The Co-operators becomes first insurance company to join Ceres coalition



    GUELPH, ON and BOSTON, MA, Sept. 1 /CNW/ - Citing the company's five-year
track record on sustainability reporting and commitments to addressing climate
change, the Ceres Board of Directors today announced it has approved The
Co-operators as the newest member of Ceres' corporate network. The
Co-operators is the first insurance company among more than 80 member
companies that comprise the Ceres network. A leading coalition of investors,
environmental groups and public interest organizations, Ceres works with
companies to address a variety of sustainability challenges, including global
climate change.
    "The insurance sector, the largest industry in the world, has been hit
hard by climate change impacts, and is a critical part of the climate change
solution," said Ceres president Mindy Lubber. "We look forward to working
closely with The Co-operators as the organization continues to develop new
solutions that will help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change."
    The Co-operators has demonstrated clear leadership on sustainability. In
addition to releasing annual sustainability reports and adopting the Global
Reporting Initiative's (GRI) guidelines, The Co-operators has developed a
sustainability policy that will allow it to build on its financial strength
while minimizing the negative effects its activities may have on the
environment and society at large.
    The company has also integrated sustainability into its overall
governance structure, including creating a Sustainability Committee of the
Board of Directors and a Sustainability Steering Committee, which includes
senior leaders from the group of companies' subsidiaries across the country
    As part of its efforts, the co-operatively-owned group of companies has
developed a formal climate change strategy that includes measures to reduce
its carbon footprint, manage climate risks, pursue climate change business
opportunities, and influence stakeholders to reduce their own emissions.
    "We're working to integrate sustainability into every aspect of our
operations, and climate change is a big part of that," said Kathy Bardswick,
President and CEO of The Co-operators. "We have set greenhouse gas reduction
targets that we're working toward through measures such as making our
buildings more energy efficient and changing over our entire fleet of vehicles
to more fuel-efficient models."
    Companies that join Ceres must make continual strides in improving their
sustainability performance and reporting practices by engaging with investors,
environmental groups, and other stakeholders.

    About Ceres:

    Founded in 1989, Ceres is a leading network of investors, environmental
groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to
address sustainability challenges. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on
Climate Risk (www.incr.com), comprised of more than 80 institutional investors
who collectively manage more than $7 trillion in assets. For more information,
visit www.ceres.org.

    About The Co-operators:

    Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is a group of Canadian
companies offering home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm
insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators Group Limited is a
100 per cent Canadian-owned co-operative with assets of more than $7 billion.
It is owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit union centrals and
like-minded organizations. The Co-operators is well known for its community
involvement, and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.





For further information:

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, (519)
824-4400 ext. 2707; Peyton Fleming, Ceres, (617) 247-0700 ext. 120


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