Governance is the foundation: Allianz Trade’s sustainability strategy

June 20, 2024

They say a building is only as strong as its foundation. At Allianz Trade, we believe the same is true for our sustainability strategy. By implementing a robust governance framework, we ensure clarity, commitment and efficacy – thereby creating a solid basis for meaningful progress towards our sustainability goals.

Leading the charge towards sustainability

Allianz Trade’s sustainability journey started at the very top: with Allianz Group. It goes without saying, but Sustainability is such an important topic – for governments, businesses and consumers – so actions must be centralized and aligned across all Allianz companies.

The first commitment we made as a group was to support the historic Paris Agreement in 2015, with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Then, in 2018, we took a decisive step: introducing an energy policy that outlines the gradual phasing out of carbon-intensive businesses, focusing first on our investment arm and eventually extending to insurance. This marked the beginning of our commitment to divest from coal and, progressively, the oil and gas sectors.

However, our strategy goes beyond setting ambitious, group-level goals; we’re working to embed these aspirations into the DNA of Allianz Trade. So, since 2020, we have expanded our sustainability team, developed our roadmap and refined our governance structure to help make this a reality.

A robust governance structure

Allianz Trade is a multinational company operating in over 50 countries with company-level, regional-level, and operating-entity-level decision making bodies. So, when it comes to our governance framework, we tailor our approach to our specific business and local offices.

Today, sustainability at Allianz Trade is governed at four levels. First, we have a dedicated member of the Board of Management steering several topics including sustainability integration and climate strategy. Then we have our Global Sustainability Committee, which ensures that rules and procedures are in place to integrate sustainability into business operations – and that we are aligned with Allianz Group’s Sustainability strategy. The third body is Allianz Trade’s Group Sustainability Office (GSO). The GSO acts as a central hub, a competence center driving the integration of sustainability into all business functions and operations and supporting the implementation of sustainability-related requirements across the company, at all levels.

Finally, we have our Regional Boards, guided by the GSO, responsible for applying Allianz Trade’s sustainability roadmap and ambitions at a local level.

Driving long-term impact

This tailored approach and strong framework have enabled us to define roles, responsibilities and expectations clearly and effectively. The impact has been notable: our teams are now more engaged, and more committed – and the result is a marked acceleration in the progress of our sustainability initiatives. For example, we developed a dedicated Specialty Credit solution that insures sustainable projects, like water supply infrastructure and offshore wind farms, and frameworks that accelerate the design of sustainable insurance solutions.

We also recognize that sustainability as a topic is both technical and relatively new. And while we have a specialized team governing sustainability at Allianz Trade, our ultimate aim is to embed this expertise across the entire organization. We want all our teams to both understand our sustainability approach and implement it properly. So, to facilitate this, we have rolled out function-specific training. In the past year, we conducted 15 sustainability training sessions tailored to the commercial function, and we're extending sessions to include credit risk and operations in the upcoming months. We’ve also hosted online “Learning Fridays” open to all. What’s more, we have organized Sustainability Days in our offices in different regions. For instance, we hosted a workshop on difficult conversations in sustainability for our Asia Pacific team. Our aim is to ensure everyone, regardless of function, is up to speed on our roadmap and has a chance to meet the team and ask questions face-to-face.

Today, we’re in a good position. By focusing on education and practical application, we’re demystifying sustainability so it can become a core aspect of our business strategy. And sustainability is increasingly integrated into all functions of the organization – and not as an afterthought, but as a central pillar.

Enhancing transparency

At Allianz Trade, we continuously build on our strong foundations to enhance our sustainability approach. Evolving regulations represent opportunities for us to increase transparency and trust in our activities. For example, we pay close attention to human rights for ourselves and our suppliers, within the framework of the German Supply Chain Act. At the group level, we have heightened transparency in our reporting on sustainability indicators, as we move toward alignment with the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

Leading by example

As leaders in the field, our goal at Allianz Trade is the full integration of sustainability into our core business and decision-making processes. But beyond that, we want to integrate sustainability into our industry.

We are driven by the conviction that businesses can be powerful catalysts for sustainable change. And that is our aim. By fostering a culture of sustainability and leading by example, we want to inspire others to join us in creating a better future for people and the planet.

Got questions?
Connect with our expert 👇 

Andrée Grignon Dumoulin

Senior Sustainability Manager
Allianz Trade