Aviva CEO admits becoming Net Zero by 2040 will be ‘the most difficult thing we have done’

Group CEO of Aviva Plc, Amanda Blanc, has addressed a record number of guests at the latest Cardiff Business Club webinar, speaking about her 32-year career in insurance, working in a post-Covid world and Aviva’s Net Zero ambitions.

Amanda has been CEO of the UK’s leading insurer Aviva since July 2020 and was recently named as HM Treasury’s new Women in Finance Champion. Other impressive accolades include featuring on the 2020 Forbes Power Women list and on the 2019 list of the HERoes Top 100 Role Model Women Executives from Yahoo Finance. Amanda was also named Woman of Achievement by Women in the City and voted as the Insurance Times’ UK Insurer CEO’s CEO of the Year twice.

Aviva has over 600,000 customers in Wales, with one in four adults in the nation insured by the company. Aviva recently announced its ambitions to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, a challenge even Amanda admits is a huge undertaking. Amanda said: “It’s certainly the most difficult thing we will ever have to do. We have £350bn of assets to invest and have a responsibility to do that in a sustainable way. We are looking at green infrastructure and investing in offshore energy, as well as community housing. We recently invested around £100m in social housing in Wales and are focused on investing our assets in Britain, and not just in the south.

“Now more than ever we need to be sustainable, and I firmly believe that to do this successfully we need to work together.”

Speaking about Britain’s recovery post-pandemic and how she envisages Aviva’s working practices evolving, Amanda said: “The pandemic is as much about inequality as it is about the actual virus. Deprived areas have been worse hit than wealthier areas both in terms of illness and unemployment.

“Going forward, Aviva has already made the decision to change the way we’re using office space and has committed to reduce its property portfolio by 30% by the end of 2021. We will still have offices, but they will be used as collaborative space rather than rows of desks.

“There’s no doubt the world is changing, but with this change, comes opportunity.”

The full address and Q&A can be viewed by the following link: https://youtu.be/YpCMTyrC3Bg

Cardiff Business Club’s next event will take place on Wednesday May 19 with Founder and Chairman of Internova Travel Group Michael Batt speaking. To secure a place or find out more about the Club visit www.cardiffbusinessclub.org/events.