Insurers stepping up game in promotion of sustainability, finds Anra Congress

The insurance sector can play a key role in promoting sustainable development of businesses and society as a whole, agreed Alessandro Canta, Enel’s head of finance and insurance, Nicola Mancino of AGCS, and Massimiliano Roveda, head of commercial insurance at Zurich Italy, during a panel discussion at the annual congress of the Italian risk and insurance association (Anra) this week.

The panellists discussed how the insurance sector today integrates ESG indicators into proposed hedges. The roundtable was moderated by Andrea Cabrini, managing director of TV station ClassCNBC.

Energy group Enel launched the world’s first insurance programme that incorporates and integrates sustainability criteria such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) back in December 2020.

The insurance programme, built in collaboration with broker Marsh and insurers Allianz, AXA XL, Generali and Mapfre, is called ‘Property All Risk SDG Linked’.

“The programme is linked to the SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy indicator, and it commits Enel to reach 55% of the total installed capacity with renewable sources by the end of 2021, an objective to which the cost of the insurance premium is linked,” explained Mr Canta.

Choosing to link the policy conditions to the achievement of sustainability objectives is a choice that also looks to the future, according to Mr Roveda.

“The choice to invest according to ESG criteria certainly derives from the attention that Zurich pays to sustainability issues in all areas, but not only that. We believe companies that invest in this sense have better performance, guaranteeing greater long-term stability and also less risk. We are changing the policy wordings to integrate ESG, and we have recently launched Zurich Resilience Service, to support companies in addressing the risks of transitioning to greater sustainability,” he explained.

Allianz is redefining its strategy according to sustainability indexes, with strong investments and business reorientation. Mr Mancino explained how Allianz defines and develops sustainable solutions.

“We structure various categories. From insurance solutions dedicated directly to environmental and social risks, to those that integrate a sustainability component linked to environmental or social performance into standard policies, to asset management solutions that include ESG and SRI [socially responsible investment] products, up to innovative microinsurance proposals,” he said.

“Today, it is necessary to create economic incentives to push companies in the direction of sustainability, otherwise we will not be able to see a real acceleration,” concluded Mr Canta.

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