Travelers Names Cohn to New Chief Sustainability Officer Post

August 16, 2019

The Travelers Cos. has created a new position of chief sustainability officer and named Yafit Cohn to fill the post.

Cohn will lead Travelers’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts across the organization and will serve as a member of the company’s ESG and Disclosure Committees.

“Deeply rooted in our culture is the recognition that industry-leading results are inextricably linked with gratified customers and business partners, engaged employees and healthy communities,” said Alan Schnitzer, chairman and chief executive officer of Travelers. He said the new position will enable the company to deepen its sustainability efforts, better tell its story and “engage more broadly as a thought leader in the related and evolving public policy dialogue.”

Under Cohn’s leadership, Travelers recently launched a new sustainability website, which addresses 16 topics that the company has identified as its key drivers of sustained value: Business Strategy & Competitive Advantages; Capital & Risk Management; Climate Strategy; Community; Customer Experience; Data Privacy & Cybersecurity; Disaster Preparedness & Response; Diversity & Inclusion; Eco-Efficient Operations; Ethics & Values; Governance; Human Capital Management; Innovation; Investment Management; Public Policy; and Safety & Health.

Travelers developed its sustainability website with the input of key stakeholders and taking into account several leading sustainability disclosure frameworks. It also includes standalone reports responsive to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards for the insurance industry and the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Cohn joined Travelers in September 2017 as associate group general counsel and currently serves as chair of the Society for Corporate Governance’s newly formed Sustainability Practices Committee. She previously served as counsel and a member of the Public Company Advisory Practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she advised public companies, corporate management and boards of directors on an array of issues pertaining to corporate governance and securities law.

Cohn will report to Christine Kalla, executive vice president, general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer.

A few weeks ago, Travelers’ competitor American International Group (AIG) created a position of chief sustainability officer and appointed Jennifer Waldner to fill the role. The Hartford has a head of sustainability position.


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