The Principles

The UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities.

Endorsed by the UN Secretary General and launched in 2012, the four Principles are based on the insurance industry’s core business to understand, manage and carry risk. The Principles are part of the insurance industry criteria of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and FTSE4Good.

The vision of the PSI Initiative is of a risk aware world, where the insurance industry is trusted and plays its full role in enabling a healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable society. The purpose of the PSI Initiative is to better understand, prevent and reduce environmental, social and governance risks, and better manage opportunities to provide quality and reliable risk protection.

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Company strategy
  • Establish a company strategy at the Board and executive management levels to identify, assess, manage and monitor ESG issues in business operations
  • Dialogue with company owners on the relevance of ESG issues to company strategy
  • Integrate ESG issues into recruitment, training and employee engagement programmes
Risk management and underwriting
  • Establish processes to identify and assess ESG issues inherent in the portfolio and be aware of potential ESG-related consequences of the company’s transactions
  • Integrate ESG issues into risk management, underwriting and capital adequacy decision‑making processes, including research, models, analytics, tools and metrics
Product and service development
  • Develop products and services which reduce risk, have a positive impact on ESG issues and encourage better risk management
  • Develop or support literacy programmes on risk, insurance and ESG issues
Claims management
  • Respond to clients quickly, fairly, sensitively and transparently at all times and make sure claims processes are clearly explained and understood
  • Integrate ESG issues into repairs, replacements and other claims services
Sales and marketing
  • Educate sales and marketing staff on ESG issues relevant to products and services and integrate key messages responsibly into strategies and campaigns
  • Make sure product and service coverage, benefits and costs are relevant and clearly explained and understood
Investment management
  • Integrate ESG issues into investment decision-making and ownership practices (e.g. by implementing the Principles for Responsible Investment)

Clients and suppliers
  • Dialogue with clients and suppliers on the benefits of managing ESG issues and the company’s expectations and requirements on ESG issues
  • Provide clients and suppliers with information and tools that may help them manage ESG issues
  • Integrate ESG issues into tender and selection processes for suppliers
  • Encourage clients and suppliers to disclose ESG issues and to use relevant disclosure or reporting framework
Insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries
  • Promote the adoption of the Principles
  • Support the inclusion of ESG issues in professional education and ethical standards in the insurance industry

Governments, regulators and other policymakers
  • Support prudential policy, regulatory and legal frameworks that enable risk reduction, innovation and better management of ESG issues
  • Dialogue with governments and regulators to develop integrated risk management approaches and risk transfer solutions
Other key stakeholders
  • Dialogue with intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations to support sustainable development by providing risk management and risk transfer expertise
  • Dialogue with business and industry associations to better understand and manage ESG issues across industries and geographies
  • Dialogue with academia and the scientific community to foster research and educational programmes on ESG issues in the context of the insurance business
  • Dialogue with media to promote public awareness of ESG issues and good risk management

  • Assess, measure and monitor the company’s progress in managing ESG issues and proactively and regularly disclose this information publicly
  • Participate in relevant disclosure or reporting frameworks
  • Dialogue with clients, regulators, rating agencies and other stakeholders to gain mutual understanding on the value of disclosure through the Principles