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Risks and things to think about

By Paul Baxter, 10th November 2023

Category: The Green Insurer

The Green Insurer is attempting to do something new, different and difficult. We really want to do good things for our environment, for us and for generations to come. There is lots of talk about Greenwashing which is where companies give false or misleading information about their environmental performance. We are deeply opposed to this practise. In order to be completely honest with our customers, regulator and the press, we want to highlight some risks which exist in our model, where the carbon offsets we are trying to make may not happen as we want.

Using our app

Although we do not make it compulsory for you to download or use our app, we are reliant on the data that comes from the app to measure your carbon emissions. Without this data we are not able to offset the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) given off when you drive. All we ask is that you download the app and take your phone with you when you drive the car or cars you have insured with us.

Measuring your carbon emissions

Our app takes your mileage, the data we receive about your car from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA - the government department responsible for keeping cars and driver records) and overlays this with your driving style to calculate your emissions. The calculation we use is:

Miles driven x CO2 emissions per mile (for your car) x driving score factor

We make every effort to estimate your emissions accurately, but there is always a chance that we under or over-estimate your emissions.

If you’d like to find out more about how we calculate your carbon emissions, please read our blog article.

Carbon offset projects

We do our very best to ensure that the carbon offset projects we use deliver what they promise. However, this is a hotly debated area and we feel it only right to make you aware that whatever we do, there is always a risk that an offset project does not deliver for any number of reasons.

We have partnered with a business called Earthly to remove the carbon dioxide (CO2) that your car emits when you drive. Earthly are experts in carbon removal.

We use Natured Based Solutions (NBS) to remove this carbon. These use natural processes to restore nature and remove the carbon. Examples include trees (which absorb carbon) and peatland (which is very effective at storing carbon). They are also focussed on doing this in a way that provides social benefits to the communities in which they work.

All projects are independently validated by both Earthly and by other external bodies. Earthly use 106 measures to assess them. Additionally, all our projects are independently recognised as meeting the Verified Carbon Standards (VCS). This approval process is managed by an American not-for-profit organisation called Verra who are dedicated to assessing carbon offset projects.

There has been some criticism of Verra on the Guardian website which explains the challenges around accurately measuring the effect on climate change. As our projects are independently validated by Earthy in addition to achieving the Verra VCS (Voluntary Carbon Standard), we feel confident that these projects are effective in bringing value to the local communities and improving biodiversity as we strive to remove the carbon emissions we measure.