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AHHIC pioneers in sustainable underwriting

World’s insurers and UN Environment Programme launched the first global insurance industry guide to tackle sustainability risks, co-led by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Allianz and involved other leading insurers, insurance associations, and academic institutions from across the globe. The members of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance project team that developed the guide include American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company, American Property Casualty Insurance Association, AXA, Generali, MAPFRE, Munich Re, QBE, RSA, Santam, Swiss Re, Temple University’s Fox School of Business, University of Technology Sydney, West Chester University, and Zurich.

“AHHIC is the exclusive marine insurance company, among world’s insurers and institutions, participating in the development of the first global guide, which provides the framework for the insurance industry to manage Environmental, Social and Governance issues”, underlined Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of AHHIC.

Following a comprehensive global consultation process, leading insurers from around the world and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the first global insurance industry guide to tackle a wide range of sustainability risks—from climate change, ecosystem degradation, pollution and animal welfare and testing; to child labour, controversial weapons, and bribery and corruption.

The guide, Managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in non-life insurance business, outlines 8 areas comprising possible actions for insurers to manage ESG risks—also known as sustainability risks—in non-life insurance transactions, focussing on risk assessment and insurance underwriting. These areas include developing a company’s ESG approach and risk appetite, integrating ESG issues into the organisation, establishing roles and responsibilities for ESG issues, escalating ESG risks to decision-makers, detecting and analysing ESG risks, and decision-making and reporting on ESG risks.

“We are proud to be the exclusive marine insurance company to sign the United Nations agenda, supporting the United Nations Environment Programme Finance initiative, Principles for Sustainable insurance since June 2019. As members of the global community of banks, investors and insurers of UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, we encourage the insurance industry to endorse ESG issues in underwriting, risk assessment and investments, and support the United Nations initiative. It’s time for action and as underwriters we need to fully embrace sustainability in all aspects of our business activity.”, stressed Mr. Ilias Tsakiris.

 

AHHIC’s 2019 Sustainability Report

As a marine insurer, American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) provides hull and machinery services to the international shipping industry that is currently called upon to adapt to a wide range of challenges. Not least among these are new requirements deriving from the International Maritime Organization ’s regulations aimed at reducing industry’s impact on the environment and new risks related to sustainability.

Since June 2019, American Hellenic Hull supports the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, Principles for Sustainable Insurance (UNEPFI – PSI), being among the leading signatory companies of the initiative and a member of the global community of banks, investors and insurers of UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative.

As the exclusive marine insurance company to sign the United Nations agenda, American Hellenic Hull, adopts all four of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance, as mentioned in the company’s “2019 Sustainability Report” which provides an overview on the key facts and figures.

“Looking ahead, the coming decade is the decade of sustainability and as a maritime community we should all do our utmost to successfully confront the challenges involved”, commented Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of AHHIC.

See the 2019 AHHIC’s Sustainability Report: AHHIC_Progress Report 2019

 

Global challenges in the maritime industry

The Global Maritime Forum conducted its first Future Maritime Leaders Essay Competition, which gave young people (aged 18-30) a chance for their voice to be heard in the debate about the future – and companies a chance to listen.

Eirini Gerani, Account Executive at American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company Ltd, participated in the competition stating the global challenges facing the maritime industry.

The global maritime industry is currently facing a wide range of challenges stemming from geopolitical changes, the new IMO regulations, technological evolution including Artificial Intelligence, threats to global trade growth and the need for greater sustainability. While the world is undergoing profound transformation, we consider these changes as bringing opportunity, especially from the perspective of sustainability.

Geopolitical changes that must be navigated by the maritime industry are many and various. They include the crisis in the Persian Gulf, instability in the Middle East, the widening of the Suez canal, the situation of states in Latin America, the trade war between USA and China, the rise of extremists in countries important for shipping such as Nigeria, the emergence of new maritime centers such us Singapore with the EU trying to upgrade its presence as a single maritime cluster. These are only some of the developments we currently have to deal with.

In addition, the new regulations introduced by the International Maritime Organization aim to make the shipping industry a sustainable conduit for global trade. The regulations imposing a low sulphur cap for fuel emissions from 01/01/2020, the 50% reduction of carbon emissions by 2050, proposals for slow steaming that are being discussed in the IMO’s working groups, and growing interest in cleaner fuels such as LNG, LPG, MGO and biofuels constitute a historic challenge for the maritime adventure. The transformation of the maritime industry towards a more eco-friendly environment is a path we all must walk.

Meanwhile, it is a fact that the shipping industry is one of the most proactive industries, investing more in new technologies than any other market. Smart technologies are central to many discussions. The maritime industry focuses on investments in technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), automation and the new unmanned vessels being trialled in the North Sea, big data analytics and cloud services. Such investments aim to modernize the industry increasing efficiencies and sustainability.

“Facing the 21st century as a “millennial”, it is a fact that our generation wishes to bring innovation that will drive the shipping industry forward. In terms of globalization, we also declare that we need a more sustainable environment. We bet on inclusive growth with a more holistic perspective on the industry and the human well-being. We have the opportunity to set a long – term sustainable economic environment, but hard work globally will be required to achieve and maintain such a goal. The investment in new talent and the safety and protection of the staff is another crucial issue we have to deal with, if we aim to consider ourselves as pioneers in the industry. To gain a more sustainable environment we shall all strengthen the pillars of Environment, Society and Economy”,  mentioned Eirini Gerani.

Furthermore, she underlined: “Personally, I am working in the marine insurance industry, one of the most sustainable industries in the entire maritime adventure. The marine insurance services shall be considered as a commodity serving the maritime industry. American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company provides hull and machinery services to the international maritime industry. My colleagues and I are committed to incorporate social, environmental and business issues into a sustainable holistic strategy towards our insurance business. Working closely and transparently with our clients, we intend to serve the UN Sustainable Development Goals to achieve inclusive growth in our business, and promote at the same time human well-being and talent”.

Read more: The global challenges facing the maritime industry