Biltir backs including ESG in insurance decisions
A re/insurance industry body in Bermuda has backed a United Nations programme that is a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and opportunities.
The Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers said it has become a supporter of the 2012 United Nations’ Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI).
PSI seeks a collaboration between insurers and the UN centred around ESG principles, a new measure of success in the evaluation of corporate behaviour and its positive contribution to society.
Biltir represents 63 long-term insurance, reinsurance and servicing companies in Bermuda that provide life and annuity products and employ more than 600 people on the island.
Biltir chairwoman Sylvia Oliveira said the long-term sector supports ESG initiatives in several ways, such as designing products to reward positive lifestyle changes, helping an ageing population avoid outliving its savings, mitigating the risk of underfunded defined benefit pension schemes, and relocating assets towards renewable energy products.
She added: “Our association is also an ardent advocate and supporter of the power of education to close opportunity gaps. Biltir looks forward to working with UNEP and PSI to play a proactive part in the pursuit of a more sustainable society.”
More than 180 organisations have adopted the four PSI pillars, including insurers representing more than 25 per cent of world premium volume, according to the UN.
“The vision of the PSI Initiative is of a risk aware world, where the insurance industry is trusted and plays its full role in enabling a healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable society,” the PSI website states.
Biltir said the key principle is to embed relevant (ESG principles into insurance decision-making. Supporters also commit to working with clients and business partners to raise awareness of ESG principles when they manage risk and develop insurance solutions.
Another PSI principle is a commitment to working with governments, regulators and other stakeholders to promote action on ESG matters across society, Biltir said.
PSI supporters pledge to demonstrate accountability and transparency in regularly disclosing progress in implementing the principles.
Biltir was created to serve as a formal association representing the long-term insurers and reinsurers in Bermuda.
Its primary focus is to act as an advocate for Bermuda’s life and annuity industry for public policy that supports the industry marketplace, including regulatory requirements, other Bermuda Monetary Authority or Bermuda government issues, and tax matters with various jurisdictions.