Japan insurers, banks announce joint venture for ESG initiatives

A beta version of the platform is launching in fall of 2023

Japan insurers, banks announce joint venture for ESG initiatives


By Kenneth Araullo

Several leading Japan insurers and banks have teamed up to announce a memorandum of understanding on joint studies of business initiatives towards the development of sustainable finance, as well as furthering the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) framework.

Tentatively named the Sustainable Finance Platform, the venture is backed by MS&AD Insurance Group (Aioi Nissay Dowa and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance), Sompo Japan, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire, Nippon Life, Hitachi, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, and MUFG Bank. This digital platform enables a seamless connection between an investment institution and a listed company looking for investments, as well as facilitation of mutual understanding and disclosure of ESG-related information.

In a news release, the collaboration said that they will seek a wide range of user companies and will provide a beta version of the platform sometime in fall of this year. The beta will work to verify the platform’s usefulness and strengthen its various functions for the formal launch sometime in the future.

The beta version will allow listed companies to confirm the items and background of ESG information disclosure directly and integrally, allowing them to understand what is valued by investment institutions in advance so that businesses can determine internal disclosure policies in an effective manner.

ESG investment reached US$35.3 trillion in 2020

According to the report, even though ESG-related investments reached US$35.3 trillion in 2020, common public standards for global information disclosure and evaluation methods for ESG-related non-financial information for investment decisions have not yet been developed.

With this initiative, the Sustainable Finance Platform group hopes to promote effective and efficient communication among investors, issuers, and other stakeholders, both in Japan and overseas, as well as further expand ESG investment and the market.

The group is set to establish a general incorporated association later in the summer for the provision of the beta version services.

In other Japanese insurance developments, Sompo International has announced the appointment of Risa Ryan as chief underwriting officer, a newly created position at the firm.

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