Naturesave is shifting gears

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Here’s to Naturesave 2:0

The Naturesave mission, to make a real difference, has found a new home within the Benefact Group, a charity-owned family of financial services companies that donate all available profits to good causes. The Benefact Group (formerly the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group) has donated over £100 million to charity since 2016, making it one of the UK’s largest corporate donors.

This is a perfect ethical fit for Naturesave and will enable us to further our aims of creating a more sustainable insurance industry and raise even more money for environmental causes. It is also a big step up, as we will be able to draw on the many benefits of being part of larger group, that will enable us to improve our service, strengthen our relationship with insurers and enhance our position as the leading ethical and sustainable insurance provider.

Our ethics are not only safe and secure, they are stronger

The history of ethical brands being acquired is not without negative examples, so why are we so positive about our situation? Well, Naturesave’s ultimate owners are the Benefact Trust, a charitable trust driven by something far greater than the need to satisfy shareholders. They, like us, are motivated to make a real difference to the lives of the people and properties they help protect.

This refreshing ownership structure, ensures that strong ethics run throughout every business that makes up the Benefact Group, whether it is specialist insurance, broking, or investment management. Together the group provides responsible and sustainable investment, protection of iconic buildings and world heritage sites, and trusted insurance advice to people and businesses.

How naturesave and Benefact Group Work Together Graphic

The Naturesave acquisition went through Lloyd & Whyte, a south west based broker within the Benefact Group. This will bring Naturesave multiple benefits, when it comes to running our business efficiently and effectively and also strengthens our insurance underwriter relationships.

Building a Movement for Good

Naturesave has always focused on giving back, with the donation of 10% of all our premiums for home and travel insurance, made to the Naturesave Trust, to which we have donated well over £1 million since the company was founded in 1993.

This good work will continue, but as part of the Benefact group, we will also be donating all remaining available profits to good causes. Donations can be nominated via the Movement for Good Awards, an annual platform for giving that invites anyone to nominate the charity of their choice. The more nominations a charity receives, the greater their chance of winning, so please spread the word and make it a movement!

But, how green are they?

Being green is part of Naturesave’s DNA, so it is important to understand how green the Benefact Group is. The easiest way to determine this is to ask the same questions we ask of our insurers.

Do any parts of the Benefact Group invest in fossil fuels and if so do they have a policy to divest of those assets?  

The Group’s investments are handled by their award-wining investment management company, EdenTree, who pioneered ethical investment over 30 years ago and whose responsible and sustainable investment strategy remains industry leading. The strategy avoids investment in businesses that cause social harm, and also proactively seeks to invest in markets that have positive impacts. This, thankfully, means no investments in fossil fuel exploration and production. Other stocks such as tobacco, alcohol and gambling are also excluded. The responsible and sustainable policy also promotes engagement with all companies on their environmental, social and governance performance.

Do any parts of the Benefact Group underwrite any fossil fuel production or associated industries involved in fossil fuel extraction? (This is an important question, as insurers hold an unparalleled influence over whether new fossil fuel projects can go ahead. According to the IEA and the IPCC amongst others, there can be no new fossil fuel developments if we are to stand a chance of limiting global warming to within 1.5 degrees, above pre industrial levels)

Insurance activities within the Benefact Group are handled by Ecclesiastical and Ansvar, two of the UK’s most trusted insurance providers. Neither of these insurers are involved in underwriting activities relating to the extraction of fossil fuels, so we have a clean bill of health here.

Is the Benefact Group taking the necessary steps to address their own operational emissions and do they have a credible net zero plan?

The Group has set itself some ambitious targets here. The first is to achieve net zero for its scope 1 & 2 emission by next year. It then plans to wipe out its historic carbon impact by 2030 and is targeting to hit net zero by 2040. Benefact are also working with independent bodies to help achieve this across all businesses in the Group. It now looks like Naturesave may have to accelerate its own net zero plans!

Find out more in the Building a Movement for Good Annual Report

Will Naturesave keep campaigning?

In short, yes and to greater effect.

Naturesave has sought to be a champion of sustainability within the insurance industry for many years, with varying success. We do this, primarily, by highlighting the unparalleled influence that the insurance industry has over progress in tackling the climate crisis. Whether as a result of the scale of the industry’s investments in fossil fuels, or through the act of underwriting fossil fuel production, this is an industry that has the potential to deliver the change we need at the pace we need.

Today, as part of a larger group we now have stronger and more far reaching insurer relationships, making it easier for our voice to be heard. In addition, with more resources behind us, we can grow and achieve our aim of ethical insurance becoming the mainstream.

A few more facts about the Benefact Group

  • The Benefact Group is currently the 4th biggest corporate donor in the UK and aims to be number one within the next five years.
  • Eden Tree, the investment arm of the Benefact Group, has been awarded the title of ‘Best Ethical Investment Provider’ at the Moneyfacts Life & Pensions Awards for the thirteenth consecutive year and ‘Best ESG Fund Management Group (specialist)’ at the Investment Week Sustainable & ESG Investment Awards 2018. They are also pioneers in responsible and sustainable investing, having launched one of the first ethical equity funds in the UK, in March 1988.
  • Ecclesiastical Insurance has retained its top spot in the Fairer Finance Home Insurance league table for a record fourteenth time and remains the UK’s most trusted home insurance provider. Ecclesiastical has also been voted best insurer for charity, heritage and education by brokers for 13 years running. 2008-2020 Broker Research by FWD