Oversight and accountability of sustainability
Group Board of Directors
Consistent with its charter, the Group Board is responsible for overseeing QBE’s social, ethical, and environmental responsibilities across the business and oversees and guides our sustainability strategy, initiatives and reporting. This includes our policies and activities in relation to the environment and human rights. The Group Sustainability team updates the Group Board on our sustainability performance.
Board Risk & Capital Committee
The Group Board is supported by the Board Risk & Capital Committee (BRCC), which oversees the effectiveness of the Group’s risk management framework and strategies including the consideration of adequacy of awareness, understanding and management of its key risks.
Group Executive Committee
The Group Executive Committee (GEC) reviews and approves our sustainability strategy and priorities and is supported by the Environmental and Social GEC Sub-Committee (E&S GEC SC), Executive Risk Committee (ERC), and the Group Underwriting Committee.
Environmental & Social GEC Sub-committee
The role of the E&S GEC SC is to understand the key environment and social issues that impact or may impact underwriting, claims, investment, supply chain and/or operations across QBE and consider the strategy, policies and public commitments required to be taken in response to these issues and to manage associated risks and opportunities. The Sub-committee, which comprises some GEC members and is chaired by the Group Executive Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, provides recommendations directly to the GEC for consideration and approval where required.
Executive Risk Committee
The ERC assists QBE in the management of all material risks in accordance with its Enterprise Risk Management Framework. The Committee oversees actions to identify, review and manage sustainability risks. The Committee manages and monitors QBE’s risk management framework; is responsible for assessing whether the framework deals adequately with material and emerging risks and reviews policies, standards and processes that manage risk across QBE and is chaired by the Group Chief Risk Officer.
Group Underwriting Committee
The Group Underwriting Committee (GUC) supports the GEC in meeting its responsibilities to develop, implement and review of the Group’s underwriting and reinsurance strategy, business plan, and underwriting governance, including sustainability issues and opportunities. It is chaired by the Group Chief Underwriting Officer and is comprised of the Group Chief Risk Officer, Divisional Underwriting Officers and Global Product Leaders.
Integrating sustainability across our business
The Sustainability Committee supports the E&S GEC SC in the delivery and effectiveness of our sustainability strategy, initiatives, and reporting. It comprises senior representatives from across the Group who are involved in the day-to-day management of sustainability issues and are responsible for delivering on the actions associated with QBE’s Sustainability Scorecard and commitments. These representatives come from business units including Risk, Underwriting, Finance, Impact and Responsible Investments and People and Culture. The Sustainability Committee is chaired by our Group Executive Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, a GEC member.
Divisional executive management forums are responsible for integrating and implementing QBE’s enterprise-wide sustainability strategy. In Europe, a separate ESG Management Group (ESG MG) was established in April 2022.
ESG Management Group - European Operations
The ESG MG reports to the Executive Management Board (EMB) of QBE European Operations (EO) and the QBE Europe Management Committee (QEMC) of the Board of QBE Europe SA/NV. Its role is to support the EMB, QEMC and EO Boards in responding strategically to financial, operating and regulatory ESG requirements. The ESG MG assists the EMB and QEMC with the executive management of climate change and ESG across QBE EO. It is supported by two subsidiary groups: the ESG Underwriting Group and the ESG Risk Working Group, and by subject matter experts and formal and informal governance forums within EO. The ESG MG is attended by all members of the EMB, who enable the timely and consistent flow of information to the E&S GEC SC and the ESG Risk Committee.
ESG Risk Committee
The ESG Risk Committee assists the ERC in identifying and managing ESG risks across the Group, which includes relevant controls, metrics, and scenario analysis, as well as oversight of the Environmental and Social Risk Framework.
Group Sustainability team
The Group Sustainability team, led by the Group Head of Sustainability, reports to the Group Executive Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, a GEC member. The team drives sustainability across our business, including development and implementation of our sustainability strategy and the development of an enterprise-wide action plan to drive progress on our Sustainability Commitments. This team is also responsible for stakeholder engagement and communications, performance management and reporting. The Group Head of Sustainability is the secretary of the E&S GEC SC and Sustainability Committee
Group Underwriting Sustainability and Governance team
QBE has a dedicated Group Underwriting Sustainability and Governance team led by the Group Head of Underwriting Governance, Sustainability and Standards reporting to the Group Chief Underwriting Officer, a GEC member. Our Group Head of Underwriting Governance, Sustainability and Standards leads the ‘Net Zero in Underwriting’ Program Initiative in support of our sustainability focus areas and chairs the Net Zero in Underwriting Steering Committee and the Global Underwriting Governance Committee and is a member of the Group Underwriting Committee (GUC). Underwriting also participates in various sustainability-related committees including the ESG Risk Committee.
Group Impact and Responsible Investments team
QBE has a dedicated Group Impact and Responsible Investments (IRI) team who report to the Group Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and the Group Chief Financial Officer, a GEC member. The IRI team seeks to integrate sustainability considerations into our investment decision-making process and lead our net zero in investments initiatives. The team’s activities are overseen by the BRCC and, where appropriate, the Board Investment Committee. The Group CIO and the Head of IRI participate in sustainability-related committees including the ESG Risk Committee, the E&S GEC SC and the Sustainability Scorecard Working Group.
Group Finance team
The Group Finance team has commenced an important enabling role in the development of an information governance framework for the reporting of sustainability metrics included in the Sustainability Data Book, and the associated assurance activities. This team also supports the measurement of insurance-associated emissions of the underwriting portfolio and the Finance Chief Operating Officer and Chief Underwriting Office co-sponsored the internal program to measure insurance-associated emissions in 2022.
Group ESG Risk team
The Group ESG Risk team, led by the Head of ESG Risk, reports to the Chief Enterprise Risk Officer. The team supports the identification, analysis and management of ESG risks and integration into our risk management practices and systems. The Group ESG Risk team also supports the review of referrals in relation to the Environmental & Social Risk Framework and the modern slavery risk assessment process, where relevant. The Head of ESG Risk is the secretary of the ESG Risk Committee.
Other governance forums
We have a range of other internal governance forums and working groups whose members possess the specialist skills required to understand and address current and emerging sustainability issues. These include our:
- Global Privacy Council
- Inclusion of Diversity Community of Practice
- Health & Safety Working Group
- QBE Global Foundation Committee
- Net Zero in Underwriting Steering Committee
- Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance Steering Committee
- Third Party Risk Management Steering Committee