Insurance brokers ‘lack resource’ for net-zero

Research published today suggests that a large number of insurance brokers don’t have the resource or knowledge to tackle the climate crisis by setting carbon reduction targets. And some have no interest at all in net-zero.

This is among the findings of a study carried out by FWD for Ecclesiastical, whose interviews with 251 brokers from across the UK found that just one in five has set a net-zero target. This increases to two in five among national brokers, but falls to 5% among regional brokers.

The research, carried out between January and February 2022, found the main barrier to setting net-zero targets to be resource; this was the case for 62% of respondents. Further barriers included a lack of knowledge in how to measure climate impact (29%) and in not knowing how to reduce it (23%).

One in five said their company had “no interest in being net-zero”. But over three quarters (77%) of brokers interviewed believe reducing their company’s climate impact is "the right thing to do".

The main steps brokers are taking to reduce their climate impact are minimising business travel (41%), reducing energy consumption in the office (37%) and increasing awareness amongst employees (23%). Switching to sustainable suppliers (16%) and going paperless (12%) are also popular approaches.

Of those surveyed, 17% agree their clients are more likely to do business with insurers committed to reducing their climate impact. However only one in 10 (11%) think clients are more likely to do business with brokers committed to reducing their climate impact.

Adrian Saunders, commercial director at Ecclesiastical, said: “It’s encouraging to hear the majority of brokers believe reducing their company’s climate impact is the right thing to do for the environment.

“However while some are taking practical steps to reduce their environmental impact, the reality is that brokers don’t have the resource or knowledge right now to build meaningful plans to reduce their carbon emissions. Brokers are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, both on themselves and their clients, and achieving net-zero is another big challenge for them. The research tells us brokers are calling out for support to understand how they can reduce their carbon emissions and that’s why we’re running broker training sessions to help them.”

Benefact Group, which owns Ecclesiastical, recently announced its carbon reduction commitments to reach net-zero by 2040.

The UK government has committed to a target of net-zero emissions across all industries by 2050.

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