The UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance today welcomed the French and Swiss insurance associations as supporting partners.

The Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) said in a statement that the long-term orientation of their members’ business models makes it virtually incumbent on insurers to help drive forward sustainability. In their investment policy in particular, the SIA’s member companies have a great interest in ensuring that their investments are attractive over the long term.

The Association’s deputy director, Urs Arbter, said: “The SIA is committed to the insurance industry’s sustainable development. This makes the SIA’s involvement in the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, initiated by the UN, a logical step.”

“It is impossible to do business sustainably without innovation. Sustainability goals will not be reached through prohibitions alone,” he added.

Florence Lustman, President of the Fédération Française de l’Assurance (FFA), said “The FFA’s membership of the PRI and the [Alliance] marks a new stage in the insurance sector’s commitment to sustainable finance in the fight against global warming.”

“It confirms the path followed by insurers to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into their investment strategies and decisions. I am delighted that the FFA can contribute to such initiatives.”

By becoming a supporting partner of the Alliance, the FFA undertakes first of all to encourage its members to join, but also to support them in this process. It will provide them with a methodological support framework through the Alliance’s dedicated working groups, networking with Alliance members and staff, and the use of existing documentary resources. The FFA will support members in explaining and summarizing this approach towards the carbon neutrality of their investment portfolio by 2050.

The SIA said it has made a commitment to provide regular and transparent reports on the implementation of its sustainability efforts. This takes the form of the Swiss insurance industry’s sustainability report, which was published for the second time this year.

The SIA represents the interests of the private insurance industry at the national and international level. The association comprises around 70 primary insurers and reinsurers employing a workforce of 47,000 people in Switzerland. Overall, the member companies of the SIA account for about 85 per cent of insurance premiums generated in the Swiss market.

The FFA together 260 insurance and reinsurance companies representing 99% of the market. Its mission is to represent the industry’s interests vis-à-vis the  public  authorities  and  various  partners,  in France and abroad.