A firm partnership with the WWF

Faber: The WWF is one of the largest and most international organizations that has dealt in depth with the issue of climate change for a long time. We’ve been working with them since summer 2005, when we released a joint report estimating the risks of climate change for the financial services industry.

Since September 2007, we’ve been cooperating not just on a project basis, but based on a firm three-year master agreement. One of the main goals of our collaboration is to precisely quantify both the direct and indirect effects of climate change on the Allianz Group – in other words, including the possible repercussions and risks for our very diverse financial investments.

Joachim Faber: "It is WWF's independence which makes this partnership so valuable"

Faber: Outside support is a routine affair for any company, no matter what the sector. The only unusual aspect is that this support is from a non-governmental organization.

But it’s exactly that independence which makes the partnership with the WWF so valuable. The WWF is one of the institutions with the most extensive knowledge on climate change. And it’s a good thing to have a sort of "sparring partner" so we can develop further – both ourselves and as a company. We don’t have to be of the same opinion on all matters to achieve that result.

Faber: I want the insight gained from this quantification of climate change effects to serve as an innovation driver for our products and services in every segment. The WWF will support us in that, as well. We’d like to lower our climate risks as soon as possible, and take advantage of the opportunities resulting from climate change. We also hope that, together with the WWF, we can get the whole industry moving in the right direction.

Founded in 1961, the WWF is active in more than 100 countries today

Faber: This doesn't imply that it will automatically end in three years. But three years is a good period of time to achieve the first results, and then to decide together how to go forward.

Faber: We have already achieved a good deal. After our first climate report in 2005, we adopted an international program that is now implemented by about two-thirds. For example, between 2005 and 2006, we reduced our direct carbon dioxide emissions – which are caused mainly by offices and business trips – by nearly five percent. By 2012, we'll be reducing our emissions by another 20 percent compared to 2006.

Within the international Carbon Disclosure Project, we are working for greater transparency in climate-related risks. Moreover, the Project has recognized Allianz as "Best in Class" in our approach to climate change disclosure.

As I mentioned before, climate change also offers opportunities. On August 1 of last year, our new Allianz Climate Solutions subsidiary went into operation. Its team advises companies on how to adapt to climate risks, and about climate-friendly projects like wind farms or biomass plants, covering all aspects of financing, technical risk management and insurance.

In September, we also launched the ECOMotion car insurance policy in Germany, which is certified by the WWF. For the first time, it enables environmentally-aware drivers to neutralize their CO2 emissions. Our successful Allianz RCM Global EcoTrends fund was also established in collaboration with the WWF. Our Dresdner Kleinwort investment bank is a leading player in the European emissions trading market. And we’re making long-term investments in renewable energies. At the end of last year, we significantly increased our wind farm portfolio.

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