva seeks to become a market leader in underwriting, risk management, and pricing of sustainable construction, contributing to the UK’s climate readiness goals.

(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 8-Aug-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — This follows a successful pilot, which saw the UK’s largest insurer working with a handful of developers on sustainable building projects.

In the UK alone, the built environment contributes 40% of carbon emissions. By working with contractors who want to build more sustainably, Aviva aims to help the construction and real estate sectors reduce their carbon footprint.

Although a growing number of developers are seeking to build more sustainable buildings for commercial use, insurer appetite for these risks has not kept pace. By putting significant underwriting capacity towards these projects, Aviva is demonstrating that risk management can support the UK as it moves to become climate-ready.

Aviva is one of the first UK insurers to commit dedicated underwriting resource for the development of more sustainable buildings. Working with contractors, brokers and owners from the design stage, the insurer is helping to ensure the resilience and repairability of buildings by using leading risk management strategies to safeguard them from water damage and fire.

Putting risk management at the centre of the design process can help to remove or mitigate these risks, while enabling a competitive and sustainable approach to insurance pricing.

Adam Winslow, CEO, UK & Ireland General Insurance, Aviva, said: “There are a growing number of developers looking to build more sustainably, both by using sustainable materials like engineered timber, and by adopting modern methods of construction. Aviva wants to embrace both: widening our underwriting appetite to insure commercial buildings using engineered timber, and using our risk management expertise to minimise associated risks.

“But we need to consider the carbon footprint of a building over its lifetime. If a building is designed to be replaced in the event of a relatively minor incident well within its design life, then it cannot be considered sustainable. Modern methods of construction that focus on resilience and repairability are critical to helping developers balance sustainability commitments with the safety of building users and the communities that they inhabit.”

Call to action

In its Building Future Communities report, Aviva called for strengthened planning regulation, greater collaboration on research across the building process and encouraging and incentivising property resilience to aid recovery. By incorporating leading risk management strategies which go beyond current building regulations, Aviva believes structures incorporating greater use of engineered timber can be considered acceptable risks.

Aviva has committed to become Net Zero by 2040 and to support the UK to become the most climate-ready large economy by 2030.

1 Engineered timber, also called Mass timber, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glulam, are wood products that have been manufactured and bonded together to form a composite material, panel or building system.

2 Royal Academy of Engineering

Notes to editors:

  • We are one of the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement businesses and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in India, China and Singapore.
  • We help our 18.7 million customers make the most out of life, plan for the future, and have the confidence that if things go wrong we’ll be there to put it right.
  • We have been taking care of people for more than 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2022, we paid £23.2 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
  • Aviva is a market leader in sustainability. In 2021, we announced our plan to become Net Zero by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition and action at www.aviva.com/sustainability
  • While we are working towards our sustainability ambitions, we acknowledge that we have relationships with businesses and existing assets that may be associated with significant emissions. More information can be found at www.aviva.com/sustainability/climate/
  • Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at https://www.aviva.com/about-us/our-people/
  • As at 31 December 2022, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group were £352 billion and our estimated Solvency II shareholder capital surplus as at 31 March 2023 was £7.7 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
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Media Contact:

Erik Nelson
Motor Insurance and Compensation Culture, Fraud and Data
Phone: +44 (0) 7989 427086
Email: erik.nelson@aviva.com



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