Terms and conditions
Insurance plays a key role in mitigating further global warming and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The sector manages around €11 trillion in Europe alone. The green transformation of the European economy can only succeed if this money is invested in companies that operate sustainably. “We are aware of our responsibility and have set ourselves ambitious targets: net zero emissions by 2040 in Austria and by 2050 in all UNIQA Group countries. We have set science-based Paris-compliant 1.5°C interim targets for 2030 based on the SBTi framework and also engage with legislators, customers and the companies we invest in. Our investment portfolio is therefore consistently aligned with the 1.5°C Paris target,” explained René Knapp, Management Board Member for People, Brand & Sustainability at UNIQA Insurance Group AG. In addition to the investment portfolio, the interim targets place particular emphasis on UNIQA’s business ecology, which focuses on greenhouse gas emissions from heating or vehicles, but also includes electricity or district heating.
SBTi validation: unique in Austria
UNIQA’s interim targets to reduce emissions from investments and in business ecology by 2030 have now been reviewed and confirmed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a call to action by leading environmental protection and climate action organisations. SBTi is a partnership between the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resource Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The initiative defines and promotes targets based on scientific findings and independently verifies these targets set by companies.
UNIQA is the only Austrian insurance company whose interim targets have been successfully validated. There is also currently no other company in the entire Austrian financial sector whose 1.5°C interim targets have been recognised by SBTi. These science-based targets are based on a simple principle: they focus on the amount of emissions that must be reduced in order to achieve the central aim of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
“We are acting in accordance with scientific findings and principles to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We are proud that UNIQA’s science-based reduction targets have been verified and confirmed by SBTi,” said Knapp. According to Knapp, this external validation by a renowned institution also strengthens the credibility of UNIQA’s action and public confidence.“The financial sector is key to reducing emissions globally. We congratulate UNIQA Insurance Group on setting science-based targets that cover not only their operational emissions, but also their investment portfolio,” said Luiz Amaral, Chief Executive Officer of the Science Based Targets initiative. “UNIQA Insurance Group’s targets come at a pivotal moment for the sector, and demonstrate the urgent action necessary to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change.”
You can find all the details on the UNIQA interim targets validated by SBTi here.
Exit from coal, oil and natural gas
UNIQA also has a clear roadmap for divesting from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. The company is already no longer making any new investments in coal or oil, and no new business is being written in corporate customers’ property insurance (oil from 2024). The requirements within the framework of the UNIQA transformation plan are becoming more stringent. Among other things, this also means the end of oil and coal for existing investments or insurance cover for corporate customers by 2030. You can find all details in the “Statement of Decarbonisation”.
Green electricity at UNIQA
To reduce its own ecological footprint, UNIQA is taking appropriate action in the area of business ecology. The commissioning of the new photovoltaic system on the roof of UNIQA headquarters in summer 2023 – the largest ever on a UNIQA company building – is a major milestone: thanks to its output of 125 kWp, it will be able to generate 100,000 kWh of electricity per year in future. This corresponds to the annual consumption of around 30 households and will avoid emissions of around 21 tonnes of CO2 in total.
UNIQA has increased its installed photovoltaic output from 50 kWp to over 400 kWp since 2020, an eightfold increase in just a few years. By 2035, the photovoltaic output should be at least 600 kWp. UNIQA has also been purchasing 100 per cent green electricity for years in Austria. From 2024 onwards, only green electricity certified with the Austrian Ecolabel 46 (UZ 46 “Green Electricity”) will be purchased. More details can be found in this press release.
UNIQA GroupThe UNIQA Group is one of the leading insurance companies in its core markets of Austria and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Around 21,000 employees and exclusive sales partners serve more than 16 million customers across 18 countries. UNIQA is the second largest insurance group in Austria with a market share of about 21 per cent. In the CEE growth region, UNIQA is present in 15 markets. In addition, insurance companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also part of the UNIQA Group.