IUA focuses on sustainability with new ESG committee

A new group for the London company market focusing on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues has been established by the International Underwriting Association. 

Its primary interest will be in helping to promote sustainability initiatives across the insurance industry and exploring the ‘soft power’ of insurers to influence the behaviours of clients.

The committee is made up of representatives from 20 of the association’s member companies, and recently hosted its first meeting. 

The IUA already operates a Climate Risk Committee which helps companies consider the industry’s environmental impact and adapt to new regulations aimed at combating climate change. Its new ESG Committee will expand on this work and consider the London company market’s contribution to sustainability more generally.

Dave Matcham. (above) CEO of the IUA, said: “Climate risk has been a board-level priority for IUA members for some time now. Indeed, it was identified as the top challenge facing London Market companies in our member survey at the end of last year.

“More recently, however, attention has been widening, as a growing number of firms are creating new roles within their organisations to address questions of sustainability and social responsibility. The IUA’s new committee aims to bring together individuals with such functions to create a community that will share best practices and boost our sector’s ESG contributions.”

Among the issues discussed at the IUA committee’s first meeting were efforts to end modern slavery and forced labour and initiatives to measure ESG commitments in the insurance sector. 

The group, which is open to all IUA members, also agreed to research the activities of other bodies pursuing similar aims in order to maximise cooperation.