Chubb – Sustainability Report (2005 – 2006)
Outcome: Successfully Withdrawn
WHEREAS: Insurers have an essential role in maintaining healthy economies and societies. However, “The insurance industry underwent considerable turmoil in 2004 as a result of unethical practices uncovered by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and other regulators.” (Chubb 2004 Annual Report) We believe that greater disclosure and management of social, environmental, and governance issues, through sustainability reports, will help strengthen insurers and the economies that rely on them.
Chubb competes internationally and global expectations regarding sustainability reporting are changing rapidly. The European Commission recommends corporate sustainabilityreporting, and listed companies in Australia, South Africa and France must now provide investors with information on their social and environmental performance.
Chubb does not currently report on social or environmental issues. AIG Environmental has written in its White Paper, Reconciling Environmental Disclosure with Environmental Exposure in an Evolving Regulatory Climate, “Investors realize that poor disclosure or lack of disclosure of environmental liabilities undercuts risk analysis and can threaten shareholder value.”
Michael Diekmann, Chairman of our industry peer, the Allianz Group, has written, “As a financial services provider, we cannot regard sustainability and competitiveness as separate entities. This is the only approach that will allow us to manage change in society and the necessary reforms in a way that is appropriate for the future.”
Insurance Australia Group, a general insurance company with 11,000 employees and a market cap of approximately U.S. $6 billion, has written:
There is no doubt that shareholder returns and our own stability and growth potential will be enhanced by conducting our business in a way that creates value for society on numerous fronts, across environmental, social and economic dimensions…We have identified safety in the workplace and environmental sensitivity in the way in which we go about our business as integral to the life of our companies. Human-induced climate change is now a reality and it is incumbent on insurance companies to do everything in their power to reduce the level of risk by implementing programs for a sustainable environment. ..
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors issue a sustainability report to shareholders, at reasonable cost, and omitting proprietary information, by September 1, 2006.
The report should include Chubb’s definition of sustainability, as well as a company-wide review of company policies and practices related to long-term social and environmental sustainability.
For guidance, we recommend that Chubb use the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (“The Guidelines”) to prepare the report. The Global Reporting Initiative (www.globalreporting.org) is an international organization with representatives from the business, environmental, human rights and labor communities. The Guidelines provide guidance on report content, including performance in direct economic impacts, environmental, labor practices and decent work conditions, human rights, society, and product responsibility. The Guidelines provide a flexible reporting system that allows the omission of content that is not relevant to company operations. Over 700 companies use or consult the Guidelines for sustainability reporting.