Zurich Insurance has launched a new operation that will seek to support commercial clients as they face the challenges of climate change.
The underwriter has created its Climate Change Resilience Services to help businesses better prepare for current and future risks associated with climate change as pressure grows in firms to increase their sustainability.
It comes at a time when climate change is consistently rated as one of the top areas of concern for risk managers and business owners in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, Zurich explained. In the 2020 edition, the top five most likely risks to impact businesses in the next decade were all environmental.
Gabrielle Durisch, Head of Sustainability for Commercial Insurance, said: “We have invested in technology and expertise to provide customers with tailor-made advice and tools that help them strengthen their resilience and prepare for future challenges. The scope of the new offering sets Zurich apart and underscores our commitment to sustainability and a 1.5°C future. As we undertake our own journey to sustainable business practices, we are encouraging and supporting our customers to become more sustainable and mitigate climate change related risks.”
Zurich added: “Many investors believe risks posed by climate change threaten global financial stability and are increasingly adopting sustainability-focused investment strategies with environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration. Demands for reliable climate risk disclosures in line with the guidelines set forth by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) are increasing. The need to enact consistent, more defined global disclosure standards is being discussed in several countries and these will place greater responsibility on companies to report on their sustainability measures and risk strategies for different climate change scenarios.”
The underwriter added its Climate Change Resilience Services address these concerns by providing a wide range of solutions extending far beyond insurance and helping to protect businesses and employees.
“Customers can map exposure along their value chain, for their global or regional operations, specific sites or even vital pieces of equipment,” it said. “In addition, Zurich offers mitigation and adaptation solutions for these risks, which could range from weather events such as wildfires, windstorms and floods, to climate effects, including temperature and sea-level rise. It also provides guidance on how to implement sustainability measures at site level, while maintaining the ability to withstand risks.
“The expansion of Zurich’s existing natural hazards risk advisory service to include climate change services is part of the Group’s ongoing commitment to provide security through insurance coverage while proactively building resilience together with customers. This includes sharing expertise, limiting the impact of adverse events on operations, and ensuring the safety of employees and businesses.”