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TOGETHER WE ARE BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Insurers and long-term savings providers have long been at the forefront of research to better understand and prepare for risks resulting from impacts of the Earth’s changing climate. This hub hosts a collection of case studies, insights and reports to demonstrate how our industry is working together to adapt, innovate and invest in building a sustainable and financially resilient future.


ADAPT

Insurers and long-term savings providers have an integral role to play in helping society be as resilient as possible to the impacts of climate change. Flooding is the greatest natural disaster risk in the UK and insurers have been calling for greater investment in sustainable flood risk management and flood defenses. In response to the significant 2019/20 winter flooding in South Yorkshire, insurers paid out more than £540million in claims. Under some future scenarios, by the end of this century, there is a risk that the severity and frequency of extreme weather events makes large parts of the country and world uninsurable – fundamentally threatening the insurance business model. With 1 in 6 properties in the UK already at flood risk, discover how the ABI is working to accelerate the industry’s response through a focus on adaptation and mitigation.

Aviva

Our industry has an important role to play in accelerating the path to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.  In 2006, Aviva became the first major insurance company to be carbon neutral, and have reduced their operational carbon footprint by 66%, from a 2010 baseline.  Since then, Aviva has significantly reduced its underwriting exposure to coal to almost zero. At the start of 2019, Aviva UK exited underwriting the standalone operational fossil fuel power market and in July 2019 became a founding signatory of the Powering Past Coal Alliance.   Aviva’s renewable energy insurance package supports companies with windfarms, solar power, and battery storage. Aviva is a member of the UN Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance committed to ensuring net-zero emissions across their investment portfolios by 2050. Last October they announced a 2050 net-zero target for their auto-enrolment default pension funds.

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Zurich Insurance Group

Adaptation is a core part of our members’ action plans to build resilience in communities to cope with the future impacts of climate change. Zurich has expanded its specialised Natural Hazard Risk Engineering capabilities and was the first insurer to add a dedicated natural-hazard assessment to its standard property risk engineering assessment services to help customers with practical implementation of risk mitigation and adaptation measures. Zurich also launched its Climate Change Resilience Services in 2020 to help businesses better prepare for current and future risks related to climate change.  The service allows Zurich to offer mitigation and adaptation solutions for weather events and climate effects, including wildfires, windstorms, floods, and rises in temperature and sea level. It also helps clients to implement sustainability measures at site level and withstand risks, highlighting the importance of our members in collaborating with other sectors to build resilience across the UK.

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INNOVATE

As we collectively work to hasten net-zero emissions without off-setting by 2050, new opportunities have emerged which foster the innovation of green products and technologies. This green revolution is helping to power the mitigation work needed to reduce harmful emissions and uncouple carbon from economic growth. The UK insurance and long term-savings industry holds over £1.6trillion worth of assets with huge potential to be unlocked for greater investment in infrastructure and green technology.

Direct Line Group

Innovation is at the heart of our members’ work to achieve carbon neutrality without offsetting. As well as good performance on internal targets on recycling and energy use, Direct Line Group continue to implement significant changes in their repair centres for vehicles with the aim to be the most energy-efficient repair network in the UK. For example, starting to fit new paint spray booths has led to greater control over how much power is required, leading to energy savings of up to 40%, alongside training technicians in new repair techniques reducing the need for repair materials. These are just two of many ways in which our members’ reach can go beyond their own operations into the wide range of work they undertake across the UK.

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INVEST

Insurers already invest in sustainable initiatives such as windfarms and solar power, which are a good match with their long-term liabilities. However there remain challenges to enabling institutional investors to better measure and manage their exposure to climate risk and invest in long-term, sustainable projects that help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Phoenix Group

Our members are already investing in sustainable initiatives which help strengthen our economy, with responsible investment emerging as one of the issues most material to both business and stakeholders. To meet the net-zero carbon target by 2050, Phoenix is focused on its equity and fixed income portfolios, which comprise around one third of its total £323 billion of assets under administration. Its strategy for decarbonisation involves reducing the GHG intensity of investment portfolios, increasing investment in ‘climate solutions’ and Paris-Aligned Stewardship to influence investee companies to transition to a low-carbon economy. Transparency on such strategies for decarbonisation will continue to play central role as our members work to transition to a financially resilient future.

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Reports

Solvency II: KPMG Analysis Commissioned by the ABI

Read the latest report commissioned by the ABI, and produced by KPMG, in response to the Government’s consultation on Solvency II. The analysis sets out how changes to the Matching Adjustment and the Risk Margin mechanisms could free up £95bn for re-investment, as well as providing broader benefits for the economy, HM Treasury and customers. These changes to the Solvency II regime would still ensure the industry holds enough capital to withstand a 1-in-200-year shock and meet its obligations whilst managing its assets responsibly and safely.

Engaging with ESG: Climate Change

The long-term savings industry has a crucial role to play in decarbonising the economy, supported by a growing number of savers who want their money to drive positive change. This report published by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) explores the attitudes and approaches currently being implemented in relation to climate change and highlights areas where further support, guidance or intervention could be beneficial in order to improve engagement and implementation of appropriate risk management.

Events

Register | ABI Climate Change Summit

Join us for the ABI’s Climate Change Summit on Wednesday 7 July 2021 to hear from some of the most influential leaders driving action to meet Net Zero targets by 2050. This one-day virtual event will address how the insurance and long-term savings sector can reduce societal risk, build back better, and showcase best practice - harnessing the change and investment needed to actively uncouple carbon from economic growth. 

On Demand | ABI Annual Conference 2021

The ABI Annual Conference 2021 is the standout insurance event of the year, bringing industry leaders, politicians and regulators together to debate the major issues affecting the insurance and long term savings industry. If you missed it, don't worry! You can register here to gain access to all of the sessions from the day to watch on demand.

On Demand | Institute for Government’s Net Zero Conference

The ABI was a headline sponsor of the Institute for Government’s Net Zero Conference on Wednesday 10 February for their panel on how countries can fund the UK’s Net Zero ambitions. Watch the full panel discussion on demand here with introductory remarks from our Director of Advocacy and Executive Sponsor for Climate Change, Ben Wilson.

Insights & Analysis

WWF Sustainable Finance MasterClass: Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva

Make My Money Matter: How pension funds can better...

For most of us saving into a pension, we are ‘accidental investors’, meaning that the most passionate climate activist may be investing in fossil fuels.

Watching the wolf: Why the climate emergency threatens us all

Blog based on the opening remarks by Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency at the Association of British Insurers’ Annual Conference, 23 February 2021. 

Climate Change: The Role of Pensions in Driving ESG Investment

Interest in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing has grown significantly in recent years with consumers, driven by Generation X and millennials...

Climate change: insuring a net-zero world and financing the journey...

Ahead of the ABI's Annual Conference 2021, Matthew Francis, KPMG, blogs about the role of the insurance and long-term savings industry in responding to climate change.

Climate Change: Technology’s role in the future of sustainability

The insurance industry has the opportunity to transform how it works and at the same time drive positive outcomes for customers, employees, investors and the planet.

Climate Change: 'We face a critical juncture in the next year’

Insurers are at the vanguard of the response to climate change. As institutional investors, our role in protecting the environment is vital, which we can do through...