To Allianz – Threatened Plane tree at 63 Oakfield Road
I have been reading the 2022 Sustainability Report on your website, and I quote:

Since 2005, the Allianz Group Climate Change Strategy has encouraged solutions for tomorrow’s climate. It steers the uptake of climate-related risks and opportunities in our insurance and investment business. Regularly updated, it is overseen by the Sustainability Board. Our strategy focuses on three areas: Anticipating the risks of a changing climate; updating policies and processes;  providing insurance solutions to protect against physical climate impacts

This does not, however, seem to be being applied to the home insurance market. It would appear that no new creative solutions have been tried in order to avoid the frequent felling of trees when claims for subsidence are involved. I am sure that the Allianz group are aware that urban trees are a lifeline for residents in our current climate crisis, providing cooling of the streets, cleaning the air, habitats for insects and birds, protection against flooding, not to mention the enormous health benefits for humans. And yet, a tree only has to be ‘implicated’ in an insurance claim for you to demand its destruction. This is so short-sighted! We all know summers are going to get drier and the number of insurance claims will massively increase. Does this mean our urban streets are going to be denuded of the trees we so desperately need? Where are the solutions to protect us from these ‘physical climate impacts’? 

If Allianz genuinely is the responsible business it claims to be, you will recognise the urgent need to realign corporate practices to fight climate change. There are two different ways forward: you can continue with your demand for Haringey council to fell this 100-year-old tree or you could be the insurance company that brings in the change we so desperately need. Your letters to tree protectors have tried to hide behind claims of underpinning producing far higher carbon emissions, but have you looked at recent new developments in underpinning that are less carbon-intensive? Have you considered asking the council to try bigger tree pits or an increased watering programme, so that the tree’s roots do not seek water from beneath the foundations? The redirection of roots or the building of a barrier, amongst other solutions has not been investigated with any great determination. It would seem that the existence of underground services such as gas and electricity is just being used as an excuse for not using a root barrier.  Have you considered working with the utility providers to find a solution? 

Your website boasts a higher-than-ever profit. Under the circumstances, a genuinely sustainable policy would consider ploughing some of these profits into investigating alternatives to tree felling.

You are invited to give a reply which we will post on this site. This could be a great opportunity to really improve your brand image. You could save the Oakfield Road plane as a symbol of goodwill and as a commitment to investigate solutions for the future. Allianz could be the Insurer that we recommend to our followers. Continuing down the present path, however, will undoubtedly lead to an increase in hostility and bad press of the sort that was seen in Sheffield and Plymouth.