Dialogue with clients and partners
We regularly engage with our clients and partners to promote sustainable business practices. Our discussions focus on specific transactions and key challenges.
Through the Sustainable Business Risk Framework we integrate environmental and human rights considerations throughout our re/insurance business and our investments. We discuss issues directly with our clients, based on the due-diligence assessment of our business transactions, and contribute to general discussions of salient sustainability topics.
Assessing our business transactions
The Sustainable Business Risk (SBR) process is our principal means to assess the sustainability of individual transactions. It comprises two due-diligence mechanisms - the online SBR assessment tool and the SBR referral tool. If a transaction is identified by the assessment tool to harbour a potentially high environmental and/or human rights risk, it is automatically referred to our in-house sustainability experts for an in-depth examination. They issue a binding recommendation to proceed with the transaction, to abstain from it or to proceed with conditions.
Discussing SBR decisions with our clients
When we decide to proceed with conditions, this means we have questions (or require further information) about particular human rights or environmental aspects of a transaction. The underwriter in charge will then discuss these points directly with the client, explaining the reasons for our concerns. Depending on the particular set-up of such transactions, these discussions may also involve brokers. In 2019, our sustainability experts issued a "proceed with conditions" recommendation in 42 cases, from a total of 238 transactions referred to them for a detailed assessment. For further details of our SBR decisions, see our 2019 Sustainability Report.
Dialogue on our thermal coal policy
As part of our ongoing efforts to implement our thermal coal policy, we had over 300 engagements with clients across the globe in 2019. Many of them introduced a thermal coal policy themselves and in turn are helping us reduce our carbon exposure in our treaty business.
Contributing to general sustainability dialogue
Beyond the discussions we conduct with our clients on individual business transactions, we contribute to the ongoing dialogue on relevant sustainability topics within the re/insurance industry. Over the year, we had a number of important external engagements on sustainability risks with clients, brokers, investors, industry peers and civil society groups such as environmental and humanitarian NGOs. We held in-person meetings with clients operating in sensitive sectors such as mining, forestry, and oil and gas, discussing potential measures they could take to address their sustainability risks.