Brokers Lack Interest in Net Zero – Study

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by KnowESG
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Research from specialist insurer Ecclesiastical revealed that brokers in general lack a sense of urgency and interest in the transition to net zero.

The second annual survey of the industry’s attitudes towards this ESG aspect shows that while the number of broker firms that have a net zero target rose slightly since last year, apathy remains, especially among smaller firms.

The study found that only two national brokers have set a net zero target this year, up just 1% from last year. Meanwhile, one in 10 regional brokers and only four in 100 provincial brokers have made similar net zero commitments.

As is with the case in the last edition of the study, the main hurdle in setting up net zero goals is still the lack of resources, with the figure at 51%. That said, the share of brokers who lacked interest in net zero rose this year from 21% to 27%. There was also a noticeable increase in brokers saying that they are too small for net zero to concern them, from 3% to 12%.

There are some positives mentioned, though. Nearly three quarters of brokers surveyed agree that reducing their firm’s climate impact is the right thing to do. Two in five also say that their companies are more aware of climate issues than a year ago.

For those that are now more concerned about sustainability, more than half of brokers said that reducing energy consumption in their offices has overtaken reducing business travel as the most popular step in reducing climate impacts, most probably propped up by the current economic environment. Increasing awareness among employees and switching to sustainable suppliers were also popular measures to manage climate risks.

Another barrier that may be stopping brokers from making net zero commitments is a lack of motivation. The survey revealed that only 12% of respondents believe clients are more likely to do business with brokers committed to reducing their climate impact. It’s essentially the same for insurers, as only 13% of brokers believe clients are more likely to do business with insurance companies committed to ESG principles.

Ecclesiastical commercial director Adam Saunders said that the survey’s findings show many brokers have little motivation to be greener.

“These results show brokers are sleepwalking into the climate crisis, despite the urgent need for all industries to transition to net zero. There are some firms out there that get it and are investing in carbon reduction, but most brokers aren’t interested. Our results show they don’t see any competitive advantage in reducing their carbon impacts. However, there’s overwhelming evidence that customers are making greener choices, and that trend is only set to accelerate,” Saunders said.

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Source: Insurance Business


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