Oversight and accountability of sustainability
The highest governing body for sustainability-related issues is our Group Board of Directors. The Board is supported by the Board Risk & Capital Committee (BRCC) which oversees and guides QBE’s sustainability approach, initiatives and reporting requirements.
The Group Sustainability team provides an update on sustainability performance and activity to the BRCC at each of its meetings (six meetings were held in 2019).
Our Group Executive Committee (GEC) reviews and approves our sustainability agenda and priorities and receives updates on these throughout the year. An Executive Non-Financial Risk Committee (ENFRC) was formed in 2019 to support the GEC in managing non-financial risks.
Integrating sustainability across our business
Group Sustainability team
The Group Sustainability team, operating under a dedicated 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 approach and initiatives, external stakeholder engagement, internal engagement and communications, performance management and reporting.
Group ESG Risk team
The Group ESG Risk team reports to the Group Chief Risk Officer (CRO), a GEC member.
The team is responsible for coordinating the identification, analysis and management of ESG risks and integration into our risk management practices and systems. The team supports our climate change working groups on managing our approach to climate risks and opportunities.
Group Impact and Responsible Investments team
QBE has a dedicated Group Impact and Responsible Investments (IRI) team, which reports to the Group Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and the Group Chief Financial Officer, a GEC member. The IRI team aims to integrate ESG considerations into our investment decision-making process. The IRI team’s activities are also overseen by the BRCC and, where appropriate, the Board Investment Committee. The Group CIO and/ or Head of IRI participate in numerous sustainability-related committees including the ESG Risk Committee and Climate Change Steering Committee.
The Sustainability Committee supports the business in the delivery and effectiveness of our sustainability strategy, initiatives and reporting requirements. It is made up of senior representatives from across the Group who are involved in the day-to-day management of sustainability issues. These representatives come from business units including Risk, Finance, Investments, Investor Relations, People and Culture, Communications, Legal, Company Secretariat and Compliance, Operations and Claims.
The Sustainability Committee is chaired by our Group Executive Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, a member of the GEC. This ensures a close alignment of the Committee’s
activities with our CEO’s agenda.
ESG Risk Committee
The ESG Risk Committee, formerly known as the ESG Business Policy Committee, was established in late 2018 by the Group CRO. The Committee is responsible for managing and overseeing activities to identify and review ESG risks and develop appropriate policy and decision- making frameworks. In addition, the Committee considers and recommends policy positions on ESG risks that impact underwriting, investment and/or operations across the Group to the ENFRC.
Other governance forums
There are a range of other internal governance forums and working groups whose members have the specialist skills needed to understand and address existing and emerging sustainability issues. These include our:
- Global Emerging Risk Forum;
- Climate Change Steering Committee;
- Group Underwriting Committee;
- Conduct Risk Working Group;
- Premiums4Good Global Steering Committee;
- Diversity & Inclusion Council;
- Health & Safety Working Group; and
- QBE Global Foundation Committee.