The work with sustainability never stops

– We have taken a leap with our sustainability work at If. Sustainability is now more integrated in If’s strategy, organisation and business operations, summarises Philip Thörn, If’s Head of Sustainability. 

Philip Thörn has been If’s Head of Sustainability for four years. He is the main force behind the development of If’s sustainability work, cooperating closely with leaders and employees across all of If, across Business Areas, across countries and other responsibilities.

Clearly, 2021 has been eventful

If you could pick 3 favourite actions, what would they be? 

Firstly, I would choose the integration of sustainability factors directly into our underwriting standards for corporate clients. We now expect our clients to comply with the UN Global Compact’s principles, even if they are not corporate members of the initiative themselves. The response has been overwhelming, since we are the first insurance company in the Nordics to integrate sustainability into our underwriting operations in this way. 

My second personal favourite is If committing to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We are setting science-based climate targets not only for our own operations, but also for our claims handling and investment operations. This is an ambitious commitment and shows that we are ready to do our part for the climate.

As a third highlight, I would like to choose If’s Leadership Compass. It contains concrete tools for our leaders to help create an even more equal, diverse and inclusive workplace.

And what are you looking forward to next year? 

Naturally, having my own copy of If’s Sustainability Report 2021 in my hands, [Philip starts off with a joke].  

But on a more serious note, I’m pleased to see an increase in the interest of all of our employees in issues concerning sustainability. One of the focus areas going forward is to increase engagement possibilities and internal communication. We will also put a lot of effort into developing concrete climate targets and further integrating sustainability into our business operations. 

Looking at the sustainability field at large, what kind of trends have you noticed? 

I’m pleased to see the overall change in how companies are working with sustainability. A couple of years ago, many companies were mainly focusing on compliance and how to deal with sustainability risks. Nowadays, ambitious companies are bolder, focusing also on the opportunities that sustainability brings. 

I’m truly happy and proud of our sustainability work during 2021

Philip Thörn, If's Head of Sustainability

Has the bar for companies’ sustainability work been raised with new laws and regulations?  

Yes, the legal requirements are getting tougher, and will get even tougher in coming years, with for example the CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) and the Taxonomy regulation. This year is the first time we will report in accordance with the Taxonomy. Regardless of the legal requirements, I feel the report is a nice way to look back at the work we have done together within the different parts of the organisation. I hope you enjoy reading about it. 

What is your overriding feeling after 2021? 

I’m truly happy and proud of our sustainability work during 2021 – in that respect, it has been a fantastic year. Sustainability is now one of the four foundations in If’s strategy, we have an internal sustainability organisation in place, and we have taken important steps in integrating sustainability into our core operations.  

But, of course, you are never done, you can always do more. The work with sustainability never stops. 

Interview with If's Head of Sustainability Philip Thörn

Hear what If's Head of Sustainability, Philip Thörn, has to say regarding his own environmental habits and the environmental initiatives started by If.

Philip Thörn photo.

Philip Thörn

Sustainability Manager, If

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