Generali announces climate change strategy, divesting €2bn from coal

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Generali Group, the Italian owned multinational company, yesterday approved a radical new strategy on climate change.

Investments in “green” sectors will be increased by €3.5bn, mainly through green bonds and green infrastructures.

Generali Group has for several years been actively adjusting its business, making it increasingly sustainable, consistent with the commitment of the community in tackling the most significant global challenges, beginning with those related to climate change. The strategy approved today, which will be followed by specific policies, is in line with the principles of the Global Compact, in which Generali has participated for several years, and with the Paris Pledge for Action defined as part of COP 21, which Generali joined in 2015.

The strategy includes actions in investments and underwriting, which represent the Group’s core activities.
With regard to investments, Generali, as asset owner (general account investment), will increase its exposure to green businesses and gradually divest from coal-related companies. For underwriting, the range of products with environmental value will increase, maintaining a minimum level of exposure in the coal sector.

For premiums related to non-Life products, Generali commits to developing the following actions:

Growth in green insurance: The percentage of the premium portfolio related to the renewable energy sector will be increased. The offer of products with environmental value (e.g., sustainable mobility and energy efficiency) for the retail market and SMEs will be increased.

Positioning in coal-related activities: Generali’s current exposure to coal-related activities is minimal in relation to total non-Life premiums and primarily refers to countries in which the economy and employment depend heavily on the coal sector. The Group will continue its policy of minimal insurance exposure.

Group CEO Philippe Donnet stated: “Protecting the environment and adopting effective actions to tackle climate change are central issues for Assicurazioni Generali. With this action plan, which follows a series of initiatives undertaken in the last several years, the Company strengthens its leadership position as a responsible business, to contribute to a healthy, resilient, and sustainable society.”

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.