The sustainable purpose of insurance

By GABRIELE GALATERI DI GENOLA, Chairman, Generali Group


The Commission’s work programme on fighting climate change should resume, in parallel to the necessary crisis contingency measures that continue to be adopted in addressing the impacts of Covid-19.

We believe it is particularly important to continue to flesh out the European Green Deal. Generali believes that sustainability is not only an ethical obligation but also a necessary strategic way to approach business.


 At Generali we think that, as an insurer, we should “Enable people to shape a safer future by caring for their lives and dreams”.

It is no longer and not only about selling policies, but rather about becoming a life-time partner by creating a vision of the future and standing by people in the most important moments of their life.

It is, again, about protecting and enhancing the value we give to everything we care for with a long-term vision.


This dramatic switch in our way of thinking about our business allows us to really understand the needs of our stakeholders, to connect more deeply with our customers’ needs and meet the fast-changing demands of society.

To create this shared value over time for all our stakeholders, we decided to start rethinking our business by understanding, forecasting and managing the huge global challenges we have in front of us today.

The Global Risk Report, just published by the World Economic Forum, underlines that “climate change is striking harder and more rapidly than expected, and climate-related issues dominate all the top-five long-term risk in terms of likelihood”.

Geopolitical instability is rising due to terrorism, trade wars, conflicts in the Middle East and northeast Asia, causing an economic impact on the global economy calculated to $14.1 trillion in 2018.

Aging has become a global phenomenon: in 2050 one in six people in the world will be aged 65 years or over. Financial volatility and the fast spread of technology are completing this complex scenario.

In this environment, the insurance industry is a resilient presence in the global economy, and continues to guarantee the growth, development and welfare of modern societies.

Generali has identified these global challenges, as megatrends that, in the long- term, bring the biggest risks and opportunities to the Group and to our stakeholders as one of the most important steps in our sustainability journey.

In 2019, we engaged in a wide process to set these priorities, involving many stake- holders, both internal and external, combining their views, and getting the final approval from our Board.

As Chairman of Generali, I’m proud to say that we have set up a governance, management and reporting system, which ensures alignment with our sustainable business transformation and the practical integration of sustainability into day-to-day decision-making: a Governance and Sustainability Committee has been included in the Board of Directors and a Sustainability Committee has been set up in the top management.

A set of policies and guidelines, such as the recent Group Sustainability Policy, the Remuneration Policy, the Responsible Investment Guideline and the Responsible Underwriting Group Guideline, drive our business while we transparently account for our non-financial performance through our Group Annual Integrated Report.

As part of our sustainable business transformation, in the new Generali 2021 strategy, inspired by our ambition to be a life-time partner,

we commit to increasing the premiums deriving from green and social products by 7-9% and to allocate €4.5 billion to green and sustainable investments.

Our sustainability commitment is an enabler of our strategy and it is about creating long- lasting value shared among a wide array of stakeholders. We follow and support the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (2015).

The Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, facing 17 global challenges to be reached by 2030. Generali plans to achieve some of these Goals through the best innovations that the insurance sector can offer.

To “take urgent measures to combat climate change and its consequences”, the Board of Directors of Generali approved on 21 February 2018 the Strategy on climate change which envisages specific actions on investments and underwriting and identifies in the dialogue and involvement of our interlocutors the tool to encourage the transition towards a low environmental impact company. We are helping to

“make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, long-lasting and sustainable” with the pan-European platform for integrated mobility.

In order to “Build a resilient infrastructure promoting innovation and fostering innovation” we can mention the platforms which digitalize the relationship between agents and customers to manage policies remotely, or the extension of advanced data analysis and machine learning programs within the Group’s processes to optimize the estimation of risks and rates, and facilitate the identification of fraud.

With Generali Vitality, the innovative health and wellness programme that works with biometric data designed to encourage and reward healthy behaviour for customers seeking a healthier lifestyle, we address the Goal of “Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all ages”.

We will invest 1 billion euro by 2021 in innovation and digital transformation to personalise the insurance offer and create a life-time partnership with our clients.

Generali contributes to economic and social progress not only by running a sustainable business.

Generali implements sustainability by living in the community, playing an active role where it operates, and going beyond day-to-day activities.

Generali’s sustainability domain incorporates one of the most innovative projects of the last few years: The Human Safety Net. This initiative takes a pragmatic approach to some of the challenges in the communities we live in, specifically in the most fragile social context.

In this way, with strong, complete and long-term commitment to sustainability, we are not only running a business but we are con- tributing to guarantee a fairer world to future generations.