Athora announces a reforestation project in partnership with Fondazione Sylva and Edward Burtynsky

Pembroke, Bermuda, 11 October 2022 – Athora Holding Ltd. ("Athora" or "the Group"), a leading European savings and retirement services group, has today announced a reforestation and environmental awareness initiative, working in partnership with Fondazione Sylva ("Sylva") and the internationally-renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky.

This initiative highlights the importance of biodiversity and nature and is aimed at highlighting how environmental crises often bring about social and economic impacts. This initiative also reflects one of Athora’s key sustainability strategy themes Protecting life and nature, which was announced earlier this year together with Promoting economic wellbeing in the long-term and Facilitating fair and good social outcomes.

As part of this initiative, some thousands of native trees will be planted in southern Italy, a focus market for Athora. In that area, millions of olive trees have been devastated by the bacterium Xylella Fastidiosa, with its impact made worse by the continued depletion of biodiversity. Such devastation has been captured through a series of moving photographs by Edward Burtynsky, a former winner of the TED Prize and member of the International Photography Hall of Fame.

Athora announces reforestation initiative

Athora has purchased a series of these photographs and the majority of the proceeds will go to further the activities of Sylva, in particular towards the planting of trees in collaboration with associations focused on the local habitat and social fabric, as well as educational sessions on the importance of nature conservation at local schools. Furthermore, public awareness and further support will be raised through exhibitions and a promotional video. With these activities, Athora, Sylva and Burtynsky seek to make a lasting positive impact on the environment and the communities within it, and to promote a future where humans and nature nurture each other.


Commenting on the initiative, Michele Bareggi, President & Deputy CEO at Athora said, “As a savings and retirement business we think carefully about the future, to help keep people safe and secure for the long-term. The reality is that the world is facing immense global challenges related to biodiversity loss and climate change, which have widespread consequences. This initiative with Sylva and Burtynsky is a small but important step to enhancing biodiversity in one of our core markets, Italy, while simultaneously raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity to our communities. In our role as a corporate citizen, we plan to support similar initiatives in our other markets, alongside efforts to enhance the sustainability of our business and investments.”

Luigi de Vecchi, President of Fondazione Sylva said, “Fondazione Sylva uses leading scientific evidence to take care of the environment — and in turn of the people — by bringing back more life to our planet and building a sustainable future for local communities. By re-populating the land with diverse species of local trees, by using the universal language of art to increase awareness and by educating younger generations on the importance of looking after the trees we plant, we believe we can contribute towards safeguarding the future of our ecosystems for future generations.”

Edward Burtynsky added, “While trying to accommodate the growing needs of an expanding, and very thirsty civilization, we are reshaping the Earth in colossal ways. We have to learn to think more long-term about the consequences of what we are doing, while we are doing it. My hope is that these pictures, which document the vegetal pandemic that has killed millions of olive trees in Puglia, will stimulate a process of thinking about something essential to our survival; something we often take for granted – until it’s gone.”

For more information

Athora Media Contact

Kate Campbell, Group Head of Communications, +353 86 406 2472,

About Athora

Athora is a leading European savings and retirement services group. We concentrate on the large and attractive traditional life and pensions market, with an ambition to become a leading provider of guaranteed savings and pensions products in Europe. We serve the needs of individual and corporate customers who continue to demand products offering safety of returns, and also provide innovative M&A and reinsurance solutions to other insurers seeking to enhance their capital position or enact strategic change. Athora’s principal subsidiaries are Athora Netherlands N.V. (Amstelveen, Netherlands), Athora Belgium N.V./S.A. (Brussels), Athora Lebensversicherung AG (Wiesbaden, Germany), Amissima Vita S.p.A (Italy) and Athora Life Re Ltd. (Bermuda). Our acquisition of the closed-book portfolio from AXA Germany is expected to complete in 2023, subject to applicable regulatory clearances. Including the proposed portfolio transfer with AXA Germany, the Athora Group will employ some 2,000 staff and have over 3 million customers with Assets under Administration of €96bn (proforma AuA based on HY22 results and including Amissima Vita, the portfolio transfer from NN Insurance Belgium and the portfolio transfer from AXA Germany (subject to regulatory approvals)). Athora recently published its first sustainability report, together with its sustainability strategy and sustainable investment policy, which you can download here. For more information, visit:

About Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky is regarded as one of the world's most accomplished contemporary photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes represent over 40 years of his dedication to bearing witness to the impact of human industry on the planet. Burtynsky's photographs are included in the collections of over 60 major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Tate Modern in London, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California.

About Fondazione Sylva

Fondazione Sylva is a non profit foundation that carries out activities of territorial renewal primarily through reforestation. Sylva’s approach is distinctive because environmental as well as social factors are taken in account in its interventions. In the awareness that social growth and people's well-being also pass through beauty, Sylva is committed to promoting international cultural initiatives. Sylva's method can be summarized by three key words: reforestation, awareness and social innovation. Visit