The First ESG Disclosure Guidance for China’s Insurance Industry Released With Significant Contributions from Ping An

Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An”, the “Company” or the “Group”, HKEX: 2318 / 82318; SSE: 601318) announced that it was represented by Richard Sheng, Secretary of the Board of Directors of Ping An Group, at the launch of the Guidance for Disclosure of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Information for Insurance Institutions, hosted by the Insurance Association of China.

The Guidance is the first self-regulating document of Mainland China’s insurance industry, focusing on ESG disclosure in the insurance industry. The compilation of the document was initiated by the Insurance Association of China, with the assistance of notable insurers led by Ping An, the document was completed in a year and a half. Following its involvement in the Guidance for Enterprise ESG Disclosure, published by the China Enterprise Reform and Development Society (CERDS), this is the second time Ping An has contributed its practical experience in ESG to improve the China insurance industry’s ESG risk management capabilities and corporate governance standards.

The Guidance provides clear standards for insurance companies to disclose ESG information through 23 Tier 1 indicators and 49 Tier 2 indicators. The Guidance takes reference from international mainstream ESG disclosure standards, such as those of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, and also considers the unique characteristics of China and the insurance industry. For example, the Guidance includes disclosure requirements for rural revitalization, insurance agent management and enhancement, sustainable insurance products, and green investment of insurance funds. These, combined with Ping An’s own CN-ESG scoring system, offers the insurance industry guidance for high-quality information disclosure.

Mr. Sheng said that China is an active participant and promoter of global sustainable development. The implementation of ESG concepts has become an active choice and important measure for the high-quality development of financial institutions. The Guidance supports further improving ESG in the insurance industry in terms of management and disclosure quality to better perform the role of insurance companies as a “stabilizer” of society and the “ballast” of the economy.

Mr. Sheng also shared Ping An’s practical experience on ESG implementation. The Group has established a Sustainable Development Committee, which is responsible for guiding the development of core ESG areas, such as green finance and rural revitalization. Ping An has identified 13 core material ESG issues, based on its corporate strategy of “integrated finance + healthcare”. It has set 13 qualitative goals and 18 quantitative goals for those issues for 2023-2027.  As of the end of June 2023, Ping An’s green investment of insurance funds was RMB140.929 billion, and the green loan balance was RMB134.926 billion. In the first half of 2023, the green insurance premium income was RMB17.735 billion. Ping An also promotes rural revitalization and development by supporting industry, healthcare and education through its Ping An Rural Communities Support program. Since 2018, Ping An has provided more than RMB100 billion for poverty alleviation and industrial revitalization.

Ping An’s ESG achievements have been widely recognized by international rating agencies. For two consecutive years, the Group has received an A rating from MSCI ESG Ratings and ranked 1st in the multi-line insurance & brokerage industry in Asia Pacific. For three consecutive years, the Group has received an A- rating from CDP in climate change disclosure, the highest rating among financial enterprises in Mainland China. Ping An also obtained a Low Risk rating in Sustainalytics ESG Risk Ratings, the best rating among insurance companies in Mainland China.

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