"As an insurer we have always taken a long-term perspective. We are keenly aware of our responsibility and we have now defined very clearly our areas of emphasis in relation to sustainability. In so doing, we support the Paris Agreement on climate change – a worldwide action plan intended to keep the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels", Torsten Leue, Chief Executive Officer of Talanx AG, confirmed.
The company's move to sign up to the PRI is one element of the refined sustainability strategy that also explicitly incorporates insights from the most recent stakeholder survey. It complements the existing investment goals. Since 2017 the Group has subjected virtually 90 percent of its assets under management to ESG (environmental, social and governance) screening for non-sustainable investments.
"Integrating sustainability into investment decisions is also vitally important for the stability and performance of the investment itself. We are absolutely delighted that by signing up to the PRI such a heavyweight market player as the Talanx Group is underscoring its contribution to sustainable development through appropriate investing", Dustin Neuneyer, Head of Germany & Austria, PRI, explained. "Asset owners are the first link in the investment chain and send out corresponding signals through asset management to companies and industry."
As part of the overhaul of its sustainability strategy, Talanx has also established its carbon footprint and set a major milestone: in 2019 the Group will for the first time operate on a carbon-neutral basis in Germany. Avoiding, reducing and offsetting carbon dioxide emissions – that is the three-pronged approach to which the Group has committed itself. Talanx will make offset payments towards climate-friendly projects to achieve a net zero carbon footprint for the organisation's own operations. The total amount for 2019 is a six-digit figure. The goal is to significantly reduce CO2 emissions over the medium and long term.
A further component is the consideration of sustainability criteria in underwriting activities – i.e. in the insurance business. In this respect, Talanx is aiming to become one of the leading insurers of renewable energy sources going forward. In April 2019 Talanx had already defined an underwriting policy for coal-related risks and announced its intention to withdraw from providing insurance protection for coal-based risks by the year 2038. As a general principle, Talanx is no longer prepared to cover any new coal-based risks, with exceptions only being made in limited cases in countries where coal still accounts for a large share of the energy mix.
As an insurer, the Talanx Group manages some EUR 123 billion in customer assets through its asset manager Ampega. The focus here will increasingly be on green bonds and infrastructure investments. Altogether, the Talanx Group has already invested more than EUR 2.2 billion in infrastructure projects and renewable energy sources, including more than EUR 1.3 billion invested directly in renewables (wind and solar). "Our strategic objective is to double these sustainable investments in the coming years to EUR 5 billion", Immo Querner, Chief Financial Officer at Talanx, added.
When it comes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda, which was adopted by 193 Member States and also addresses the business community, Talanx is consciously focusing on seven goals: quality education, gender equality, clean energy, decent work and economic growth, innovation and infrastructure, responsible consumption and climate action. The Group is already involved in numerous initiatives and projects and it plans to expand and add to these activities in the next few years. Transparency about the Talanx Group's wide range of sustainability efforts is assured through its sustainability report, which has been published annually since 2016.
Background information on the PRI:
By signing up to the PRI, the Talanx Group is committing to the following six principles:
1. "We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
2. We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
3. We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
4. We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
5. We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles
6. We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles."
This news release contains forward-looking statements which are based on certain assumptions, expectations and opinions of the Talanx AG management. These statements are, therefore, subject to certain known or unknown risks and uncertainties. A variety of factors, many of which are beyond Talanx AG’s control, affect Talanx AG’s business activities, business strategy, results, performance and achievements. Should one or more of these factors or risks or uncertainties materialise, actual results, performance or achievements of Talanx AG may vary materially from those expressed or implied in the relevant forward-looking statement. Talanx AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor does Talanx AG accept any responsibility for the actual occurrence of the forecasted developments. Talanx AG neither intends, nor assumes any obligation, to update or revise these forward-looking statements in light of developments which differ from those anticipated.