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Currently showing: Climate/natural disasters > Climate change

29 Jun 17 14:55

I grew up in what many might consider a traditional family. My father, the breadwinner, donned a suit every morning before taking the train to work.

My friends came from similar backgrounds with at least one parent toiling away at offices in Newark, New York or Philadelphia. As a high schooler, who was obviously well-versed in the ways of the world, it seemed like a vacuous existence of endlessly running on a hamster wheel!

Fast forward 20 years, and here I am, working in corporate America, for a reinsurance company. My husband and I get up every day, in our house in the suburbs, drive to our office, work, and come home. I've become my father. But the 34-year-old me understands something the 14-year-old me did not: corporate America offers many opportunities to positively influence the world. I certainly see that at Swiss Re.

I recently attended two events, where Swiss Re and re/insurance industry was the focus of combating climate change. The UN Ocean Conference examined the role of the private sector in fighting climate change in the oceans. I had the opportunity to communicate to academics, public officials and private sector employees about the work Swiss Re is doing to help governments, corporations, homeowners and low-income individuals increase their financial resilience to natural disasters. I highlighted insurance payouts to nations that played a vital role in their recovery efforts.

Afterwards, I was astounded by the feedback; many of the participants, regardless of background and expertise, approached me with the same message: Your company, and your industry, by taking these risks and providing financial support, make a huge difference.

The second event commemorated turning on solar panels at the Swiss Re Armonk campus. At Swiss Re, we don't just talk about reducing carbon emissions; we walk the walk, committing to renewable energy generation at all our offices, so we play an active role in supporting a more sustainable future. Luckily, as part of RE100, we're one firm of many, spanning Apple to Wells Fargo, committed to a low-carbon economy.

President Clinton said at our event, "You should take pride in your company." I couldn't agree more; I am proud to work for a firm that makes the world more resilient.

Category: Climate/natural disasters: Climate change, Disaster risk, Resilience, Sustainable energy: Solar

Location: New York, NY, United States


Urs Leimbacher - 6 Jul 2017, 7:20 p.m.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Megan. To know why we get up every morning is indeed immensely gratifying for many of us at Swiss Re. And to work towards more and more people being able to have a financial safety net that catches their fall and helps them get back on their feet quickly after disaster strikes is a truly inspiring cause, I think.

Rob - 21 Jul 2017, 7:47 p.m.

Well said, Megan. I am wondering if you want to comment on how I might be able to integrate what I want to do to combat climate change with SwissRe's mission. I am in the process of starting a seaweed farm as a for-profit company that sells seaweed to restaurants and to animal feed producers. The production of seaweed will remove carbon from our oceans and help to mitigate the damage of climate change. Any opinion on how we could reach out to the reinsurance industry to try and ramp up our efforts to make an even greater impact on climate change? Thanks.

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