ESG – WORKING RESPONSIBLY
WE HAVE A CLEAR COMMITMENT TO EMBED A MORE ESG-DRIVEN MINDSET AND CULTURE ACROSS THE GROUP.
We understand that everything we do has an impact on people and the environment and so it is important that we operate in an ethically, socially and environmentally responsible way.
As part of its continued commitment to embedding Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) across its business, R&Q has recently become a signatory to the UN’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (‘UN PSI’).
Since early 2022, R&Q has taken some important steps to embed the various aspects of ESG across its business. It has consulted with key stakeholders to understand ESG material priorities for the business and has developed its own ESG approach aligned to the UN PSI. The company’s purpose, values and culture were refreshed in 2022 and ‘Acting Responsibility’ is now one of the key five strategic pillars for the business.
The material focus areas of the Group’s ESG strategy were determined through a consultation with a wide group of our stakeholders. The materiality assessment, using the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) materiality mapping as a reference point, involved qualitative and quantitative engagement with the Group’s key stakeholders.
We have prioritised ten material issues, which are set out below, all of which will be addressed by the Group over time. We will regularly re-evaluate the material issues to ensure that they reflect the areas of highest priority to our stakeholders and that they are aligned with the Principles for Sustainable Insurance.
Developing our purpose and values
As we look to embed ESG across our business, it is our intention to ensure that the Group’s Purpose, Values and Culture support both our business strategy and the ESG priorities we have identified. We are currently engaging with and listening to our people throughout the organisation to make sure that there is a sense of ownership and accountability as regards the Purpose and Values we develop together for the business.
We have established an ESG Working Committee, comprising senior members from our legacy and program insurance businesses; investments; risk; compliance & regulatory; company secretariat; and people. This Committee reports in directly to the Group Chief Executive Officer who is directly accountable to the Board for ESG and reports on progress in implementing the strategy at each quarterly Board meeting.
The Group is currently updating its ESG-related policies and reviewing its risk register to ensure all relevant risks have been appropriately assessed.
Our top 10 ESG priorities
- GHG Emissions Reduction
- Net-Zero Strategy Implications
- Physical Impacts of Climate Change
- Employee Engagement
- Purpose & Culture
- Employee Wellbeing
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Business Ethics & Governance
- Transparency & Stakeholder Engagement
- Systemic Risk Management
Sustainability is a key strategic driver for R&Q and we are aiming to ensure that our business and the decisions and actions we take benefit our customers, our people, our partners and the wider society and environment. We are pleased to have taken the decision to join the UN PSI as a signatory and look forward to working collaboratively to tackle new challenges and to contribute to providing solutions in building a better future.
Group Chief Executive Officer and ESG Board sponsor
Minimising our environmental impacts
Although the direct environmental impacts of our business may not be considered significant, we will be looking to improve our performance across all areas. We will also be taking steps to ensure that environmental considerations are taken into account in terms of the products and services we offer. As a business focused on the assessment of risk, it will also be important that we gain greater insight into the associated risks and opportunities of climate change on our business.
For the first time, we have collected data and reported on some aspects of our environmental emissions. As we continue to get better visibility of our carbon footprint, we will be in a better position to make improvements to our reporting and to set targets.
While we are sometimes limited in what we can do to manage our office emissions, we are taking steps to encourage responsible behaviours and to minimise our environmental impacts, where possible.
Using the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, we are starting to gain a better understanding of the possible risks and opportunities of climate change on our business and, where appropriate, take the necessary steps to refine our business model and integrate potential risks into our risk management process. More information on this is disclosed in our Annual Report 2022.
Looking after Our People
One of the five pillars of our Five-Year Strategy is to engage employees by fostering a spirit of entrepreneurialism and accountability while also increasing transparency.
We are committed to engaging our people in such a way to build a culture that is strong and diverse and aligned to the Lloyd’s Culture Dashboard and to chart progress against recommended targets around inclusivity and other signifiers of positive corporate culture.
As a part of our efforts to engage our people during COVID-19, we have considered employee preferences around ‘The Future of Work.’ We’ve introduced working approaches in our different geographies that are focused on providing a more flexible work environment, while ensuring we remain attuned to the commercial practices in the respective financial communities where we operate.
Building Community Partnerships
As well as continuing to support and encourage employee volunteering and charitable giving, we will continue to invest in partnerships where we can deliver environmental or social impact, which are relevant to our business.
We have entered into a partnership with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Studies (BIOS) to support them as they tackle important local and international environmental issues. Being registered in Bermuda, we wanted to initially direct our efforts at supporting a community and a country, which is at the forefront of experiencing and combatting the effects of global climate change. As part of our partnership with BIOS, we are co-funding an educational research programme for local and international students focused on protecting Bermuda’s coastline and seabed.
“We are proud to be partnering with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Studies, which provides student research opportunities; assesses the risks and opportunities associated with climate change; and encourages participation across the local community and our own employees.”
Engaging our stakeholders
We engage regularly with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders around key milestones and on a more ad hoc basis. It is our intention to adopt a more structured approach to identifying and managing our stakeholder relationships. This will be a critical step in ensuring that stakeholder interests are considered and embedded within our decision-making.