Oversight and accountability of sustainability
Consistent with its charter, the Group Board is responsible for overseeing QBE’s social, ethical and environmental responsibilities across the business. The Board is supported by the Board Risk & Capital Committee (BRCC), comprised of independent directors, which oversees and guides our sustainability approach, initiatives and reporting. The Group Corporate Affairs & Sustainability team updates the BRCC on our sustainability performance and activity at each of its meetings.
Our Group Executive Committee (GEC) reviews and approves our sustainability agenda and priorities, receiving updates on these throughout the year. During 2021, the GEC established an Environmental and Social Sub-Committee, where five members of the GEC meet monthly to take a deeper dive into sustainability issues and support executive decision making. Our Executive Risk Committee (ERC) also supports the GEC in managing ESG risks.
Integrating sustainability across our business
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 approach and initiatives, stakeholder 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 supports the identification, analysis and management of ESG risks and integration into our risk management practices and systems. The team acts as secretariat to the ESG Risk Committee and the Climate Change Working Group.
Group Impact and Responsible Investments team
QBE has a dedicated Group Impact and Responsible Investments (IRI) team reports to the Group Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and the Group Chief Financial Officer, a GEC member. The IRI team seeks to integrate ESG considerations into our investment decision-making process. The team’s activities are also overseen by the BRCC and, where appropriate, the Board Investment Committee. The Group CIO and the Head of IRI participate in numerous sustainability-related committees including the ESG Risk Committee and Climate Change Working Group.
The Sustainability Committee supports the business 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. These representatives come from business units including Risk, Compliance, Underwriting, Finance, Impact and Responsible Investments, Investor Relations, People and Culture, Company Secretariat and Operations. The Sustainability Committee is chaired by our Group Executive Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, a GEC member.
ESG Risk Committee
The ESG Risk Committee supports the ERC in the management of ESG risks across the group according to the ESG Risk Standard, as part of the QBE Group Enterprise Risk Management Framework. The Committee oversees actions to identify and review ESG risks and develop appropriate treatment plans and strategic responses to recommend to the ERC.
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 Emerging Risk Forum;
- Climate Change Working Group;
- Group Underwriting Committee;
- Global Privacy Council;
- Premiums4Good Global Steering Committee;
- Inclusion of Diversity Community of Practice;
- Health & Safety Working Group; and
- QBE Global Foundation Committee.