Rutherfoord, a Roanoke, Va. insurance broker, says it is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and has become the first in the U.S. insurance industry to establish a carbon neutral footprint in response to the emerging risk of climate change.
According to Thomas Rutherfoord, chairman of the board, the company hopes to set an example. “Rutherfoord is taking the lead in assisting its clients in eliminating and managing business risks that can impact their success. Given the enormity of this global issue, it is incumbent upon us to do our part to implement and assist others in sustainable business practices,” he said.
“We’re beginning to see the undeniable effects that climate change has on our industry as well as the world in which we live,” says Stephen Myers, vice president and practice leader for Rutherfoord’s Environmental Risk Management Practice.
“Recent catastrophic events such as Hurricane Katrina coupled with the high price of petroleum make us all aware that we live in a fragile environment. Companies are realizing that in addition to their economic responsibilities, they have environmental and social responsibilities as well.”
The company utilized its internal environmental expertise along with climate change expert and insurance veteran, Phillip Ludvigsen, PhD, to perform a carbon footprint analysis of the company, mapping energy use in such areas as electricity and natural gas usage as well as emissions from car and air travel by its employees. Once calculated, verified emission reduction credits were purchased and officially retired by Carbonfund.org.
Eric Carlson, president of Carbonfund.org, applauded the broker’s actions.
“Rutherfoord is, to our knowledge, the first insurance entity to fully off-set its carbon footprint and to receive our designation of being Carbon Free.”
In addition, Rutherfoord is joining EPA Climate Leaders, a voluntary program whose members are dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing energy use. Rutherfoord will be the first U.S. insurance broker to do so.
Matt LoPiccolo of Rutherfoord’s Environmental Risk Management Practice adds that the process of adopting carbon neutral practices will also help the company as it offers environmental consultative risk advice to clients considering taking this voluntary step. By working with its strategic environmental consulting subsidiary, Faulkner & Flynn, Inc., the company plans to provide a variety of carbon and climate-related risk management and consulting services.
Carbonfund.org reduces lets any individual or business reduce its carbon footprint and support climate-friendly projects using its calculator, low offset cost per ton of CO2, and verified offset projects.
Carbonfund.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable, nonprofit organization.