Reflecting on a busy sustainability year

If’s Head of Sustainability, Philip Thörn, is excited about the evolving regulatory landscape for sustainability – and the sweet success of crafting plum marmalade. 

As 2023 has come to an end, what are your feelings looking back?  

– Very proud – during the year a great number of key initiatives have been implemented across the organisation. This does not happen by itself but as the result of engagement, competence and really good teamwork within If. We have another good year behind us, but with sustainability, the work is never truly done.  

– On a more personal note, one of the highlights for me was crafting plum marmalade from the fruits of my own harvest, and successfully selling all the jars at the local yard sale.  

What’s bubbling under in the sustainability field?  

– Sustainability is increasingly on the agenda. Regulatory demands are increasing, and sustainability reporting will become more like financial reporting. We welcome this development that sets a higher standard for everyone and helps create more comparable data. Within If, sustainability is becoming more and more forward-looking and integrated into our strategy and business operations. We’re initiating projects where sustainability is the starting point for product and service development.  

This report highlights some of If’s projects in 2023, what are your top three picks?  

– We were excited to introduce the Sustainable Building module (Bærekraftig Bygg) for small and medium-sized corporate clients in Norway. Included in our Building Insurance Super, this module is designed to help our clients rebuild better after major claims. It’s an excellent example of how we integrate sustainability into our existing products and services. The launch events were filled with enthusiasm, and throughout the year, selected employees served as ambassadors, spreading the word about the new product. In spring 2024, we’re gearing up to introduce a similar module in Sweden. Read about Rebuilding in a greener and more sustainable way

– Throughout the year, we actively engaged our employees in sustainability events, providing platforms for discussion and learning. From fun competitions to reduce food waste to well-being initiatives, our employees have shown a keen interest in sustainability. Visiting our Baltic offices for their Sustainability Days was a personal highlight, witnessing the vibrant exchange of views and knowledge. It’s moments like these that remind us of the importance of fostering a culture of sustainability. Read more about Engaging employees in sustainability

– After two years of dedicated effort, our near-term science-based emissions reduction targets were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – a fantastic early Christmas present! I’m really proud that we also voluntarily set targets for our claims operations. We have a close cooperation with our suppliers and believe we can make a significant environmental impact in this area. Read more about SBTi.  

Looking forward, what are your expectations for 2024?  

– I am excited about introducing new, interesting products and services while maintaining our commitment to involving the entire If community in our sustainability work. This includes a revamped sustainability training programme for our employees, and active participation in initiatives addressing climate change adaptation and loss prevention services. I hope you enjoy the report and will join us on our ongoing journey within sustainability!  

Philip Thörn
Head of Sustainability, If