“The transition to a net-zero and sustainable future will unlock new business potential”

Asia is at the frontline of the risks of climate change and is highly susceptible to its real-world impact, with limited means available to manifest effective responses that help mitigate climate challenges.  About 60% of the world’s population lives in Asia, and are responsible for half of the greenhouse gas emissions globally.  At the same time, a significant population in the region are living along the poverty line, and 80% of our energy sources still come from fossil fuels. 

According to the so-called “RCP 8.5” climate scenario of the UN, by 2050, nearly one billion people in Asia will be living in areas where lethal heatwaves are possible occurrences on an annual basis. Based on a recent report by Boston Consulting Group, 65% of cities with highest growth of annual flood losses are in Asia (13 out of 20 cities) while 75% of cities most exposed to a 1 meter sea level rise are in Asia. 

Without immediate intervention, these alarming projections will become the reality and generate unprecedented human and economic costs. 

Anusha Tavaraja, Regional CEO, Allianz Asia Pacific, casually seated on a sofa and smiling at the camera.
Anusha Thavarajah
Regional CEO, Allianz Asia Pacific
Insurance has a crucial role in anticipating, identifying, and managing climate-related risks, especially in Asia, which is on the frontline of climate change yet still highly vulnerable due to low insurance penetration and a wide protection gap. 

The transition to a net-zero and sustainable future will unlock new business potential. It is important to position ourselves early, identify the sectors in Asia to most benefit from the transition, and build up expertise to capture these new opportunities in Life/Health (L/H), Property & Casualty (P&C) and investment.

In our Asia strategy – called Pinnacle 2030 – sustainability is one of the key enablers to drive growth. We focus on our ecological commitment in line with our group commitments, our social responsibility to the communities in which we operate, and our governance, by integrating sustainability and ESG aspects in our business, ensuring strong compliance processes, data protection and security. 

Each of Allianz Asia Pacific’s operating entities have also established a Sustainability Sponsor and Sustainability Lead, tasked with implementing a comprehensive and localized sustainability plan, analyzing emission profiles of our proprietary investments to realize well-defined sustainability targets at the regional level as well as at Group level. Within the region, we aspire to build upon global initiatives and commitments to deliver positive impact and outcomes. Our regional operating entities are committed to a 100% transition to renewable energy and 25% reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2025 in our business operations. 

We layered our action and ambition to support the net-zero transition: First, we want to ensure that our own in-house decarbonization journey remains key and on track. From the social perspective, all our entities have strong corporate citizenship programs in place which combine a long-term vision with the ability to quickly mobilize local resources to create a lasting impact for global society and local communities as well as drive employee engagement. The next step will be about finding sustainable business opportunities across Life, Health, Retail and commercial P&C. A recent McKinsey report on sustainable business opportunities in Asia shows that the addressable market size for green businesses is expected to reach between US$4 to US$5 trillion by 2030, largely driven by the massive amounts of investments that are required to support the “just transition” initiative. Sustainable business opportunities in Asia: we see right now are around electric mobility and social action. Allianz Insurance Singapore has become a leading insurer of EVs in Singapore and we expect further growth from this sector in other markets in the region. In the context of social action we see microinsurance product offerings in various OEs including Allianz Malaysia and Allianz Indonesia. These products provide access to insurance to customers who may not have had prior exposure to insurance products as well as insurance cover to low-income people. 

All our OEs have wholeheartedly embarked on championing sustainability to improve the lives of people in their community. Let me mention a few I am especially proud of: 

Allianz Insurance Singapore (AIS) has done tremendous work with their EV initiative in support of Singapore’s transition to a more sustainable future. Since its incorporation in June 2020 as a greenfield insurer, AIS has become one of the fastest growing insurance companies in Singapore, with 3.5x growth in GWP and rising fast among the ranks (jumping from 35th to 25th). AIS offers a dedicated EV journey for its intermediaries and direct customers online, making the process seamless and paperless. While it is within the top 10 motor and travel insurance providers in Singapore, AIS is also the first in several areas, including coverage of EV-specific risks (i.e. battery/electrical components, damage arising from autonomous driving/cyber-attacks), certified EV repair workshops, as well as in preferred charging rates for EV customers. 

In Indonesia, Allianz Peduli Bumi employees planted 10,000 mangrove trees since the start of the program in 2019 and they took turns to participate in different runs of the program over the years. 

This year, Allianz Ayudhya launched Thailand’s first “Cloud Food Bank”, with an aim to reduce over 1.16mn kg of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The OEs in Thailand first embarked on their sustainability journey in 2019 by encouraging more than 1,200 employees to adopt “green” behaviour through initiatives such as improving waste management and reducing energy consumption. The “Cloud Food Bank” platform will support Allianz Ayudhya’s partner, Scholars of Sustenance, to match food donors with in-need communities, by turning food surplus into meals. 

And last but not least in Allianz Philippines the project “Allianz Ride Safe” aims to reduce carbon footprint in the Philippines through promoting biking as a mode of sustainable and healthy lifestyle. A 2019 UN report on cycling estimates that switching from a car to a bicycle saves 150g of CO2 per kilometer. Since the start of Allianz Ride Safe, several other sustainable projects across the Philippines arose, such as solar powered pit stops and Ride Safe Bike Lanes.

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 126 million* private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 706 billion euros** on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage nearly 1.7 trillion euros** of third-party assets. Thanks to the systematic integration of environmental, social and governance criteria in our operations, business processes and investment decisions, we continue to be recognized as among the sustainable insurers in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (September 23, 2022). In 2021, over 155,000 employees achieved total revenues of 148.5 billion euros and an operating profit of 13.4 billion euros for the group.

These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

*Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.
** As of September 30, 2022
As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements:
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In an interview, Anusha Thavarajah, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Allianz Asia Pacific, spoke about how the climate crisis is already hitting the continent strongly, how Allianz is supporting the transition towards a net-zero economy and which local activities she feels especially proud of.