If’s house assessments reduce risk and greenhouse gas emissions

Checking and maintaining the good condition of your property reduces the risk of water, fire and other types of damage. Reducing both the occurrence and the extent of property damage is not only good from an economic viewpoint but will also mean a lower impact on the environment. According to calculations from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, If’s house assessment service has reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 14 million kilometres of car driving.

Every homeowner knows the importance of managing and maintaining their property, but it is not always easy to know what to do, or when and how often to do it.

Health check of your house

If provides a health check on the property, and offers specific care advice and suggestions to reduce the risks of damage. This home check is called If House Assessment and is carried out free of charge once every four years for our customers with comprehensive house insurance. The service is available in all the Nordic countries. Rune Smådal is in charge of the house assessment scheme across the Nordic countries.

‘The main purpose of If’s House Assessment is to prevent damage from occurring in the first place – risk prevention reduces economic costs and increases safety, but it also has positive environmental effects, since less damage also reduces the need to repair, replace or rebuild’, he explains.

Every year, If carries out 15,000 house assessments in Sweden and 14,000 in Norway, in cooperation with Anticimex. A total of 90,000 Norwegian and 42,000 Swedish homes have been assessed since If introduced the service. In 2020, If asked IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute to investigate the environmental benefits of the house assessment scheme in Sweden and Norway. According to IVL’s calculations, preventing property damage in this way was equivalent to a reduction of 2,630 tonnes in CO2 emissions – the same as avoiding 14 million kilometres of journeys by fossil-fuel powered cars.

‘Our study shows that If’s house assessments have a significant environmental benefit by preventing building damage from occurring’, says Rasmus Andersson, an environmental engineer at IVL and the project manager for the study.

As part of the study, IVL calculated the environmental impact of 50 corrective measures in Sweden and 50 in Norway that were carried out during 2019. The environmental impact of the materials used was calculated based on a lifecycle analysis, which covered everything from the raw material production to final installation in the buildings.

Equivalent to avoiding 200 km car driving

If provided information on the average corrective measures required and the statistical basis for calculating the reduction in risk provided by the house assessments scheme. The estimated environmental impact of the 50 corrective measures was translated into an average reduction in environmental impact per house assessment carried out.

‘For each individual house assessment in Sweden, the average climate saving is equivalent to avoiding 40 five-kilometre trips in a car powered by fossil-fuel, so overall the figures will be significant’, adds IVL’s Rasmus Andersson.

Rune Smådal

Head of Nordic Business Initiatives, If

Rasmus Andersson

Project Manager, IVL