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ZURICH: Swiss Re has signed a 10-year, $10 million agreement with Climeworks, a specialist in CO2 capture and storage technology, as part of its goal to reach net-zero operations by 2030.

The two companies have also agreed to collaborate on developing risk management knowledge and risk transfer solutions, as well as future investment and project finance opportunities.

According to Swiss Re, developing large-scale climate solutions not only requires the right demand signals, but also de-risking and financing and says the insurance sector is uniquely positioned to offer support through long-term purchase agreements, providing insurance capacity for evolving risk pools, and investments in new asset classes.

”To mitigate the risks of climate change, the world needs to scale-up carbon removal on top of, not instead of emission reductions. By partnering with Climeworks we can play to our strengths in this endeavour, as a risk taker, investor, and forward-looking buyer of climate solutions,” commented Christian Mumenthaler, Swiss Re’s Group CEO.

Climeworks’ ‘Orca’ direct air capture facility in Iceland, that began operations on September 08, will be used to extract 4,000 tons of CO2 a year using geothermal energy. The CO2 is dissolved in water and pumped deep underground, where it reacts naturally with the surrounding basalt rock to form stable carbonate minerals and thus turns to stone.

Christoph Gebald, company co-CEO and co-founder, notes air-captured carbon dioxide can either be stored safely and permanently underground for millions of years, or upcycled into climate-friendly products such as carbon-neutral fuels and materials.

BONN/ARLINGTON, VA: DHL Express has ordered 12 electric-powered ‘Alice’ aircraft from Israeli manufacturer Eviation for short-haul freight services from 2024.

With its first flight due later this year, Alice will have a maximum payload of 1,200 kilos and a range of 440 nautical miles powered by electric engine manufacturer MagniX. DHL says the aircraft can recharge during a 30-minute turnaround and be ready for its next hour-long flight.

“With Alice’s range and capacity, this is a fantastic sustainable solution for our global network,” said Travis Cobb, DHL Express EVP Global Network Operations and Aviation. “Our aspiration is to make a substantial contribution in reducing our carbon footprint, and these advancements in fleet and technology will go a long way in achieving further carbon reductions. For us and our customers, this is a very important step in our decarbonisation journey and a step forward for the aviation industry as a whole.”

Last month Deutsche Post DHL reported a preliminary operating profit (EBIT) for the second quarter 2021 of €2.075 billion – more than double compared to the same period last year. Earnings from its Express division rose to €1.17 billion from €565 million for the same period in 2020. The Group has raised its EBIT outlook for the year to more than €7.0 billion.

SAN FRANCISCO: ClimateAi, applying artificial intelligence (AI) to climate risk modeling, has launched a SaaS solution for companies wanting to know the risk level of climate change on their supply chains.

The company says potential customers can optimize supply chain operations - production planning, demand estimation, and inventory management - to minimize climate risk exposure and identify new locations for climate-smart expansions for specific crops and ingredients.

New research from CDP, the non-profit that runs the world’s environmental reporting system, says buyers such as Walmart face US$120 billion in increased costs by 2026 due to environmental risks associated with their supply chains.

Analysis of data from over 8,000 suppliers reporting to the CDP suggests the manufacturing supply chain is most at risk (US$64 billion in increased costs), followed by the food, beverage and agriculture sector (US$17 billion), and power generation (US$11 billion).

The cost risks include the increased severity and frequency of cyclones and floods; rising cost of raw materials; regulatory and market changes such as carbon pricing; and greater spending on product innovation due to changing customer demands.

CDP says more and more buyers “are demanding transparency and action from their suppliers to tackle environmental impacts in their supply chains”, including 150 companies with over US$4.3 trillion in purchasing power.

“The pandemic – timed with the hottest year to date – put the focus squarely on the vulnerabilities of our food system infrastructure,” commented Himanshu Gupta, CEO of ClimateAi. “Our platform aims to accelerate the transition to climate adaptation across supply chains – similar to what Fairtrade did to responsible sourcing. In the future, we plan to launch the world’s first climate resilience rating scheme for supply chains based on data gathered by our platform and the trust we have built with our customers and partners.”

Headquartered in San Francisco, ClimateAi is a group of scientists, engineers and agriculture entrepreneurs seeking to make agriculture more profitable and food systems more resilient by bringing climate intelligence and agronomics into the age of machine learning. Over the next three years it aims to provide risk analysis of half a billion acres of farmland worldwide.

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