If requires its Industrial clients to be responsible

If Insurance added The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact as part of the risk assessment of business customers in 2021. A number of If’s business customers have since developed the responsibility of their operations; however, some client relationships have also had to be terminated.

Since autumn 2021, If has evaluated almost 700 large and existing customers, as well as new clients in the Nordics, based on the UN principles of sustainable development. These companies are defined as having more than 500 employees, and whose annual turnover is more than 46 million euros (or more than 500 million Swedish kronor).

By expecting its large clients to commit to the UN principles of sustainable development, If wants to support them in making their own operations more responsible.

“We believe that we are all part of the solution that the world needs. We can use our position and expertise to support our customers in more responsible activities. We take our commitment to the UN principles of sustainable development seriously and work actively to comply with human rights, workers’ rights, environmental protection, and anti-corruption principles in all our work,” states Morten Thorsrud, CEO, If Insurance.

Several clients developed their operations

Since 2021, 673 large customers have gone through an assessment that evaluates the responsibility of their operations from the perspectives of the environment, social responsibility, and good governance (ESG).

Notes Thorsrud, “The initiative has been well received both in our industry and among our clients. Our customers understand and accept the principles and the majority of their reactions have been positive.”

Of the evaluated companies, only 18 did not reach the set limits. The companies in question represent many different sectors. Ten of these 18 companies succeeded with If’s support in improving their operations so that they later passed the set requirements.

Five client companies are still under observation, and one has received conditional approval. However, If has severed its relationship with two large client companies.

“Only about three per cent of the companies had challenges in this area to begin with. The majority of the companies were already operating responsibly. We have been actively in contact with the companies that have had problems,” explains Thorsrud.

If is satisfied

If is satisfied with the results of the evaluations and the response from its clients.

“This is exactly what we hoped would happen when we committed to the UN principles of sustainable development. To a large extent, this is seen as a natural development in today’s world, and our major customers are already familiar with the principles of responsibility. It has not come as a surprise to the companies on our watch list either, but they have already been aware of their challenges,” concludes Thorsrud.

ESG assessmet in brief

  • Companies receive a rating between 1 and 10 (with 1 being the highest rating). If the estimate falls short of the set goal, If’s ESG team will contact the client company.
  • If uses an external partner specialised in ESG issues and other relevant information in its assessments and decisions.
  • If a major client is found to be in violation of one or more of the UN’s principles of sustainable development, the company is notified and asked to remedy the situation. If the client is not willing or able to correct the identified problems, the company may be asked to find another insurance company.