Net-Zero Insurance Alliance committed to join Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero and UN Race to Zero; plus Net-Zero Banking Alliance and Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance announce updates
- Eight of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers have established the UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) as founding members, committing to transition their insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
- As risk managers, insurers and investors, the insurance industry has a key role in supporting the transition to a net-zero economy. NZIA members will individually set science-based intermediate targets every five years and independently report on their progress publicly and annually to contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, in cooperation with the respective competition authorities.
- All eight NZIA founding members are part of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) established in 2019, where they are already individually setting science-based 2025 decarbonisation targets for their respective investment portfolios in line with a net-zero transition pathway.
- The NZIA has committed to join the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). Chaired by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, GFANZ brings together the leading net-zero financial alliances within the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, representing over $88 trillion assets, to work together to accelerate the transition of the financial sector and the global economy to net-zero emissions.
Geneva, Switzerland (July 11, 2021) – As the G20 gathers in Venice for its Climate Summit, eight of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers make a historic commitment to play their part in accelerating the transition to a net-zero emissions economy, as required by the Paris Agreement.
The companies have established the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), convened by UNEP Finance Initiative’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), and have committed to transition their insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. Each company decides how it will achieve this objective.
The eight founding members of the NZIA are AXA (NZIA Chair), Allianz, Aviva, Generali, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance Group. They are building on their climate leadership as investors through their membership in the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) established in 2019, where all eight NZIA founding members are already individually setting science-based 2025 decarbonisation targets for their respective investment portfolios in line with a net-zero transition pathway. Equally, based on the NZIA Statement of Commitment launched today, these global insurers and reinsurers will individually set science-based intermediate targets every five years and independently report on their progress publicly and annually. They will also advocate for and engage in governmental policies for a science-based and socially just transition of economic sectors to net zero.
“Through the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance launched in 2019, insurers and reinsurers are already working towards decarbonising their investment portfolios in line with climate science and the Paris Agreement,” said Thomas Buberl, CEO of the AXA Group, which chairs the NZIA. “With this new Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, we are raising our climate ambition further by using our underwriting, claims, and risk management practices to help ensure and enable the transition to a resilient net-zero global economy.”
The commitments that the Alliance members announced today include concrete approaches that they can take to achieve their net-zero ambition on an individual basis. These include setting underwriting criteria and guidelines for the most GHG-intensive activities within their underwriting portfolios, engaging with clients and potential clients with the most GHG-intensive activities on their decarbonisation strategies and net-zero transition pathways, developing and offering insurance and reinsurance solutions for low-emission and zero-emission technologies and nature-based solutions that absorb GHG emissions, improving claims management in an environmentally sustainable manner, and integrating net-zero and decarbonisation-related risk criteria into their risk management frameworks.
“For generations, the insurance industry has served as society’s early warning system and risk manager by understanding, reducing, pricing and carrying risk. As we approach COP26 in Glasgow, the risks posed by global heating are escalating and the world is a long way from meeting the promises made when the Paris Climate Agreement was forged nearly six years ago,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). “Along with governments, the insurance industry and wider financial sector have the power and responsibility to drive progress towards a net-zero economy and a sustainable future for all. Guided by science, I am pleased to see leading insurers embed the net-zero ambition in their core insurance business. I urge the rest of the global insurance industry to respond to the climate emergency and urgently follow the example set by the founding members of this pioneering alliance.”
The NZIA Statement of Commitment is a comprehensive framework and considers the latest available scientific knowledge and associated social impacts, as well as findings of recognised reports such as those by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net Zero by 2050 report. It includes supporting the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), considering emerging frameworks such as the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and signing the UN Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI). The Statement also recommends that insurers transition their investment portfolios to net-zero GHG emissions and join initiatives such as the NZAOA for a total balance sheet approach to net zero.
“Having a global financial system where every professional decision takes climate change into account requires harnessing the full role of the insurance industry as risk managers, insurers and investors for climate action,” said Mark Carney, the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action & Finance, the UK Prime Minister’s Finance Adviser for COP26, and Chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero. “By committing to join the gold standard alliance for net zero, the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance will ultimately make underwriting contingent on underlying companies having credible net-zero transition strategies.”
In the run up to COP26 this November, the NZIA membership is expected to grow to include insurers, reinsurers, brokers and insurance market bodies from across the globe. The NZIA is now getting ready to join the UN Race to Zero campaign in order to become officially part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) chaired by Mark Carney. GFANZ brings together the leading net-zero initiatives across the financial system.
