The figure was established after the company developed a new way to measure and report the full impact of offsetting its carbon emissions through ‘Climate and Development’ projects.

Under the peer reviewed methodology, the LBG framework, which quantifies and measures corporate community investment, Aviva has been able to robustly measure and report on the additional benefits these carbon offset programmes, organised by offsetting partner ClimateCare, have had on local communities.

In the last two years, Aviva’s carbon offset programme has “positively impacted” the lives of more than 200,000 people through two projects – LifeStraw Carbon for Water in Kenya and Envirofit Efficient Stoves in India.

Speaking to edie, head of environment and climate change at Aviva, Zelda Bentham, said: “This just made sense. While we were previously looking at the environment and carbon offsetting in its own agenda, we thought why wouldn’t you measure the whole impact of our carbon offsetting and understand how it improves people’s lives in reality”.

“Since we’ve been offsetting emissions, we’ve been very aware that we have to have that robustness in place in any project that we choose. We’re an insurance company, so we’re risk averse. So we want to make sure that we’re doing it properly.

“The whole purpose of our carbon offsetting is because we want to be able to demonstrate that we’re a responsible business and therefore even the way that we offset our carbon has to be done in the most responsible way we can find,” adds Bentham.

Through its carbon offset programme, Aviva has supported the Lifestraw Carbon for Water Project, which has distributed nearly 900,000 simple gravity fed water filters, removing the need to boil water on open fires.

In addition, the company has supported an efficient stoves distribution project in India. These Envirofit stoves reduce toxic emissions by up to 80% and CO2 emissions by up to 60%.

For more on Aviva read the interview ‘In conversation with Aviva’s Zelda Bentham’

Leigh Stringer

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