China’s first ESG disclosure guide for insurers

"Clear standards" for insurance companies

China’s first ESG disclosure guide for insurers


By Kenneth Araullo

China’s insurance industry has a new Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) voluntary guide.

According to media release from Ping An Insurance Company of China (Ping An), “the Guidance is the first self-regulating document of Mainland China’s insurance industry, focusing on ESG disclosure in the insurance industry.”

The release said the Guidance for Disclosure of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Information for Insurance Institutions was launched at an event hosted by the Insurance Association of China (IAC). According to its website, the IAC describes itself as a social and “national self-regulatory” organisation.

The release said Ping An was represented at the launch by Richard Sheng (pictured above), the firm’s secretary of the board of directors.

The Guidance, said the release, was Initiated by the IAC and developed with contributions from leading insurers including Ping An. The document took 18 months to complete.

This initiative follows Ping An's involvement in the Guidance for Enterprise ESG Disclosure by the China Enterprise Reform and Development Society (CERDS). The release said this marks its second significant contribution to enhancing ESG risk management and corporate governance standards in the China insurance sector.

“Clear standards” for insurance companies

The Guidance, said the release, sets “clear standards” for insurance companies to disclose ESG information, encompassing 23 Tier 1 and 49 Tier 2 indicators. It aligns with international ESG disclosure standards such as those of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Additionally, the release said the Guide incorporates elements “unique” to China and the insurance industry, including rural revitalisation, insurance agent management, sustainable insurance products and green investment of insurance funds. Ping An's CN-ESG scoring system also supports this framework, said the release, offering guidance for what it described as “high-quality information disclosure.”

“Stabiliser” and “ballast”

Sheng emphasised China's role as an active participant in global sustainable development, highlighting the implementation of ESG concepts as a key strategy for the high-quality development of financial institutions.

In the release he pointed out that the Guidance is instrumental in enhancing ESG management and disclosure quality in the insurance industry, reinforcing the sector's role as a societal “stabiliser” and economic “ballast”.

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