All GFANZ initiatives, including the NZIA, must be accredited by the UN Race to Zero campaign, and are committed to the highest standards to reach net-zero emissions, including covering all emission scopes, individual interim 2030 targets, and commit to transparent reporting and accounting in line with the Race to Zero criteria. The NZIA will immediately start working with the UN Race to Zero conveners to fulfil their accreditation criteria.
The Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), established in April 2021 by 43 founding banks, and also convened by UNEP Finance Initiative, has now grown to 53 banks from 27 countries with US$ 37 trillion in total assets – representing almost a quarter of banking assets worldwide. 10 additional members have joined since launch: ABANCA, AIB, Banco Bradesco S.A., Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel, Groupe BPCE, MUFG, Nationwide Building Society and Swedbank.
The Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA), jointly convened by the Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Finance Initiative, which was launched in September 2019 with 12 insurers and pension funds, now has 46 members representing nearly US$ 7 trillion in assets.
Quotes from the CEOs of the founding members of the NZIA
“As a founding member of this strong network, Allianz strives to accelerate the urgently needed transformation to a 1.5-degree economy. We are pleased to bring in our expertise and join forces to extend the net-zero ambition to the entire insurance market.” – Oliver Bäte, CEO, Allianz SE
“Our whole economy depends on insurance, so a net-zero insurance industry is a fundamental part of helping shift the economy towards protecting the planet. Aviva is proud to be a founding member of this Alliance as part of our own ambition to be net zero by 2040. It takes partnerships like these to tackle the big challenges facing us to build a sustainable future for everyone.” – Amanda Blanc, Group CEO, Aviva plc
“At Generali, we want to actively support a fair and inclusive transition to a net-zero emissions economy. The UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance allows us to join forces with institutions and our peers which share this commitment to achieve a greater and longer-lasting impact. United we are stronger!” – Philippe Donnet, Group CEO, Generali
“Munich Re has set ambitious climate targets in 2020 that include the liability side of our business. Being a founding member of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance underlines our climate commitment. As a leading global re- and primary insurer we will continue to support the transition to net zero through our pioneering risk solutions and pursuing science-based decarbonisation targets.” – Dr. Joachim Wenning, Chairman of the Board of Management, Munich Re
Collective action is the only way we can address the grand challenge of our time: climate change. SCOR is proud to be a founding member of the NZIA, working alongside other industry leaders to support the transformational changes that are critical to society. In doing so, we commit to accelerating the race to net zero and furthering our long-term mission. – Laurent Rousseau, CEO, SCOR
“By co-founding the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, Swiss Re can work with other reinsurers and insurers to build on its commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy, through its underwriting expertise. We see sustainability as a long-term value driver and the NZIA is an important and logical next step in the race to net zero.” Christian Mumenthaler, Group CEO, Swiss Re
“Net-zero underwriting is a critical step and furthers Zurich’s climate efforts beyond our own operations and investments. It reinforces our deep commitment to continue to engage with our customers to deliver solutions as we navigate together the transition to a low-carbon world, benefiting future generations.” – Mario Greco, Group CEO, Zurich Insurance Group
1. Global banking assets source: FSB Global Monitoring Report 2020.
About UNEP Finance Initiative and its Principles for Sustainable Insurance
The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilise private sector finance for sustainable development. UNEP FI works with more than 400 members—banks, insurers and investors—and over 100 supporting institutions—to help create a financial sector that serves people and planet while delivering positive impacts. We aim to inspire, inform and enable financial institutions to improve people’s quality of life without compromising that of future generations. By leveraging the UN’s role, UNEP FI accelerates sustainable finance.
Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and insurance industry CEOs, the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities—and a global initiative to strengthen the insurance industry’s contribution as risk managers, insurers and investors to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies on a healthy planet. Developed by UNEP FI, the PSI was launched at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and has led to the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry.
About the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero
The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), chaired by Mark Carney, brings together over 250 financial institutions across Race to Zero initiatives from 32 countries, representing over US$88 trillion in assets. These institutions include: 128 asset managers from 21 countries representing US$43 trillion in assets under management; 53 banks from 27 countries with US$37 trillion in assets; and 70 asset owners and insurers from 16 countries with over US$8 trillion in assets under management. Each entity has made its own net-zero commitment with potential overlap across initiatives, institutions and assets.
