UNIQA is taking effective measures for the gradual elimination of carbon-based business models
As an insurance company, UNIQA is not immune to climate change. We are taking responsibility and making a valuable contribution to a low-carbon future. For this reason, in 2018 UNIQA became the first Austrian insurance group to announce the gradual elimination of carbon-based transactions.
For details, see the “Statement on Decarbonisation”. This voluntary commitment is set forth in the “UNIQA Policy for Responsible Investments” and the “UNIQA Underwriting Policy”.
To date, the following actions have already been taken:
No investments in carbon: As of the end of January 2019, all investments in carbon-based companies have been sold.
No new carbon business as an insurer: As of early 2019, UNIQA does not generate new business with companies from the coal industry.
Moreover, UNIQA has committed – under certain conditions – to proactive, supportive services for existing clients from the coal industry to help them transform their business models until at least 2025. However, this requires the creation and enactment of a plausible transformation plan and a focus on sustainability criteria.
UNIQA is the first insurer with ÖGUT-certified investments
UNIQA is a relevant stakeholder on the capital market. We use our investments to support the chosen companies and their business models. While sustainability criteria alone are no substitute for tried-and-true, classic investment management, they are a beneficial addition. Thus, we do not feel that taking social and environmental criteria into account for investment decisions is a means of moral “extra credit”. Rather, we firmly believe that sustainable capital investments are also financially successful for the long term.
In 2018, the “UNIQA Policy for Responsible Investments” was adopted and we began to phase out investments in carbon at the same time. The investment portfolio had no more carbon-based investments as of late January 2019. UNIQA is also the first insurer in Austria to receive the bronze ÖGUT sustainability certificate for its investments.
No new business with carbon
As of the start of 2019, UNIQA is no longer accepting any new property insurance business with the coal industry. Current insurance policies for coal-fired power plants and companies that generate power from various sources – such as coal, other fossil fuels, and renewable energies – can remain in effect until at least 2025. However, continuation of insurance has certain conditions, such as the development and enactment of plausible transformation plans and a focus on sustainability criteria.
We do not feel our role is limited to that of insurer in this phase. UNIQA will assist and guide its clients in transforming their carbon-based business models in a proactive manner. With a clear timeline and reasonable progress in the transformation process, the “insurability” of our clients from the coal industry would generally be possible for the remaining period of transformation.