Sustainability is becoming more critical for businesses across many different industries, but understanding how to specifically tackle the issues that your own business causes can deliver the most profound impact.
Crawford & Company has always looked at ways to develop our sustainability program in line with our most significant community and environmental impacts, taking some of the best ideas and initiatives directly from our people. Following a company competition in recent years, we have run with small ideas like a switch-off campaign to encourage people to turn off computers as they leave for the evening and a single-use plastic cups reduction initiative.
However, one noteworthy suggestion that has had a measurable impact came from our in-house subsidence expert, Matt Deller.
Subsidence is a common problem in the UK, and is an issue that affects thousands of households and businesses. Subsidence claims cost insurers around £400m per year, and approximately 60 - 70% of those claims are considered to be due to the influence of trees and other vegetation.
Many trees are removed to protect properties affected by tree root damage. Tree loss due to subsidence damage claims can have a high negative impact on the environment in the communities we serve.
Matt’s idea was that we should plant a replacement tree for every tree subsidence had to pull up as a consequence of an insurance claim. At the time, we committed to checking each year how many trees were sacrificed a year and logging the data. We then looked to how we could implement a replacement planting scheme, which we now do in partnership with the Woodland Trust.
Together, we now ensure that we plant as many as 400 trees a year. In fact, since the initiative first started, we have paid for around 1300 trees to be planted across the UK.
This blog first appeared in Chartered Institute of Loss Adjuster’s magazine – Claims Focus.