Fidelis extends ESG underwriting guidelines

Fidelis is implementing extended ESG underwriting guidelines, with four umbrella groups (environmental, human and labour rights, animal welfare, rule of law) and six industry-specific guidelines (defence and armaments, forestry and agriculture, mining, coal, oil and gas, nuclear).

The new guidelines will initially apply to insurance business, with an approach being explored for treaty reinsurance.

Fidelis will further refine its approach in 2023 in line with the NZIA commitments, which require the setting of intermediate decarbonisation targets within six months of the publication of the NZIA target-setting protocol (expected in January 2023).

Richard Brindle, chairman and group chief executive officer, said: “The insurance industry has a hugely important role to play in holding companies to account and making change happen – but nothing changes unless we are prepared to walk away from activities that are harmful to the environment, people, society and animals. We don’t see enough of this yet but we hope that insurers – and brokers – will increasingly engage with their clients to ensure that the insurance industry is not supporting damaging business practices.”

Olivia Brindle, head of sustainability, added: “Fidelis has a strong commitment to doing the right thing, but we also believe that sustainable underwriting is good risk management and that there is a long-term link between ESG and performance. A sustainable policy on fossil fuels is key to meeting decarbonisation commitments as well as mitigating climate risk, so while we do not have all the answers yet, we know we need to start taking action today.”

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