Generali unveils ambitious climate goals

Generali unveils ambitious climate goals | Insurance Business

Generali unveils ambitious climate goals

Generali has updated its strategy for climate protection.

The strategy, which updates and extends the global insurer’s existing plan approved in 2018, commits to significant action related to investment and underwriting activities – the company’s core businesses – and commits to a low-climate-impact future.

“The Generali Group today announced new ambitious targets for climate strategy in line with its commitment and convictions in this specific area and leveraging on the results already achieved,” said Philippe Donnet, Generali Group CEO. “In particular, the €6 billion of new green and sustainable investments made over the last three years have allowed us to exceed our pre-set targets ahead of schedule. We believe that the private sector can play a key role in financially supporting the ‘Just Transition’ for a future with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by assisting public institutions in taking the necessary actions.”

Direct investments

Generali’s new goals include:

  • €8.5 billion to €9.5 billion (about $10 billion to $11.25 billion) in new green and sustainable investments between 2021 and 2025. This goal is in line with Generali’s previous target of €4.5 billion between 2019 and 2021, which it surpassed a year early. The group’s investments stood at €6 billion at the end of 2020.
     
  • Increasingly restrictive exclusion criteria for the coal sector, moving toward a gradual but complete divestment in coal activities. The new strategy aims to completely phase out issuers who operate in the thermal coal sector in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries by 2030, and in the rest of the world by 2040.
     
  • Gradual decarbonization of the direct investment portfolio to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. As a 2025 intermediate target, the company intends to decrease carbon emissions for the corporate portfolio by 25% and will align its real estate portfolio to the 1.5°C pathway.

Read more: Generali introduces first sustainability bond

Underwriting

  • Reduction of the minimal current exposure to the thermal coal sector, with a goal to reach zero exposure by 2030 in OECD countries, and by 2038 in the rest of the world.
     
  • Moving ahead with the commitment to no longer insure upstream oil and gas companies. This includes a commitment to no longer underwrite risks associated with the exploration and production of fossil fuel from tar sands and shale deposits or extracted in the Arctic zone, both onshore and offshore.

Stakeholder engagement and advocacy for the “Just Transition”

The company’s goals include:

  • A commitment to engage stakeholders in creating a net-zero-emissions future. Generali said it plans to engage at least 20 carbon-intensive investees in its investment portfolio by 2025 “to drive real world impact.”

Decarbonization of group operations

The company’s goals include:

  • A goal to be climate-negative by 2040, with the intermediate goal of achieving neutrality by 2023.
     
  • Science-based reduction of 25% in greenhouse gas emissions related to offices, data centers, and the company car fleet by 2025, against a 2019 baseline.
     
  • Purchase power from 100% renewable sources when possible, and a further commitment to invest in energy efficiency.