Through the new EcoClaims pilot program — which diverts waste from landfills by recycling flooring and drywall during the claims and restoration process — carriers may be able to save on costs incurred from renting disposal bins at the claims site, experts at MBC Group told the 2022 Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association Conference last week.
Environmental lab services firm MBC Group and Aviva Canada launched the EcoClaims pilot following the catastrophic flooding in B.C. in late fall last year.
Waste from each claim is measured and sorted, and materials are recycled where possible at an EcoClaims’s “green site.” EcoClaims sorted and recycled material from 60 files during its pilot.
“We achieved 69% of recycling and reusing. That brings us to a total of a little bit less than 50,000 pounds of waste, [that was] reused or recycled,” explained OIAA conference panellist Manuel Martineau, senior director of national sales and integration at MBC Group.
Drywall, for example, is ground into a powder after removal and is used to create new drywall sheets, explained Martineau.
“The long goal here [is] to have those savings that we can actually monetize to further offset the cost of the extra labour,” said Matthew Magnus, director of commercial services.
“It’s going to take more time from a worker to sort of material…On the other hand, though, through the partnership that we are establishing right now, if we send a garbage bin full of wood, they usually charge [the same as] or even more [than a worker would charge]. So, you recover your cost there,” said Martineau.
As the pilot develops, Magnus says EcoClaims is exploring a potential opportunity for carbon credits and offsets.
The program currently recycles drywall and flooring, but it will ultimately expand to recycle contents and other materials such as furniture.
“We will add layers to this to make sure we cover the whole process, and eventually we are in discussion also to add car and vehicle fleets,” said Martineau.
Aviva piloted the program alongside MBC Group, and now other organizations are in discussions to participate, including the Alberta Motor Association and independent adjusting firms, Martineau said.
“Most of the insurance companies are aiming for a net zero carbon footprint at the latest by 2050,” said Martineau. “To achieve that, we need to start now. We need insurance vendors to work with the programs to substantially reduce waste disposal and transfer to landfills, thus, obviously reducing the carbon footprint of claims on the environment,” said Magnus.