The value of the sustainable prisoner in Europe

As the impacts of climate change increase and the effort in renewable energy increases, sustainability is becoming a medial priority for companies in all sectors – yet insurers have the upper hand in terms of providing long-term solutions.

Sustainability is a multifaceted duty. Companies need to ensure that their internal environmental, social and governance (ESG) ABCs are in line with best practices and good morals, while finding ways to contribute to the betterment of the corporation and the wider environment.

The insurance industry is uniquely positioned to pay a powerful tribute to sustainability, both as an investor in sustainable initiatives and as a provider of protection against climate threats to our clients.

Insurers as investors in sustainability

Investing in sustainability has the power to make a unique and spacious impact. The European Percentage reports that in order to meet its 2030 climate and energy targets, Europe needs to end a €260 billion annual investment irregularity.

The prisoner has a tendency to make great strides towards that goal. Insurance Europe reports that the insurance industry is Europe’s largest institutional investor and a unique provider of methodical, long-term financing for governments and corporations. A 2019 Insurance Europe report also noted that European insurers planned to allocate approximately €150 billion to sustainable investments by 2020.

This investment is a direct product of the insurance services exemplar, in which policyholders pay premiums in advance, which are invested until claims and benefits are due.

Take the example of an insurance company in the Netherlands that is a partner in a unique €300 million fund devoted to more sustainable schools, theaters and other public buildings. In Sweden, insurers’ investments in green bonds issued by the city of Stockholm in 2018 have successfully financed projects that include energy-efficient housing, electricity supply points for electric cars, schools and a modern era of sewage treatment. Insurers are also contributing to sustainable communities, with investments by Austrian insurers leading to the generation of more than 100,000 affordable rental housing units.

Sustainability through insurance products and risk management

Insurers also play a unique key role in shaping clients to the impacts of climate change. Combined with Accenture’s new Consumer Analysis of Insurance report, there is growing demand for sustainable insurance products.

For example, millennial consumers and younger (18-34) have expressed greater effort in digital offerings that help them make safer, healthier and more sustainable choices, with digital experiences that encourage sustainable travel and shopping practices.

Take the example of Sanitas’ Healthy Cities Initiative. The project was born with the aim of making the catalog between health, surroundings and mobility in European cities tangible. It brought together companies, employees, public institutions, NGOs, sectoral associations and foundations around two common goals: to attack sedentary lifestyle and transform Europe’s cities into healthier and more sustainable environments.

By measuring the steps taken by customers and setting goals, Sanitas responded by donating to return the public infrastructure to a greener every turn than a new station reached. The homestead edition of the ‘Healthy Cities by Sanitas’ initiative was recently completed, with more than 2.3 billion steps accumulated by employees from the 40 companies that participated. All of them collaborated to fulfill the commitment assumed by the company: to make an offer for a unique urban restructuring project in Madrid that helps to protect the health of its inhabitants. It is a unique forest belt of 75 km that will make a mark with the city.

The management, identification and recovery of risks form the backbone of the exemplary insurance services. Here, European insurers can have a unique impact on sustainability by offering clients sustainability incentives (as in the example above) and updating our line review and requirement policies to fine-tune as long-term climate change is taken with respect, thus developing products made for consumers with different profiles of the environmental line.

On a singularly more spacious level, insurers are bravely positioned to assist European policymakers with tools such as zoning and line mapping and contribute to a better understanding of climate threats via forward line models. Some national insurance associations have also partnered with public authorities to share and study data on climate-related losses.

In short, insurance has a unique key role to play in achieving sustainability in Europe and beyond. These interventions can take many forms. However, for there to be a full imagination of sustainability, we need to investigate what sustainability means and how that definition has expanded.

In this thread, I will examine the important ways that insurers can pitch sustainable goals into the European market and shed light on the companies that are excelling in that semblance.

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