iA Financial Group becomes carbon neutral
Quebec City, December 13, 2019 – iA Financial Group today announces its commitment to offsetting its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the purchase of carbon credits. Beginning in 2020, the company will work to become carbon neutral.
Carbon-neutral company certification certifies that all GHG emissions that cannot be eliminated by iA Financial Group’s reduction measures have been calculated and offset. Offsetting does not give the right to pollute nor does it seek to make GHG emissions more acceptable. Instead, offsetting is a mechanism that allows iA Financial Group to take concrete action by investing voluntarily in climate-related projects by reducing GHG in the atmosphere.
By purchasing carbon credits, iA Financial Group will invest in three projects in Canada and the U.S. chosen in conjunction with its partner, Planetair, a leader in the fight against climate change:
- Reforestation project (Quebec): This project will help reduce the volume of greenhouse gasses by planting ten species of trees. These species will be planted primarily in the Laurentides, Landaudière, Montérégie and Outaouais regions. With iA Financial Group’s investment, nearly 29,000 trees will be planted.
- Conservation project (British Columbia): This project will help reduce the volume of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere through the preservation of 7,900 hectares of inland rainforest that would otherwise be depleted. This space is home to 40 endangered species, including the following: the grizzly bear, the wolverine, the peregrine falcon, the mountain caribou and the whitebark pine tree.
- Wind project (Texas): This project will help reduce greenhouse cases through the creation of a 75-turbine wind park. This project will produce clean, renewable energy that will replace traditional fossil fuel sources and allow agricultural operations to continue.
To support iA Financial Group's carbon neutrality approach, Planetair will pair its carbon credits with Gold Standard-certified carbon credits from its international projects portfolio.
“Our commitment to becoming a carbon neutral company is part of a continued approach aimed at reducing our environmental footprint and fighting climate change”, states Denis Ricard, President and Chief Executive Officer of iA Financial Group. “For 20 years, we have focused and continue to focus on initiatives aimed at reducing our GHG emissions as much as possible. We are now at the step of offsetting our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through positive initiatives to fight climate change.”
For many years, iA Financial Group has been committed to supporting the fight against climate change by proactively reducing our carbon footprint. We have participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) on greenhouse gas emissions since 2007.
iA Financial Group also carries out projects and initiatives aimed at reducing GHG emissions at the source, including:
- Investments in its real estate portfolio to continuously reduce air emissions. This portfolio includes 20 BOMA BEST-certified buildings and two LEED Gold-certified buildings.
- Tight waste management. Currently, for our head office located at 1080, Grande Allée West in Québec City, over 80% of the company’s waste is recovered (paper, plastic, glass, metal and organic waste).
- The use of business travel reduction technologies (remote collaborative work platforms, videoconferences, telephone conferences, etc.), and
- Employee incentives for using public transit and active transportation.
In 2018, iA Financial Group’s GHG emissions totalled 12,700 tons, grouped primarily in the following five categories:
- Employee commuting
- Energy consumption in buildings owned by the company
- Business travel
- Waste management, and
- Events organized by the company.
The data for 2019 is not yet available. The offsetting announced today will begin in 2020. In our 2020 Sustainable Development Report, iA Financial Group will release our GHG emissions data and a more detailed description of the projects in which we are investing.
About iA Financial Group
Founded in 1892, iA Financial Group is one of the largest insurance and wealth management companies in Canada. It also operates in the United States. Its stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol IAG (common shares) and IAF (preferred shares).
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