Italy-based Generali, one of the largest global insurance and asset management providers, announced today the launch of an updated climate strategy, with new goals and commitments relating to its underwriting and investing activities, and decarbonization targets for its own operations.
In its underwriting activities, Generali has pledged to reach zero thermal coal exposure, with plans to exit the sector by 2030 in OECD countries, and by 2038 in the rest of the world. The company has also committed to no longer insure upstream oil and gas activities, and will not underwrite risks associated with the production of fossil fuels from tar sands, shale deposits, or such extracted in the Arctic zone, either onshore or offshore.
Generali’s underwriting commitments come as insurance companies are coming under increasing pressure to align their businesses with global initiatives to limit climate change. Earlier this month, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged insurance companies to take part in the global transition to a net-zero economy through the introduction of net zero pledges in their underwriting practices, particularly regarding fossil fuels. Recently, insurance giant Allianz announced sustainability guidelines regarding carbon-based businesses, including a new policy of not serving coal companies that do not have credible transition strategies.
In its investing activities Generali is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality in its direct investment portfolio by 2050, and will dispose of investments in the coal sector over time. The company also introduced a new target to allocate €8.5 – €9.5 billion to green and sustainable investments between 2021 and 2025, extending its prior goal of € 4.5 billion between 2019-2021, which the company has already surpassed. Generali has also pledged to engage at least 20 carbon-intensive investees in the Group’s investment portfolio by 2025 to drive real world impact.
In its operations, Generali is targeting climate neutrality by 2023 and becoming climate negative by 2040. The company has also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to its offices, data centers, and company car feet by 25% by 2025, to invest in energy efficiency, and to purchase power from fully renewable sources wherever possible.
Generali Group CEO Philippe Donnet said:
“The Generali Group today announces new ambitious targets for its climate strategy in line with its commitment and convictions in this specific area and leveraging on the results already achieved. 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.”