Direct Line Group’s carbon reduction plans to set Science Based Targets approved by the SBTi

Direct Line Group whose well-known insurance brands include Direct Line, Churchill, Privilege and Green Flag has received approval by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

Penny James, Chief Executive Officer at Direct Line Group, said: 

“This is a significant milestone in our net-zero journey. Tackling climate change is good for the planet and good for the sustainability of our business. 

We have millions of customers, spend millions on our supply chain each year and our investment decisions can influence the assets we hold. It’s exciting to see the practical measures now underway to help the business reduce its emissions as that’s how we can build confidence and make further progress.”   

Following approval by the SBTi, Direct Line Group has five targets focused on the most carbon intensive areas of its business. One target covers operational emissions and a further four targets cover its investment portfolio. 

  • Operational emissions: The Group has offices throughout the UK and as one of the UK’s major motor insurers owns a network of 22 garages to support customers with efficient repairs. The Group’s target for its properties and garage network is to almost halve absolute emissions by 2030, as compared with a 2019 baseline. A number of innovative projects are underway: 
    • electrifying heating and cooling systems run off renewable energy
    • replacing diesel with hydrogenated vegetable oil in recovery trucks  
    • removing gas consumption in spray paint booths by moving to electricity.
  • Investment portfolio: The Group’s investment portfolio targets cover 75% of its total investment and lending activities by monetary value as of 2019. The four investment targets cover Corporate Bonds, the largest asset class in its portfolio, as well as Commercial Property and Real Estate loans portfolios. 

While waiting for the Science-Based Net Zero Targets for Financial Institutions from the SBTi, which are expected to be published in 2023, the Group has also set its own emissions reduction target for its supply chain. This voluntary target set by the business is part of the Group’s Sustainable Sourcing Approach which was launched in 2021 encouraging the Group’s principal suppliers within its direct control to sign up to SBTi targets or an equivalent. 

Setting Science Based targets is the latest stage in Direct Line Group’s sustainability strategy. Over the last decade, the business has focussed on embedding climate initiatives in its day-to-day work, reducing its emissions across the business. Key achievements include: 

  • Sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources since 2014
  • Installing energy efficient boilers, air conditioning units and LED lights across its office and Auto Services sites
  • Opening its new Bristol office in 2018 with energy efficient design 
  • Launching an electric vehicle ‘Make electric easy’ bundle for Direct Line motor customers



Notes for editors

  • The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a partnership between CDP, World Resources Institute, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the United Nations Global Compact. The SBTi develops methods and criteria for effective corporate climate action and independently validates corporate targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • In 2021 Direct Line Group signed up to the ‘Race to Zero’ – under which the insurer will work to help limit global warming to a 1.5 degrees pathway by 2050.   
  • The five Science Based Targets approved by the SBTi and which DLG is  targeting can be found here
  • The SBTi involves financial institutions setting targets covering their own operations (scope 1 emissions), purchased electricity and heat (scope 2 emissions) and investment portfolio (scope 3 emissions, category 15).
  • The Group has set investment portfolio targets for all classes required under the SBTi Financial Institution guidance. This covers 75% of the Group’s total investment and lending activities by monetary value as of 2019. For the remaining asset classes the SBTi currently does not have a methodology and is therefore out of scope.
  • While waiting for the Science-Based Net Zero Targets for Financial Institutions from the SBTi, which is expected to be published in 2023, the Group has set its own emissions reduction target for its supply chain which forms part of the Group’s scope 3 emissions.  The Group has  set an internal 27.5% emissions reduction target aligned to a well below 2 degree scenario for its supply chain within its direct control.  

For more information contact:

Jade Trimbee

Senior Manager 

Direct Line Group

Mobile: 07825 315 931

 Email: [email protected]

Direct Line Insurance Group plc

Direct Line Group (DLG) is one of the UK’s leading insurance companies. The Group’s vision is to create a world where insurance is personal, inclusive and a force for good. Through its well-known brands, which include Direct Line, Churchill, Privilege, Darwin, NIG, Direct Line for Business and Green Flag, DLG helps people to carry on with their lives, giving them peace of mind now and in the future. Its brands offer a wide range of general insurance products across motor, home, commercial, travel, pet and rescue, both direct to customers and through price comparison websites and via brokers, and it underwrites insurance products distributed by its third party partners. The Group believes that by embracing sustainable practices it creates a better corporate culture, better able to provide more reliable products and bring long-term rewards for its customers, people and shareholders.