Singlife with Aviva already has a 2050 net-zero target, but the firm has been tasked with bringing that date forward, according to group chief executive officer Pearlyn Phau.
The emissions target is in line with Singapore’s own 2050 net-zero goals, but Phau has told her team to come up with a date sooner than that.
“I’ve told the team, surely we can do better,” she told AsianInvestor on the side-lines of the launch of the firm’s sustainability programme on Wednesday (June 22).
Singlife with Aviva
“I am still waiting for my team to come back to me with a number but I hope that number is an ambitious one,” she said.
On the investments front, she believes that environmental, social and governance (ESG) has become ubiquitous and the insurer – a merged entity between the Singapore arm of British insurer Aviva and digital insurance firm Singlife – relies on data to assess its portfolio.
“In the old days, people say you either do good or do well. That isn’t the case anymore – you do good, and you do well. This sort of [ESG] product is no longer esoteric. It’s up front and centre. And we are looking to deliver Triple Bottom Line outcomes,” Phau said.
Singlife said during the launch that it would “refine its strategic assets allocation to incorporate sustainable investments”.
The insurer also said it is committed to having its entire portfolio be reviewed and measured daily against key sustainability objectives.
"We are going above and beyond by pledging to audit our sustainability performance frequently, and from June, will be launching our first ever comprehensive sustainability investing report," Phau told AsianInvestor. "Our current framework is aligned with the UN principles for responsible investing and our goal is to become a signatory by the year’s end."
Singlife is also committed to six United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including climate action, gender equality, good health and wel-being, and reduced inequalities.
In March, the insurer announced that it had co-seeded a sustainability fund with Temasek-backed private equity manager Azalea Investment Management with $50 million each.
To measure if the portfolio is meeting its ESG objectives, the insurer has appointed data analytics firm Matter, which will provide information on the portfolio’s performance and its sustainability scores.
“Matter will assess our investment portfolio, as well as our products and the managers to see how deep ESG is in our investment philosophy. It is a very big part of our mandate,” Phau said at the event.
“Impact investing really means to be able to measure what we are doing and assessing the performance of the portfolio and making business decisions along the sustainability route,” she added.