EPA Names Fireman's Fund an Energy Star Partner

EPA Names Fireman's Fund an Energy Star Partner

The U.S. Environmental Agency has named Fireman's Fund an Energy Star partner, the first insurance company to be included among the businesses recognized for energy-saving, eco-friendly products, services and strategies.

"Environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility -- and I'm pleased Fireman's Fund Insurance Company is taking this motto to heart," EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said in a statement yesterday. "By making smart energy choices, Fireman's Fund is helping improve our nation's energy and environmental outlook."

The EPA created Energy Star partnerships in 1992 to promote reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. The business partners are largely in manufacturing and retail.

Fireman's Fund, which is a member of the Allianz Group and is based in Novato, Calif., was the first firm in the country to offer green insurance for commercial buildings. As an incentive, also the first of its kind, Fireman's Fund provided a 5 percent discount on the policy premium to owners of LEED-certified buildings. Those moves in 2006 led the way for other companies to roll out green policies.

This past July, Fireman's Fund started providing green homeowners insurance. And earlier this month, the company announced the launch of the first green insurance coverage in the maritime industry. The firm's green hull and machinery product helps owners of tugs, ferries and commercial fishing and offshore service vessels ensure that their crafts meet new federal environmental air standards.

Other Fireman's Fund green products include insurance coverage for historic buildings, hotels, restaurants, commercial autos, manufacturing facilities and commercial buildings that are under construction.

"Teaming up with Energy Star gives Fireman's Fund the opportunity to help customers earn the Energy Star rating for their top-performing buildings and set realistic energy performance goals for new construction projects," Steve Greger, Fireman's Fund green loss control director, said in the Energy Star announcement. "Using the EPA guidelines for energy management helps our customers reap the benefits of superior energy efficiency."

Earlier this year, the Environmental Defense Fund recognized Fireman's Fund for its leadership in eco-friendly efforts and business strategies in its report called "Innovations Review 2008: Making Green the New Business As Usual."

Fireman's Fund was the only insurer included in the report, which examined best practices and trends illustrating how ideas that are good for environment can also be good for business by creating new markets and providing competitive advantages.