The current members of GFANZ are UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, UN-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance, Net-Zero Asset Managers Initiative, and Paris Aligned Investment Initiative.
About the UN Environment Programme
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
About AXA Group
The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 153,000 employees serving 105 million clients in 54 countries. In 2020, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 96.7 billion and underlying earnings to Euro 4.3 billion. AXA had Euro 1,032 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020.
The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY. The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.
It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
For more information, visit axa.com.
About Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) is a leading global corporate insurance carrier and a key business unit of Allianz Group. We provide risk consultancy, Property-Casualty insurance solutions and alternative risk transfer for a wide spectrum of commercial, corporate and specialty risks across 12 dedicated lines of business.
Our customers are as diverse as business can be, ranging from Fortune Global 500 companies to small businesses, and private individuals. Among them are not only the world’s largest consumer brands, tech companies and the global aviation and shipping industry, but also satellite operators or Hollywood film productions. They all look to AGCS for smart answers to their largest and most complex risks in a dynamic, multinational business environment and trust us to deliver an outstanding claims experience.
Worldwide, AGCS operates with its own teams in 31 countries and through the Allianz Group network and partners in over 200 countries and territories, employing around 4,400 people. As one of the largest Property-Casualty units of Allianz Group, we are backed by strong and stable financial ratings. In 2020, AGCS generated a total of €9.3 billion gross premium globally.
About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country, providing home, automobile, lifestyle and business insurance to 2.4 million customers. A subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, Aviva Canada has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for our people, our customers, our communities and our planet. Launched in 2019, Aviva Canada is investing in safer communities through Aviva Take Back Our Roads, which uses data driven solutions and strategic collaborations to make safer roads a reality for all. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a net zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the most demanding target of any major insurance company in the world. For more information, visit aviva.ca.
Generali is one of the largest global insurance and asset management providers headquartered in Italy. It is present in 50 countries in the world, with a total premium income of more than € 69.7 billion in 2019, serving 61 million clients.
Generali Country Italy and Global Business Lines is the largest unit within the Group, leader in the Italian retail insurance market and is amongst the major insurance players worldwide focusing on corporate business. Via its two units, Generali Global Corporate & Commercial and Generali Employee Benefits it caters the needs of medium and large businesses by providing flexible, custom tailored insurance solutions in P&C and Life, health protection, and pension plans to local and expat employees of multinational companies.
Generali Global Corporate & Commercial offers P&C insurance and service solutions to medium-large companies and brokers in over 160 countries around the world, with a total premium income of € 2.1 billion in 2019. Thanks to its solid global experience, knowledge of the local markets and the corporate sector, the unit offers integrated and personalizable solutions in property, casualty, engineering, marine, aviation, cyber e specialty risks. Through its experts in Multinational Programs, Claims and Loss Prevention, GC&C guarantees companies the same level of assistance and protection over the world. For more information, please visit www.generaliglobalcorporate.com.
About Munich Re
Munich Re is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance and insurance-related risk solutions. Since it was founded in 1880, Munich Re has been known for its unrivalled risk-related expertise and its sound financial position. It offers customers financial protection when faced with exceptional levels of damage. Munich Re possesses outstanding innovative strength. The company is playing a key role in driving forward the digital transformation of the insurance industry, and in doing so has further expanded its ability to assess risks and the range of services that it offers. Its tailor-made solutions and close proximity to its customers make Munich Re one of the world’s most sought-after risk partners for businesses, institutions, and private individuals. For more information, visit www.munichre.com.
About Swiss Re
The Swiss Re Group is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, insurance and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer, working to make the world more resilient. It anticipates and manages risk – from natural catastrophes to climate change, from ageing populations to cyber crime. The aim of the Swiss Re Group is to enable society to thrive and progress, creating new opportunities and solutions for its clients. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1863, the Swiss Re Group operates through a network of around 80 offices globally. For more information, please visit www.swissre.com.
Zurich North America is one of the largest providers of insurance solutions and services to businesses and individuals. Our customers represent industries ranging from agriculture to technology. Zurich North America is part of Zurich Insurance Group, a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. Further information is available at www.zurichna.com.
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 55,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 215 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information is available at www.zurich.com.
Source: UN Environment Programme Finance InitiativeTags: Allianz, Aviva, AXA, climate change, Munich Re, social responsibility, Swiss Re, United Nations (UN), Zurich