The FINANCIAL -- Allianz has signed the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), effective February 2014, according to Allianz.
The PSI, the largest collaborative initiative between the United Nations and the insurance industry, with about 40 insurance companies as signatories and 30 insurance market bodies as supporters, encourages 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.
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. Allianz functions participated ranging from underwriting to risk management drawing on technical expertise in mining, infrastructure and more. Key expert non-governmental organizations and other external experts provided input into the process to ensure the right issues and criteria were being covered. The working group defined thirteen sensitive areas including infrastructure, mining, oil & gas, human rights and agriculture with a strong focus on property and casualty (P&C) insurance. Risk assessment criteria in each sensitive area are integrated into the core risk and underwriting processes. A dedicated support desk and team has been set up so that Allianz underwriters around the world can get in touch with experts for immediate guidance, according to Allianz.
Allianz is also 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).