ILC ARTICLE

Data critical to a sustainable supply chain


Achieving sustainable operations is the challenge facing every business as the climate emergency reaches critical level, but data can help first measure carbon footprint and then reduce it.

That was the message of the final part of ILC’s Home and Property Claims Conference, which was held at the CBS Arena, Coventry, in November.

Taking the stage first, Eloise Sochanik, Sustainability Lead, Director, RSK Group, began by explaining what Net Zero actually means.

She said, “It’s a process in which a business is required to establish a baseline for their emissions and then set near and long-term targets to reduce those emissions. Those targets must be science-based, which means they keep us within that 1.5 degrees of global warming, which is part of the Paris Agreement. Residual emissions can then be balanced through carbon removals to achieve a Net Zero approach.”

Regulations

While admitting this is not straightforward, she pointed out that Net Zero is no longer just an environmental priority, but a regulatory and commercial one too.

She said that ever since the UK Climate Change Act was implemented in 2008, environmental regulations have been tightening through a succession of national and international agreements. In the UK, the government launched its Net Zero Strategy – Build Back Greener – last October, a month later COP 26 took place in Glasgow and in April this year Climate Related Financial Disclosures became mandatory for all large organisations.

Eloise said, “There has been a huge amount of activity in a relatively short space of time and it has been a lot for businesses to take on, but in light of the growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentration, and increasing extreme weather events, there is a need for more focus on understanding our environmental impact.”

She added, “The reason is not just science and legislation either, but public perception. If customers, colleagues and communities are not seeing authentic action then it does result in commercial risk.”

Cost

She also insisted that green tech is no longer as cost-prohibitive as many believe. She said there has been an innovation boom in this sector in recent years which has seen more solutions come to market, competition increase and price invariable decrease.

She said, “There has been a real acceleration in developments so I don’t think cost is as much of an argument as it once was.”

However, it is certainly true that some organisations are paralysed by the sheer scale of Net Zero and don’t know where to begin their journey. Eloise encouraged business leaders to not be overwhelmed and instead think of just a single action that could reduce emissions.

“This could be as simple as reducing three site visits to just one,” she suggested.

She was followed on stage by Andrew Waddelove, Head of Sustainability, LV=; Russell Fordham, Managing Director, LSS; Tim Goodman, Managing Director, ICAB; Paul Greenwood, Director of Client Operations, Davies; Laura Horrocks, Head of Fraud Technology and Intelligence, Sedgwick; and Leah Davies, Director of Client Success, CoreLogic, who considered the environmental gains to be had from closer partnerships and data transparency within the supply chain.

Time

Russell revealed that his company could increase the amount of materials it salvaged by as much as 20% if the right data arrived at the right time, while Tim said that ICAB was able to show its partners how claims costs come down when it receives information early in the journey, enabling it to plan ahead.

He said, “The information at the start of the claim is absolutely vital for us; the better the information we’re given the better the customer journey. But often we only get information weeks down the line.”

From an insurers’ perspective, better collaboration with its supply chain is essential if regulatory targets are to be met. Andrew revealed that 80% of LV=’s total carbon footprint was within scope three, with claims procurement making up about two thirds of that.

He said, “So when we look at trying to be Net Zero by 2030, claims is the needle-mover. We’re going to have to fundamentally change the way we manage claims.”

Integration

The challenge at the moment is both mindset and technology. Traditionally companies have been protective of their data and reluctant to open it up to the wider industry. As such, many valuable data sets are ‘siloed’ within separate companies and even separate departments.

However, Paul believes this is starting to change.

He said, “We’re talking about collaboration throughout the supply chain now and are seeing a lot of investment in shared platforms and integration. Once we get to that stage it will make life a lot easier for everybody. Centralising data and viewing it more holistically is definitely the way forward.”

Laura agreed. She said that automation can streamline data sharing and make it more economical, but insisted real sustainability is a broader challenge and should not be viewed as a target to reach but a way to work.

She concluded, “The key is to continuously challenge ourselves to see how we can do things better and more efficiently, and recognise that it will never be complete.”

ILC’s Home and Property Claims Conference was Headline sponsored by WeatherNet along with Gold Sponsors Catalyst, Davies Group, Perfect Group, Rainbow International and Rhodar Homeworks and Silver Sponsors A3 Accommodation Connect, A3 Relocations Solutions, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Polygon, QuestGates and SD Sealants.

ILC’s Home and Property division is backed by Corporate Partners: Carpenters Group, Claims Consortium Group, CoreLogic, ICAB, Innovation Group, and Sedgwick.

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