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"Actively embracing transformation" - Third GDV Sustainability Report

GDV is organising its TransVer Day for the third time. The Association's new Sustainability Report shows: The sector has actively embraced the transformation.

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The insurance industry is now implementing sustainability strategies across the board. "With the presentation of our third Sustainability Report, we see a sector that has actively embraced the transformation", said GDV Chief Executive Officer Jörg Asmussen. "The commitment of our members is impressive. We see strong signals that we are achieving the goals of our sustainability positioning."

The Association's sustainability positioning, which was updated at the beginning of 2023, defines the contribution of insurers to the Paris climate goals and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With its new, now published Sustainability Report, GDV is taking stock of its sustainability efforts for the third time.

Sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in practice

The topic of sustainability is now playing an increasingly important role in the day-to-day business of insurance companies. "In property and casualty insurance, for example, 81 percent of companies now make sure that claims settlement after a car accident is sustainable and that a repair has priority over a new purchase", says Asmussen.

The GDV Sustainability Report lists numerous other practical examples:

  1. 74 percent (previous year: 69 percent) of companies offer insurance cover for innovations that support transformation. Examples include the generation of energy from hydrogen, the development of battery storage systems and the construction of large offshore wind farms. In this way, they are making innovations market-ready and safer.
  2. Half of insurers (49 percent) are in dialog with the insurance industry to pay greater attention to ecological and social issues and to strengthen responsible corporate governance.
  3. 46 percent of insurers pay attention to ESG criteria when assuming risks (previous year: 33 percent). Ecological and social aspects play an equally important role.
  4. In property and casualty insurance, 81 percent of companies take sustainability criteria into account when settling claims, particularly concepts such as "repair instead of buy new" (71 percent, previous year: 66 percent) or "build back better" (43 percent, previous year: 26 percent), i.e. the use of more sustainable solutions following damage. 43 percent rely on service providers with sustainability concepts to repair damage (previous year: 27 percent). 
  5. The proportion of investments managed according to ESG criteria rose to 90 percent (previous year: 88 percent). 90 percent are aiming to make their investments climate-neutral, and 70 percent have already set specific targets for this purpose.
  6. The CO2 footprint for investments is currently 79 tons per million euros invested. The increase over the previous year (71 tons) is due to the renewed rise in emissions following the coronavirus pandemic in conjunction with a time lag in data collection and improved data availability.
  7. In the companies’ own business processes, 55 percent have already achieved the net zero target for direct emissions (Scope 1 and 2). Scope 3 emissions were also calculated for the first time. However, the database is still thin.

Companies are therefore on the right track overall. With a view to the goal of focusing more on the protection of nature and biodiversity in the future, Asmussen said: "We are still in the early stages of protecting biodiversity. We need to develop methods and tools to make this goal practicable for us insurers.“

TransVer Prize for the Hamburg educational program CREACTIV

"TransVer Day" stands for transformation and insurance (German: Versicherung). This year's event will take place at Haus Ungarn near Berlin's Alexanderplatz and is the central space for dialogue between the insurance sector and representatives from the political and business worlds and non-governmental organisations. Its motto is "Knowledge creates sustainability".

The highlight is the presentation of the TransVer Sustainability Award to the CREACTIV project for climate justice. Through artistic activities and exchanges with young artists from the global South, CREACTIV aims to motivate young people to address the consequences of climate change and develop their own sustainable solutions for their immediate environment. The long-term vision of the project is to permanently integrate education for sustainable development into everyday school life, lessons and curricula. "The CREACTIV project shows in an exemplary way how knowledge creates sustainability: through facts, emotions and direct suggestions for action", Asmussen said. 

New communication series "Insurers for Tomorrow" underlines transformation goals

TransVer Day also marks the start of a new GDV communication series, taking a look at the member companies' specific initiatives for sustainable transformation. Under the name "Insurers for Tomorrow", a platform is being created that shows in concrete terms how sustainable transformation processes are planned and implemented in insurance companies. The case studies are told by the committed employees behind the individual projects. They show how motivated the insurance industry is to drive the transformation forward. The contents can be found on the GDV homepage and distributed via social media channels. New stories are added every month to demonstrate the diversity of sustainability efforts.


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