As experts in assessing and quantifying risk, insurance companies understand better than most the threats posed by unmitigated climate change.
Esurance, part of the Allstate Corporation, has always been a leader in changing the industry for the better:
- They helped pioneer insurance policy sales directly over the internet.
- They were one of the first companies to offer multi-car discounts to same sex couples.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that they also lead the way in corporate social responsibility.
Building a green reputation
For many office-based businesses, ticking the right environmental boxes might be simply a matter of reducing energy use in its own buildings, but Esurance bills itself as a green car insurance company with conscientious business practices at its heart.
For more than a decade, Esurance concentrated on reducing its environmental impact through its own operations, including ‘virtually paperless’ internal and customer transactions, and through engaging with local communities to support urban reforestation projects, helping to plant more than 100,000 trees around the country.
Taking environmental leadership further
After offsetting the carbon emissions of concert-goers who drove or flew to the Live Earth gig in 2007, Esurance and NativeEnergy offset 100 percent of their office electricity plus the carbon emissions from their hybrid vehicle fleet.
The purchase of those offsets has helped to fund an innovative Help Build farm methane avoidance project at Laurelbrook Farm.
From cows to carbon offsets
Laurelbrook Farm is a small, family-owned dairy farm in East Canaan, Connecticut. Spanning just 275 acres, there is insufficient space to spread the manure produced by the farm’s 1,000+ animals, so the waste must be composted or trucked to other farms for disposal.
Unfortunately, having begun a limited composting operation, the basic separator used to separate out solids for composting broke down and could not be economically repaired.
The farm’s owners knew that restoring the composting operation using a more efficient, multi-stage solids-separating system was the best way to take full advantage of the nutrients in the waste stream while significantly reducing the environmental threat posed by manure decomposition and nutrient run-off, but needed investment to install the new equipment.
Thanks to the revenue generated from selling NativeEnergy’s Help Build carbon offsets, Laurelbrook Farm can now compost a higher percentage of the manure and produce better compost.
The separator equipment removes a large portion of the volatile manure solids before they go into storage, reducing the methane emissions that would otherwise be emitted and thereby eliminating 20,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Furthermore, the process also supplies all of the bedding needed for the dairy cows, greatly reducing costs and supporting the farm’s continuing operation. In addition, local gardeners can buy the natural fertilizer produced by the farm thus reducing the use of chemicals and helping foster a sense of social cohesion through community interaction.
Socially progressive offsets improve Esurance’s social impact
Esurance’s support for the Laurelbrook Farm project helps provide vital funding for technology that would otherwise have been unaffordable for a small, family-owned business.
This support means that, at a time when dairy farming is increasingly difficult, a farm that takes pride in looking after their animals and being a good steward of the land can continue to thrive within the local community.
As insurance companies strive to compete in a price-sensitive market by differentiating themselves from the competition, Esurance has a great story to tell that is about more than policies and discounts.
Help Build carbon offsets are helping Esurance to meet their environmental and social impact goals and create shared value for consumers and the company.