Our landscape is changing, presenting opportunities to innovate and partner on impactful solutions through our investments, supplier and broker relationships, the QBE Foundation and QBE Ventures. We can explore ways to co-create solutions to meet the changing needs of our customers, and support communities affected by climate impacts and the net-zero transition. 

Each year, we partner with Leading Cities, providing financial and non-financial support to the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge - a global competition seeking entrepreneurs whose ventures drive resiliency in cities.  

In 2023, we expanded two additional tracks — the Insurance Track and the Agriculture Track - focusing on loss mitigation solutions for the commercial property sector and assisting small to mid-size farms to embed sustainable solutions. In 2023 year, itselectric won the challenge's grand prize of $100,000 to elevate its technology and services. The US-based company addresses the challenges of electric vehicle (EV) adoption by focusing on expanding and enhancing EV infrastructure through partnerships with private building owners. The People’s Choice Event saw our employees vote and award two additional $25,000 prizes – again to itselectric, and to Syrinx, an Australian-based mobile wastewater treatment technology using local plants and biosorbents to remove pollutants from local water sources.  

The QBE Foundation partners with Red Cross and Save the Children to support communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from, disasters. In 2023, QBE Foundation provided funding towards the Italian Red Cross’ Early Warning Systems Project, which aims to enhance local preparedness, management and response capabilities through capacity-building initiatives. QBE enabled 129 civil protection trainers to be trained in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, and the purchase of one training kit. Over 500 Red Cross local emergency volunteers have subsequently been on-trained, as part of over 60 courses held in the first quarter of 2023 by Italian Red Cross Emergency Operations. 

Premiums4Good is an industry-first initiative started by QBE in 2016 where we allocate a portion of our customer premiums to impact investments that aim to create positive environmental and/or social change, alongside a financial return. Our investments include green, social and sustainability bonds, social impact bonds, and impact investment funds, supporting a range of projects and programs.

Supporting the delivery of affordable housing projects through its first ever social bond transaction, the City of New York’s Social Bond will help increase the supply of affordable housing in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, for low-income earners and those previously experiencing homelessness.

In New York City, homelessness is a social issue that affects many low-income earners. While the paths that lead people into homelessness are complex and unique, there are recurring themes, including people leaving home care, experiencing financial difficulties, mental illness and domestic violence. The continued shortage of housing options further contributes to the ongoing affordability and homelessness crisis, impacting millions of New Yorkers every year. In a first for New York City, the government has issued social bonds to help accelerate and increase capacity for new housing supply citywide. It will fund the development of more than 3,200 affordable housing units across 16 projects in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. The sale of these bonds will further the Mayor’s “Housing Our Neighbours: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness” plan to provide New Yorkers safe, quality and affordable homes.

The share of New York renters who are rent-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30% of their income toward rent, remains the highest on record. In 2021, the typical New York renter paid 34% of their income toward housing costs .  As part of this investment in affordable housing projects across New York City, the next phase of a development project in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn will include the construction of a 10-story residential building. The aim is to help people and families earning at or below the Area Median Income and those who were formerly experiencing homelessness. Each of the 375 rental units will be affordable, with broadband internet access provided to all tenants free of charge. The building will provide 318,000 square feet of residential uses, 9,000 square feet of community facility use and 23,000 square feet of accessory parking, with retail space on the ground floor to enhance the overall pedestrian and community experience. Of the Coney Island units, 15% will serve those who were formally homeless.

For more information on Premiums4Good, please see our website and latest Premiums4Good Investment Impact Report.


QBE and Sedgwick together won the 2023 ESG Sustainable Claims Management Award for their “Build Back Better” initiative at the Insurance Post Claims and Fraud Awards in London.  

The “Build Back Better” initiative aims to reduce the carbon impact of insurance repairs on commercial properties.  

The joint commitment between QBE and Sedgwick has worked to quantify these reductions in CO2 emissions, with a pilot group of 69 claims since its commencement. For the pilot, Sedgwick developed a specialised calculator to estimate the carbon footprint of commercial property claims, which breaks down claim tasks and evaluates materials to determine their carbon impact. 

In addition to measuring and promoting the benefits of this new tool, QBE and Sedgwick introduced four key sustainable initiatives into commercial property claims handling – across fire, escape of water and flood losses.   

These initiatives include: 

  • Claim mitigation via flood resilience: taking actions to reduce the likelihood and impact of future claims. For example, providing free surveys and advice to customers to help design a flood resilience strategy.  
  • Loss mitigation: providing a resilience service that offers advice to customers to help mitigate risk, and additionally uses technology to reduce the carbon footprint of a claim. Using remote monitoring and control equipment helps in cutting down drying times, minimising site visits, and reducing the number of damaged materials removed from a building. 
  • Repurpose and Reuse: We aim to maximise the re-use and repurposing of building materials and damaged office equipment, rather than send them to landfill. For example, plasterboard can be delivered to a recycling company which remakes new plasterboard rather than landfill, this saves carbon and can reduce cost.  
  • Low carbon alternatives: Calculating the carbon footprint of a building repair to understand the cost/benefit analysis of replacing products with lower carbon alternatives. Alternative products such as low-carbon concrete, and recycled steel are already being used. 

The current results from the initiative in the United Kingdom have been encouraging, with a reserve of £3.5m from 26 commercial claims of values between £5k and £1.9m. Additionally, a small £40k fire loss claim, is now complete with evidenced savings of approximately 440kgCO2e. Results from the initiative are continually being identified and assessed.  

In line with its net zero objectives, QBE has developed an innovative solution that enables developers and application owners to visualise, quantify and take action to reduce CO2 emissions within our cloud platform. Conceived during an internal technology Hackathon, the solution works to reduce infrastructure CO2 emissions by working with Microsoft to extract resource usage information and augment this with carbon intensity energy data. 

The integration of this initiative into QBE’s existing developer portal, "DevHub," subsequently empowered users to track their CO2 reductions. By leveraging diverse data points, users can identify and mitigate major contributors to CO2 emissions, driving substantial reductions. Since its 2021 launch, this initiative has helped avoid over 80 tonnes of CO2 emissions, showcasing the transformative impact of data-driven decision-making.