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Sampo plc has initiated a project that aims to create group-level principles and more detailed company-specific guidelines on how to integrate ESG matters into insurance underwriting and product development in a more structured manner. In the first stage of the project, the company-level guidelines of the Group’s non-life insurance operations have been in focus.
If has integrated the principles of the UN Global Compact directly into its underwriting standards.
In 2021, If adopted an internal framework for ESG in underwriting. The framework is based on the UN Global Compact, an international initiative focusing on ten sustainable business principles covering the areas of human rights, labor rights, environment, and anti-corruption.
If expects its clients to comply with the Global Compact, even if they are not corporate members of the initiative themselves. The principles of the Global Compact have been integrated into If’s existing customer due diligence process for corporate clients.
To assess whether corporate clients are respecting the Global Compact, If uses research from an external service provider. If has also established internal ESG assessment teams, which will make decisions based on the external service provider’s research and grading.
If a breach of the Global Compact principles is detected, the corporate client in question will be notified. If’s role is then to support the client to develop and improve their operations. If the client company does not want to or is not able to improve its practices, the client relationship can be terminated.
If’s initial focus is with the company’s large corporate clients, but the new assessment also applies to smaller company clients.
Relevant If employees have received training on the principles of the Global Compact, norm-based research, and the company’s new ESG framework.
ESG Framework for Underwriting, If
The implementation of the Global Compact principles into underwriting standards is one of the steps If has taken to implement sustainability into its business operations.
If has been part of the Global Compact since 2019, when the parent company Sampo plc joined the initiative. The Global Compact is also the basis for Sampo Group’s Code of Conduct and If’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
Topdanmark has integrated the principles of the UN Global Compact into its underwriting due diligence process for corporate customers in 2021. In addition, Topdanmark excludes the same sectors in its underwriting as in its investment activities, i.e., the production of thermal coal, fuel based on tar sands, controversial weapons, and smoking tobacco.
Topdanmark will continue to develop the sustainable underwriting practices in 2022 by introducing screening of corporate and agricultural clients for compliance with the UN Global Compact principles. The screening is based on publicly available information. A process for assessing the screening results and for escalation in case of a verified violation against of more of the principles will also be implemented in 2022. If a violation is detected, Topdanmark will initiate a dialogue with the client and help them rectify the situation. Initially, the screening will concern existing customers, but Topdanmark will also investigate the possibility of screening in connection with sales and renewals.