Japanese Insurers and Banks Collaborate in ESG Venture
Leading insurers and banks in Japan have recently come together, announcing a memorandum of understanding to conduct joint studies on business initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable finance and advancing the principles of environmental, social, and governance (ESG).
Operating under the provisional name "Sustainable Finance Platform," this collaborative venture boasts the support of prominent entities, including MS&AD Insurance Group, Sompo Japan, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire, Nippon Life, Hitachi, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, and MUFG Bank.
Through the integration of digital technology, this platform serves as a seamless connection between investment institutions and listed companies, facilitating the exchange of ESG-related information and fostering mutual understanding.
As per their official news release, the consortium aims to engage a diverse range of user companies and intends to release a beta version of the platform in the upcoming fall season. The beta phase will focus on validating the platform's effectiveness and enhancing its functionality before a full-fledged launch in the near future.
During the beta phase, listed companies will have the opportunity to directly and comprehensively review ESG information disclosure elements and their underlying context. This will enable businesses to proactively align their internal disclosure policies with the values and criteria cherished by investment institutions, fostering effective decision-making processes.
Reportedly, despite ESG-related investments surging to a staggering US$35.3 trillion in 2020, the absence of universally accepted public standards for global information disclosure and evaluation methods concerning non-financial ESG data has remained a challenge.
In light of this pressing issue, the collaborative efforts of the Sustainable Finance Platform aim to foster effective and efficient communication among investors, issuers, and various stakeholders on a domestic and international scale. By doing so, they aspire to bolster the ESG investment landscape and promote its expansion in the market.
To facilitate the provision of beta version services, the group plans to establish a general incorporated association during the upcoming summer period.
In other noteworthy news from the Japanese insurance sector, Sompo International has recently appointed Risa Ryan to the newly created role of chief underwriting officer, signalling the company's commitment to strengthening its underwriting capabilities.
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Source: Insurance Business