Climate and environment.

STRATEGY

As with all businesses we rely on a range of natural resources to operate our business. We’re acutely aware that the climate impacts how customers live their lives and how investors invest money long term. Our strategy is to build resilience and do more each year with fewer natural resources rather than offset.

As a consumer:
We use natural resources to operate our business and we seek to reduce our impacts, not by simply offsetting, but by applying the precautionary principle. This means significantly reducing the amount of natural resources we consume.

As an insurer:
We need to understand how our customers can be affected positively or negatively by the climate and environmental impacts surrounding them and their properties.

As an investor:
We have an opportunity, through our investment portfolio, to influence the performance of the buildings we own and actively encourage the companies we invest in to improve their environmental performance. Our strategy is to invest, engage and improve, rather than to withhold investment, as we believe that we can positively influence a wider spectrum of stakeholders with this approach, which will have a larger positive net impact.

Understanding the environment and climate risks has enabled us to identify key business risks and opportunities, some of which are shown below:

Relevant business risk

  • The inefficient use of scarce resources.
  • Insurance risk, for example, windstorm, flood and possibly subsidence and freeze risk.
  • The impacts of our investment holdings.
  • Legal compliance costs, for example, ESOS.
  • Continuity of energy supply to operate our businesses.
  • Meeting tenant requirements for cost effective sustainable businesses.

Relevant business opportunity

  • Direct and long term investments, for example, renewable energy generation.
  • Opportunity to positively impact on climate change through engagement with the organisations we invest in.
  • Climate change impacts contribute to the shaping of our investment property portfolio.

GOVERNANCE

Since 2008 we haven’t been subject to any breach of environmental regulations as a result of our business operating.

The Group Environment Committee is responsible for managing the Group’s views on climate change. It’s responsible for managing (and reducing) environmental impacts across the Group. Its scope covers the following areas and targets are set accordingly:

  • UK direct operations and subsidiaries
  • Commercial property portfolio
  • Investment management activities
  • Capital and direct investment strategies

The Sustainable Property Investment Committee provides governance over our sustainability agenda and how it’s driven within the build environment.

Both committees report to the Group Corporate Responsibility and Ethics (GCRE) Committee, which has the following policies:

CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISK

The Group Environment Committee is responsible for the ongoing monitoring of forward looking risks and opportunities that the environment and climate change poses for the Group.

Our material environmental risks and opportunities can be summarised as:

  • The efficient use of scarce resources as a business.
  • The impacts on reputation and risk that our investment holdings have for our clients.
  • The investment opportunities that climate change brings for us and for our customers.
  • The impact of climate change on UK consumers and how they insure themselves (flood risk).
  • Working with tenants in the commercial property portfolio to mitigate climate change risk to increase tenure.

The majority of our environmental risks are legislation is driven through our UK business as that’s where the majority of our business and resource usage takes place. We operate under the Carbon Reduction Commitment.

STAKEHOLDERS

We work with a number of stakeholders to improve our knowledge and understanding of climate change. A number of partners help us with the disclosure of environmental performance:

  • Institutional investors group on climate change (IIGCC).
  • Employees within the Group who have views as consumers.
  • Carbon disclosure project (CDP) and its disclosure of carbon.
  • Climatewise (PDF, 1.49MB) and its support of working together to work with policymakers.
  • Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) to support commercial property developments.

See our latest performance.

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