In 2015, in its "Unipol for the Climate", the Unipol Group proposed a model for the prevention and management of natural disasters based on public-private cooperation, which adopted mutual insurance mechanisms to manage the growing risks deriving from climate change and to address the significant compensation of damages that will ensue.
With the Sustainability Policy approved by the Board of Directors, the company undertakes to protect the environment and combat climate change which is one of the main risks to which its business activities are exposed.
This commitment has been expressed in the various Group policies in order to set out a position in relation to the main areas of operation:
- insurance products and services: Unipol undertakes to encourage the adoption of sustainable practices (especially the prevention and management of risks linked to climate change) with small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, and to make its skills available to various types of entities to increase the resilience of the country to climatic events. The Group has provided for the decarbonisation of its customer base in its underwriting activities; the underwriting policies for the non-life and life businesses do not include underwriting companies that make a significant portion of their earnings from coal mining or companies that carry out non-standard mining practices;
- investment activities: the Group supports the transition towards a low-carbon economy through responsible investments and engagement with the investee companies that have significant climate impacts. Policies on investment matters call for the prior exclusion from new investments in corporate issuers that obtain 30% or more of their earnings from coal mining or the generation of electricity from thermal coal, and that cannot demonstrate a sufficiently ambitious position in terms of the transition of the business towards a low-carbon economy. In order to obtain climate neutrality in its portfolio, Unipol has planned a periodic reduction in the limit of earnings from thermal coal of the investee corporate issuers that it considers to be admissible, planning to complete the disinvestment from coal by 2030;
- real estate: the Group aims at decarbonising its real estate investment portfolio. In order to achieve this, it will manage its real estate assets, including properties that relate to the core businesses and those that do not relate to the core businesses, by planning and taking actions that continuously improve performance until achievement of high standards of environmental quality.
In line with the previous strategic plans, the risks and opportunities linked to climate change were added to the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan which contains goals linked to the reduction and adaptation to climate changes in relation to the three macro-areas of the Group:
- insurance products and services: the development of innovative techniques to reduce risk are planned (with the innovative protection of the income statement from frequent medium-sized natural events, including through the recourse to the capital market), the development of predictive models for climate risk aimed at companies to increase the resilience of certain sectors and increase the penetration of products with social and environmental value (including those that help tackle climate change) on the insurance portfolio of up to 30% by 2021;
- investment activities: the Plan provides for an increase in the amount of the thematic investments for the Sustainable Development Goals, including those linked to reducing and adapting to climate change (goal of €600m in investments to support the 2030 Agenda in 2021);
- real estate: the three-year plan provides for a 7% reduction by 2021 of the average CO2 production per employee of all Group companies.