Allianz wants to 'lead by example' with new net-zero targets

Allianz has said it wants to "lead by example" after announcing ambitious new targets to make its investment and underwriting portfolios net zero

Insurance giant Allianz plans to reach net-zero emissions in its investment and P&C underwriting portfolios by 2050, the company has announced.

As part of the commitment – the first of its kind that Allianz has made – the insurance company will increasingly target renewable and low-carbon energy, technologies that assist with the green transition, and sustainable mobility. Indeed, it will invest “an additional €20bn” in climate-tech and cleantech solutions as part of an effort to "lead by example" on sustainability.

It will be accompanied by a commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions within its own operations by the end of this decade, including a proposed 40% reduction in the impact of its retail motor insurance portfolio in nine major European markets including Germany, France, the UK and Spain.

The objectives will be cautiously welcomed by environmental campaigners who had been concerned by Allianz’s withdrawal from the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance earlier this year, and worried about what it meant for Allianz’s commitment to ESG. It joined other insurers such as AXA and Zurich in abandoning the UN-convened coalition, which had been accused by US lawmakers of representing an antitrust violation.

Increased support for hydrogen power plants

Allianz already insures photovoltaic and wind farms, but it will now seek to increase its coverage for emerging hydrogen technologies. It wants to achieve a targeted reduction in emission intensity of 45% across multiple lines of its corporate insurance business, consisting of large customers that already report their emissions.

Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer of Allianz, says: “With extreme weather events, this summer has reinforced the urgency to act on climate change. Governments, businesses and individuals must work together to build resilience and limit global warming to 1.5°C.

“Therefore, at Allianz, we are committed to delivering on our own net-zero targets, as well as partnering with our clients and investee companies in their transition. We believe our intermediate targets will help us realise our growth potential and contribute to a healthier, more secure future for everyone.”

Günther Thallinger, board chairman for sustainability and investment management, adds: “We are setting tangible targets to build transparency and trust. Our comprehensive transition plan underpins our commitment to changing our own business and to encourage as well as support our customers and partners in their transition journeys. We are taking the necessary steps towards the full decarbonization of our insurance and investment portfolios by 2050.”


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