DLA Piper has published a comprehensive global report on sustainability and the implications on the insurance industry. The report looks at sustainability-related initiatives and frameworks around the world and analyses the current status in 19 countries. With its global reach and coverage the report is the first of its kind setting out the legal basis for sustainable insurance.
The insurance industry is affected by environmental, social and governmental (ESG) risks in its entirety. From asset prices and investment choice to business transition risk; the ESG risk to insurers’ own operations including property, personnel. supply chains and claims – the insurance industry will need to deal with many issues. However, it is also uniquely placed to play a fundamental role in as part of the solution. Insurance engages with almost every industry and sector; it owns a large amount of the world’s assets and it has a global reach and a finely detailed knowledge of risk transfer and solutions.
The report was launched at an online event attended by industry members from a variety of functions (including compliance, responsible business, claims and risk management) at insurance companies, brokers and consultancy firms with speakers from UNEP FI, AIG, Insurance Council of New Zealand and FTI Consulting. During the session a survey was conducted which found that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic 69% of attendees had experienced an increase of the importance of ESG issues due to public attention and policymaker statements. This has been reinforced by increasing focus on ESG topics from employees (57%) and customers (31%) and 38% of attendees noticed a marked increase in their competitors’ activities in this area. Within insurance companies the areas most affected by ESG issues were Investment (71%) and Risk Management (64%) departments.
Jennifer Waldner Grant, Chief Sustainability Officer at AIG, who provided an editorial to the report, said: “We applaud the commitment DLA Piper has made through the publication of this report. It will ensure the insurance industry is informed and educated around the changing regulatory landscape on ESG topics, global coalitions, partnerships and initiatives supporting businesses, regulators and society in addressing the climate emergency.”
DLA Piper Counsel and Chief Editor of the report, Heike Schmitz said: “DLA Piper has a particular focus on sustainability issues, both as a firm and supporting our clients in this hugely important area. This report is our contribution to the debate, focused on the insurance market, and aims to provide an overview of current developments and thus support decision makers, inhouse counsel, sustainability officers and others as they develop their sustainability strategies.”