Germany’s Allianz SE, Europe’s largest insurer, announced that it has signed the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), effective February 2014.
The PSI is the “largest collaborative initiative between the United Nations and the insurance industry,” Allianz explained, with about “40 insurance companies as signatories and 30 insurance market bodies as supporters.” Its goal is to encourage “greater integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into insurance. Signatories commit themselves to embed ESG issues, to manage risk and develop solutions with their clients, to work together with industry stakeholders, and to publicly disclose their ESG progress.”
CEO Michael Diekmann said: “Beginning in 2014 the Allianz ESG Guidelines will cover sensitive topics for all new business globally. This is a further milestone on our way to becoming the most sustainable insurer and asset manager, initiated by our ESG Board in 2012. We are now in the position to meet the aims of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance and to work together to accelerate the adoption of ESG by our industry. We feel it is critical to achieve integration of ESG across the entire insurance value chain.”
The bulletin also noted that the “signing the Principles for Sustainable Insurance comes one and a half years after Allianz created the ESG Board – a governance body overseeing client interaction issues ranging from controversial weapons to impacts on endangered species. A cross-functional working group of 50 experts from Allianz were part of the pilot phase of developing an ESG system in 2013.”
Clement B. Booth, Member of the Board of Management, added: “The moment we signed the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), it marked the launch of our new ESG guidelines to deliver improved risk management for our clients. We’re seeing increasingly that clients care about environmental, social and governance issues and social media is driving greater public accountability and transparency. As risk management experts and dialogue partner of our clients we can help to further mitigate risks and support the creation of sustainable economies.”
Allianz also noted that it is “a signatory to the PSI’s ‘sister’ initiatives for asset management and investments (Principles for Responsible Investment – PRI) and corporate principles (United Nations Global Compact). Allianz is insurance sector-leader in the Dow Jones Sustainable Index (DJSI).”
Source: Allianz SE