Climate change: the Generali Group makes nearly €10 billion of new green and sustainable investments
01 June 2022
The Generali Group is calling attention to the importance of sustainability on the occasion of the 12th International Conference of Insurance Europe, taking place in Prague on 2 June 2022.
The Group believes that the pursuit of sustainability is of fundamental interest to all members of society, especially in the face of climate change and the extreme weather events that result from it.
Sustainability is the originator of the Generali Group's new three-year strategy, presented at the end of last year, which sets out to achieve full integration of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria by 2024.
The ultimate aim is the exclusion of any new investments and progressive divestment from coal-related businesses in Generali’s portfolio, as well as to make both the insurance and the investment portfolio carbon neutral by 2050.
Lucia Silva, Generali's Group Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility, recently spoke about the Group's new strategy and sustainability efforts at an insurance conference in Hungary and provided an exclusive interview to main economic daily in the Czech Republic - Hospodářské noviny. Among other things, she highlighted that the company would be making new green and sustainable investments worth €8.5-9.5 billion by 2025.
A responsible and sustainable society should be everyone's priority concern
We have a social responsibility to act as a force for good in our own lives and contribute to building a more sustainable, resilient and equitable society. Living a responsible life and striving for sustainability in all walks of life is of fundamental interest to every member of society, and we can all contribute to this through our actions, choices and decisions. This includes creating a diverse and inclusive environment, promoting gender equality, making responsible choices in the spirit of sustainable development and working towards a sustainable future. The importance of our social responsibility, and the significance of pursuing responsible and sustainable efforts, including the fight against climate change, will be especially highlighted by the Generali Group on the occasion of the 12th International Conference of Insurance Europe, taking place in Prague on 2 June.
Climate change: a threat to our future and well-being
Today, climate change is a fundamental and inescapable topic of any professional, industry and personal discourse on sustainable future. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations' international expert body on climate change, concluded that global warming is a fact beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Earth's climate is changing, that climate change is indeed happening and that it poses a serious threat to the planet's living environment.
All this has been apparent for many years, particularly in the increase of extreme weather events resulting from climate change. As extreme weather phenomena become more frequent, they are having a profound impact on society, the economy and the daily lives of us all. Such events include extreme high or low temperatures (heat waves, cold waves, frost damage), drought, floods, flash floods, strong and stormy winds, intense precipitation, hail, snowfall, blizzards, sandstorms or prolonged drought. These extremes could well be the main drivers of economic and social change in the future.
Sustainability is the originator of the Generali Group's new strategic plan
In its new strategic cycle, Generali will take further steps in its sustainability commitments, with a continued focus on delivering positive social, environmental and stakeholder impact. In December 2021, the Group approved a new three-year strategic plan Lifetime Partner 24: Driving Growth, which sets out a clear vision for Generali and is built on three strategic pillars: drive sustainable growth, enhance earnings profile, and lead innovation. As a sustainability champion, Generali is committed to acting as a responsible employer, a responsible insurer, a responsible investor and a responsible corporate citizen for the common good.
During this new strategic cycle, ESG commitments are embedded within this strategic plan, including growing premiums deriving from sustainable solutions, by 5%-7% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) by 2024 and the complete integration of ESG criteria into the direct investments of the Group’s general account portfolio by 2024.
Generali will also reduce the carbon footprint of the corporate investment portfolio by 25% by 2024 in line with its commitments as a member of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance and make € 8.5 - 9.5 billion of new green and sustainable investments between 2021 and 2025, while also making both its insurance and investment portfolio carbon neutral by 2050. The Group also defined a roadmap for the complete exclusion of investments and underwriting activities in the thermal coal sector and is forging ahead with the commitment to no longer insure upstream oil and gas activities.
In addition, with the aim of helping SMEs to make a sustainable transition, Generali launched recently the second edition of SME EnterPRIZE, a flagship project where the best-in-class companies are awarded for their sustainable business models. Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary have been part of this journey since the beginning and Croatia participation is adding further value.
Lucia Silva, Generali Group´s Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility, said: "Sustainability is at the heart of our Group's 2024 strategy: we will accelerate the integration of ESG criteria into our investment and insurance activities and relying on the superb skills and innovative thinking of our people, we will fundamentally transform our mindset and approach, which will, in turn, substantially impact our decision-making processes. This is how Generali contributes to a greener and more inclusive society.”
by Ildikó Földi-Tamás and her Team