More than 90% of insurers have implemented environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in their investment process, with 80% implementing them within the last two years, according to a new survey of the industry by global investment management firm Conning.
The report, ESG – The Companies Speak: Insights from Conning’s ESG Survey of Insurers, provided data and analysis from 280 responses to a survey of US insurance executives and upper management from a wide array of companies. Respondent companies represented all sizes, ownership structures and business focuses, Conning said. The survey explored the influence of forces and stakeholders on companies, and actions companies were taking on the ESG front.
The survey found that insurance management teams reported a significant spike in ESG engagement.
“This suggests that ESG has become a key area that insurers are working to incorporate into their businesses,” said Terence Martin, director of insurance research at Conning. “However, there are key differences between life-annuity and property-casualty companies, and between public stock and mutual-fraternal companies.”
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“This survey indicates that, while the US insurance industry is clearly aware of, and focusing on, ESG, yet at this point, companies are following their own paths to ESG integration,” said Scott Hawkins, head of insurance research at Conning. “This is not surprising given the diversity of the US insurance industry. The one area of exception where there is more consistency across different types of insurers appears to be in investment management.”