Australia’s greenest insurers

Which Australian insurers are paving the way for a greener future? Check out our Finder Green Award winner and finalists.

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A nationally representative survey conducted by Finder identified that 47% of Australians are actively looking for "greener" products and services. But in some industries, it's a little harder for consumers to discern who's doing their bit for the planet.

And our research reflects this. Around three quarters (76%) of Australian consumers say they have trouble identifying which products or services are truly better for the environment.

To make this process a little easier for Australians, we launched the inaugural 2020 Finder Green Awards to recognise the Australian businesses that are prioritising our planet.

If you'd like to learn more about the Finder Green Awards more broadly, visit our Finder Green Awards hub.

Winner of Green Insurer of the Year: QBE Insurance Group Limited

Green Insurer of the Year 2020

As part of the Finder Green Awards, we are pleased to announce QBE as our Green Insurer of the Year. It is clear that QBE is an insurance business taking their sustainability efforts seriously. Notably the company is sourcing more than 60% of their electricity from renewable sources, as well as committing to numerous external benchmarks such as CDP and DJSI.

In this category, QBE stood out by demonstrating its commitment to a greener insurance industry. This earned it the coveted title of Green Insurer of the Year.

QBE impressed our judges with its involvement in environmental initiatives such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the Carbon Disclosure Project and Climatewise, among others. It's also the first Australian headquartered insurer to align itself with the RE100 initiative – a commitment to moving towards 100% renewable electricity – as well as being one of the first five Australian organisations to set this target.

QBE's commitment to sustainability is also evident in its investments. The insurer negatively screens to avoid investment in industries that are damaging to the planet, such as fossil fuels and companies with poor ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) ratings. This is aided by a bias towards climate-friendly investments, such as sustainable land management, infrastructure and resource management.

And our finalist was...

We are also thrilled to acknowledge Huddle, which was named as a finalist in this category.

As a certified B Corp, Huddle demonstrated that it has a high regard for creating a climate-positive future in its industry. It has also joined up with 1% for the Planet in a philanthropic initiative to pledge 1% of its profits to environmental organisations.

What is green insurance?

The insurance industry may not seem like the most obvious place to "go green", but a number of brands are paving the way for a more eco-friendly insurance industry.

Green insurance companies implement a range of sustainable measures, including using renewable energy, minimising company waste and focusing on proactively engaging in sustainable investments and negatively screening those that are potentially harmful

Here's what we considered when evaluating and scoring the entries to determine the finalists for the Green Insurer of the Year award.

When scoring our "green" insurers, we looked at their performance in two major areas:

  • The insurer's current environmental impacts

For this portion of assessment, we considered the company's current emissions output, the proportion of its energy that comes from renewable sources and the proportion of its waste that has avoided ending up in landfill. In addition to this, we also wanted to see if it had received any external accreditation for its efforts (such as being certified as a B Corp) or if the insurer is committed to any climate related benchmarks, such as RE100 (a commitment to 100% renewable electricity) or the Carbon Disclosure Project.

  • The environmental impact of the insurer's products and financing strategy

In awarding our winner, it was important to know that the insurer is not only acting in a sustainable way but that it is also aligning its investments with these values.

This portion of the judging looked at whether our entrants are aiming to lend to or invest in climate positive industries, such as renewable energy or sustainable resource management and recycling. It also aimed to ascertain whether these insurers are actively trying to avoid investments in industries with links to unsustainable practices like fossil fuels and deforestation, or companies with a poor ESG rating.

We also wanted to find out what proportion of their revenue is derived from climate-friendly products. In the insurance industry, this could include discounted premiums for sustainable behaviour (for example, if you drive less or install solar panels), or insurance policies for planet-friendly products (for example, fuel-efficient cars, solar panels or batteries).

To see the winners of the other Finder Green Awards, head to our Finder Green Awards hub page for a complete list.

Green Insurer of the Year award methodology

The table below shows a more detailed breakdown of the scoring. If you want to find out more about the methodology, you can view the Finder Green Awards 2020 methodology document.

Eligibility criteria: Company must have offered insurance products to customers in Australia in the 12 months prior to 31 December 2019.

General environmental criteria:Sector-specific environmental criteria:

Current performance: 56%

  • Emissions intensity
  • Emissions intensity (inc. offsets)
  • Energy from renewable sources
  • Waste avoiding landfill

Environmental targets: 10%

  • Emissions target
  • Renewable energy target
  • Waste target

Reporting and accreditation: 4%

  • Public climate change plan
  • External benchmarks/accreditation

Responsible financing strategy: 20%

  • Negative screening
  • Positive screening
  • Climate positive financing

Climate-friendly products: 10%

  • Incentives/discounts for sustainable

purchases or behaviour

  • Carbon neutral products
  • Other (specify)

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