Investing for climate
Tackling climate change is one of the priorities of our century.
The COP21 in Paris outlined the need for the active involvement of the private sector, and the financial industry in particular, to limit the increase of the global temperature and accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable economic model. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also highlighted the need to limit the increase in the temperature to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial era, in order to avoid catastrophic consequences on the environment and humanity.
For an investor of our size, the best way for us to embrace this challenge is to decarbonize our investment portfolio in line with the suggestions of the scientific community. In answer to this call to action, in 2018 we developed and presented to the market a new Group climate strategy, which set 3 key commitments for our Group investments: a coal exclusion policy, a target of 4,5 bln new Green & Sustainable investments by 2021 and an engagement approach consistent with the Just Transition model.
In the years since, we have been following up on our commitments and developing the next steps of our climate strategy.
In 2020 the Generali Group joined the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, an initiative promoted by the United Nations that asks its signatories to reach zero net emissions related to the investment portfolio by 2050.
In 2021 we have followed up with a renewed and strengthened climate strategy, which builds up on our commitments and introduces ambitious targets:
- Our contribution to financing the sustainable transition: we will invest €8.5-€9.5 bln in green and sustainable bonds by 2025, with year-end 2020 as the baseline. This target is in line with the previous target of €4.5 bln between 2019 and 2021, which was overachieved in advance.
- Stricter coal exclusion threshold & long-term coal phase out plan: exclusion of any new investments and progressive divestment from coal-related businesses in Generali’s portfolio. This will be achieved by applying increasingly restrictive exclusion criteria. The ultimate aim is to fully phase out issuers which operate in the thermal coal sector in OECD countries by 2030 and 2040 in the rest of the world.
- Tar sands exclusion: exclusion of investments in issuers producing unconventional fossil fuels from tar sands.
- Portfolio decarbonization targets for 2025: as member of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, Generali has a commitment to gradually decarbonize our investment portfolio to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. This long term commitment is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit the global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. As an intermediate target for 2025, Generali will decrease in 5 years the carbon emissions for the corporate portfolio (corporate bonds, listed equity) by 25% and will align the real estate portfolio to 1.5° C pathway. The reference period for the calculation of this target will cover year end 2019 to year end 2024.
- Engagement of investee companies to drive real world impact: Generali is committed to creating real world impact through our active ownership activities. By 2025, we will engage 20 carbon-intensive investee companies in our portfolio to encourage a decarbonization pathway aligned with our commitments on Climate. To carry out the engagement, we will leverage also on the collaborative engagement platforms that we are part of (such as Climate Action 100+) to maximise our leverage.
Please see further details in our Technical Note on Climate Change.