Sustainability strategy and ESG integration
We carefully address those conditions that we consider conducive to a better life. To do this, we enter into dialogue with stakeholders, experts and the public, share our own approaches and play an active role. Sustainability is therefore a key part of how we act. Thanks to our clear position on this matter, we can encourage understanding and support from all our stakeholders, namely employees, customers, investors and the public.
Our sustainability strategy is designed to be holistic. It ties our economic ambitions to a clear environmental and social commitment to protecting the environment and social responsibility.
UNIQA’s success is built on the fact that we understand how the world is changing and how we need to be able to respond to this. Our last sustainability analysis took place in 2021 and identified those ESG issues deemed by our stakeholders and our business to be the most important. We also conducted a new stakeholder identification process, including the associated weighting. We defined four stakeholder groups who are directly affected by our business activities, namely customers, employees, investors and the public.
The materiality analysis forms the basis for our sustainability approach, sustainability strategy and our reporting. The four most important material topics from a stakeholder perspective in 2021 were cyberrisk, digital service and customer focus, advice and prevention for natural disasters as well as training and education of employees.
The five most important topics from UNIQA’s perspective were the health and safety of employees, data security and processing, training and education, commitment to the environment as well as diversity and equal opportunity.
More in-depth information on the process and the results from the materiality analysis can be found in the 2022 Sustainability Report (section 2).
Our sustainability strategy was approved in October 2020 and is based on five pillars in addition to our “People and culture” base:
- ESG investment policy
- ESG product policy
- Sustainable operational management
- Transparent reporting
- Stakeholder management
Our fundamental objective in 2022 was to put this sustainability strategy into operation and embed it within the company by using milestone schedules. Our operational focus is on pillars 1 to 3, supported by transparent reporting (pillar 4) and stakeholder engagement (pillar 5). There is also particular focus on our climate strategy, which we pursue in accordance with recognised regulations (SBTi – Science Based Targets Initiative) and as part of the memberships we have joined (NZAOA, GFA).
Accession to the Green Finance Alliance (GFA)
UNIQA has been a member of the Green Finance Alliance (GFA) since April 2022. This is an initiative implemented by the Ministry for Climate Action for forward-thinking financial companies. Members of the Green Finance Alliance play a leading role in protecting the climate and demonstrate how protecting the climate and sustainable management are compatible. Their specific ambitions include, among others, clear exclusion criteria and phased exit strategies for investments and insurance business related to coal, oil and gas-based value chains. The specific pursuit of the 1.5 degrees Celsius target set under the Paris Agreement is also aligned with established rules for determining the initial carbon footprint (PCAF) and identifying and pursuing science-based CO2 reduction targets and interim targets (SBTi). In order to put this into practice, we set up corresponding projects in the area of investments and operational management at the end of 2022. With regard to the property insurance business, corresponding regulations on (indirect) insurance-related emissions were published for the first time in 2022, with internal project planning also undertaken for this purpose.
Our key body for sustainability agendas is the Group ESG Committee, which was formed in 2021. It consists of members of the Management Board of UNIQA Insurance Group AG and heads of key departments, meets on a quarterly basis and provides the Management Board with recommendations to help them make decisions on ESG matters. The Committee is responsible for integrating and enhancing ESG factors in insurance, investment and asset management activities, along with the strategic definition and continuous development of ESG-related ambitions for the entire UNIQA Group. Its tasks also include drafting and introducing appropriate guidelines.
Other responsibilities include supervising the implementation of the Group-wide climate strategy and environmental management, as well as supporting the implementation of strategic initiatives and projects in the subsidiaries.
The Sustainability Management team is part of the Sustainability, Ethics and Public Affairs division, which was newly created in early 2020. It is responsible for operationally managing the integration of ESG factors into the UNIQA Group’s core business segments. Proposals regarding ESG integration within the company are drawn up and discussed in ESG working groups, which bring together ESG specialists and/or representatives of various operational units and departments.