Local Presence and Knowledge of Markets Makes a Difference
The starting point for the sustainability efforts of Sweden’s largest insurance company, Länsförsäkringar, is a local and long-term responsibility in society. Protecting, making customers secure and helping them to prevent damage has always been part of our core business. Through our regional insurance companies, we have a deep understanding of the local markets and risks.
Climate change represents our largest risk and we see an increase in natural catastrophes affecting our customers, such as drought, wild fires, storms and heavy rains.
We are convinced that partnership is needed to adapt and mitigate not only climate change, but also to achieve the other Sustainable Development Goals. To do this, we collaborate with different local and global partners in society such as authorities, companies, emergency services and trade organisations.
Länsförsäkringar is the largest insurance company in Sweden and compromises 23 regional and customer-owned insurance companies. Our non-life and life insurance business as well as our banking services play an important role in the everyday life of 3.8 million customers.
Managing risks and uncertainties is the core business for an insurance company and climate change represents our largest risk. As such, adaptation and mitigation are of central importance. The Sustainable Development Goals are interlinked and we believe that climate change has a direct or indirect impact on all the goals, not only for our non-life insurance business but also for our investments. Each of the 23 local regional insurance companies has a coordinator for natural catastrophe claims whose task is to train Länsförsäkringar employees and management, and to engage with and inform local authorities and other policy-makers about protecting against natural catastrophes.
Preventing claims involving people, animals, property, forests and land and offering optimal sustainable damage repairs is a natural part of our business model. Preventing a claim is a win for the environment and for society by reducing impact on the environment through less waste, energy, new materials, transportation and other resources. For us, sustainable damage repairs includes recycling and reusing materials, which has an impact on goals 12 and 13.
Engaging in local partnerships with sports associations, civil local organisations and schools is part of our social commitment with the aim of encouraging constructive leisure time and well-being for young people and children, focusing on goals 3, 5 and 10.
The SDGs are interlinked and we believe that climate change has a direct or indirect impact on all the goals, not only for our non-life insurance business but also for our investments. As a large investor, we can contribute to several of the SDGs by reducing climate-risk in investments and increasing investments in companies that have sustainable business models. Using our voice to engage with companies we invest in is another way. Company dialogues encompass several of the SDGs and are often conducted together with other investors in order to increase pressure on companies.