Note on the climate change strategy
On 21 February 2018 the Assicurazioni Generali Board of Directors approved the climate change and sustainable business strategy in line with the principles of the Global Compact, to which Generali has adhered for some time, and the Paris Pledge for Action defined as part of the COP 21, placing the Group at the cutting edge of the insurance market.
The strategy involves actions in the area of investments and underwriting, the Group’s core activities. In terms of investments, Generali will increase its exposure to “green” activities and gradually divest from companies connected with coal. As for underwriting, the company will expand its range of environmentally-friendly products, maintaining its already minimum level of exposure to the coal industry mainly in countries where the economy and employment is greatly dependent on this fossil fuel.
More specifically, as regards investments Generali will make €3.5 billion of green investments (in infrastructure and green bonds) by 2020 and will not make any new investments in companies connected with the coal industry. With regard to its current exposure to the coal sector, equal to around €2 billion, it will dispose of its equity investments in 6 – 12 months and eliminate its bond investments by bringing them to maturity or considering the possibility of divesting them before maturity.
In terms of underwriting, with regard to the premiums connected with non-life products Generali will develop green insurance solutions and will increase the quota of the premium portfolio relative to the renewable energies sector. The range of ‘green’ products will be expanded (e.g. sustainable mobility and energy efficiency) for the retail market and SMEs.
As for its exposure in countries where the economy and employment is highly dependent on coal and there are no short-term alternatives, Generali’s strategy is focused on accelerating the transition, a gradual and shared transition to a low environmental impact society, and on the involvement of customers and stakeholders. More specifically, this involves monitoring their environmental impact reduction plans, their strategy for transitioning to low environmental impact activities and their measures for protecting the community and the public.
In any event the Group’s exposure in this area is limited: compared with all non-life products premiums the exposure amounts to around 0.1% while for investments it comes to 0.02% of the total assets managed by the Group. Moreover, it is Generali’s presence in these countries which may enable it to do more to help the transition.
More specifically, in Poland, the tenth biggest consumer of coal in the world and the second biggest in Europe with 92% of its electricity and 89% of its heating generated using coal, the reduction could realistically take many years. Generali has therefore opted to take a pragmatic approach, promoting and encouraging a series of projects for the adjustment of energy plants, some of which will be covered by coinsurance, and the modernisation of the plants.
Generali is now implementing its strategy in all of its areas of activity and will periodically provide detailed updates.