Allianz Life Survey Shows Sustainable Investing is Here to Stay

  • June 15, 2021
  • |
  • Brett Weinberg

At Allianz Life, we recognize that as an insurer and investor, we have a unique opportunity to bring about change on a local scale in the Twin Cities as well as on an international scale. We accomplish this through a wide variety of actions with a focus on sustainability, protecting the local environment and support of societal equity. We support sustainability through our six-pillar investing approach:

  1. Asset manager selection: Our asset managers must integrate Environmental, Social, and Governance (often referred to as ESG) principles into their investment process on a continual basis. All assets under management are managed by asset managers who are Principles for Responsible signatories and/or have ESG policies in place.
  2. Exclusions: We strictly prohibit investing in certain sectors like banned weapons, coal-based business models, or sovereign bonds offered by countries with documented severe human right violations.
  3. Sustainable investing: We systematically invest in organizations that drive improved environmental or social outcomes, such as renewable energy and low-income housing.
  4. ESG evaluation for private assets: We systematically evaluate private assets to assess ESG risks. Guidelines have been published for 13 sensitive business areas and ESG screening is mandatory for all transactions within these areas.
  5. ESG scoring for public assets: We use third-party data to systematically evaluate and manage ESG risks.
  6. Engagement: Along with our parent company Allianz SE, we engage in dialogue with investee companies to increase ESG integration and transparency. These engagement dialogues include reviewing governance structures for clear responsibilities to oversee ESG matters, understanding monitoring methods for ESG risks and opportunities, ESG disclosure and assuring commitment to manage ESG risks in investee companies.

We believe that companies which follow sustainable practices, or invest in the practices themselves, will deliver superior long-term financial results. In turn, we believe that companies which ignore sustainability will eventually face increasing costs and rising negative sentiment among their customers and employees. We are glad to partner with other companies in the Sustainable Growth Coalition that share this viewpoint.

Our beliefs are backed by recent findings from our Allianz Life Sustainable Investing Study which highlighted the continued interest expressed by Americans in sustainable investing. Of note,

  • The majority of Americans (64%) hold a positive overall opinion on sustainable investing.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of Americans believe that reallocating investments away from companies not adhering to sustainable investing principles or to those that are is an effective way to reward or punish companies for their actions.

Interestingly, there is also a strong focus on the role of financial services companies and insurance carriers such as Allianz Life. More than six in 10 Americans also believe that a commitment to environmental sustainability by financial services (68%) and insurance companies (64%) would make a positive difference. This gives us even greater sense of urgency to ensure we are doing our part to not only adhere to sustainable investing principles but to use our influence to ensure our investing partners do as well.

As a local company, we strive to create positive change in the community. Starting with our own campus, we protect the local environment by continuously finding new ways to reduce our company’s controllable carbon footprint, and by providing the education and resources for employees to extend sustainability into their lives beyond work.

  • Our campus uses 100% renewable energy and our goal is to reduce our Greenhouse Gas emissions by 40%. The company also has an extensive recycling and compostable program in place.
  • Our employees manage a company-sponsored Green Team to support, implement, and contribute to our sustainability efforts by:
    • Educating employees on sustainability issues.
    • Advocating for and implementing sustainable policies and benefits on campus.
    • Supporting efforts to achieve and improve SBTi (Science Based Targets Initiative) metrics.
    • Finding new ways to reduce our company’s controllable carbon footprint and provide education and resources for employees to be green in their own lives.

Perhaps the one area that we are most proud of is how we support societal equity and actively drive positive social change by being an active member in our community through financial education, and other community relations and giving programs, designed to address systemic inequity in an effective manner.

We look forward to being a part of the local efforts of the Sustainable Growth Coalition and contributing to the organization’s thought leadership. Our overall approach is based on the following beliefs and actions:

  • We believe that change is necessary to address systemic racism and other inequities that impact at-risk members of our community (people of color, seniors, youth).
  • We believe everyone has the right to a more secure financial future.
  • To address these needs, Allianz Life bases its community relations program on initiatives that enable us to give back to the community both financially and through volunteerism through our many partnerships with several nonprofits.
  • Allianz Life earns the trust and loyalty of our employees, customers, distribution partners, and the community by creating and maintaining a culture that values everyone’s contributions and diverse perspectives.

Allianz Life is proud to be one of the newest members of the Sustainable Growth Coalition. We look forward to working with the organization and all #SGCoalition member companies to have a positive impact in the community we call home. Learn more about our sustainability approach.