The Growing Threat of Climate Change
There are growing impacts of climate change on society, including more frequent natural disasters and extreme weather events. It was in this context that the Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 at the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Also, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by international consensus in September 2015 to address numerous challenges facing global society include Goal 13 (Climate Action), calling on stakeholders to "Take urgent action to tackle climate change and its impacts."
To address climate change to date, we have mostly been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to "mitigate" the advance of climate change. But it is impossible to avoid the impacts of GHGs that have already been emitted, so there is a growing need for initiatives to "adapt" to the climate change by reducing the impacts of increasing natural disasters and deteriorated water resources, and other measures. In particular, corporations are being called upon to engage in adaptation initiatives, and developed countries are expected to bolster assistance for developing countries.
Our Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Efforts
The intensification of natural disasters by climate change can impact the Group’s ability to continue providing insurance sustainably, as it causes insurance payments to rise, and with them, higher insurance premiums. Meanwhile, increases in the need for products and services to address climate risks could lead to the emergence and expansion of new insurance markets.
As a corporate group dedicated to providing “security, health, and wellbeing,” we have established a Group CSR Vision, Group Environmental Policy, and Group Sustainable Procurement Policy to address climate change. Also, having defined “Promoting the Manageability of Global Environmental Issues” as our Material Issue 3, we are dealing with climate adaptation and mitigation throughout the value chain. By providing new solutions, we will contribute to developing a sustainable society.
Milestones in Our Climate Initiatives
For climate mitigation, in 1997 we became the first financial institution in Japan to acquire ISO 14001 (environmental management system) certification, and since then have been working on energy saving and conservation efforts through the PDCA cycle for constant improvement, as well as advancing sustainable procurement and other environmental initiatives. In 1998, we started offering consulting services through Group companies to support environmental management systems, making use of our experience and knowhow. In 2013, we established mid- and long-term reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions. We are aiming to reduce emissions of the entire Group by 40% by 2020 compared to fiscal year 2002, and by 70% by 2050.
As for climate adaptation, we started an innovative effort in the industry in 2007 in cooperation with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and others, promoting research into climate risk financing mechanisms. Making use of the findings, in 2010 we launched weather index insurance in Northeastern Thailand. Currently the product offering has expanded to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar, and by 2025 we aim to offer this type of insurance to 30,000 farmers in Southeast Asia. Besides this, in collaboration with research institutions we are developing disaster risk assessment methods that are increasingly important due to climate change, and are working to provide new solutions such as flood risk assessment models for Japan and other Asian countries.
Seeking local input for weather index insurance (Myanmar)
Our Products and Services to Contribute to Climate Adaptation
Below are some of our products and services designed to help address climate change.
Our Efforts to Contribute to Climate Mitigation through the Value Chain
Below are some of our specific climate mitigation initiatives through our value chain.
Communicating with Society through Research Activities
We organize research groups on climate change risks and other topics, in collaboration with research institutes and government bodies. We also take the findings and broadly distribute information that can help address climate change issues, through the publication of materials that summarize adaptation case studies and recommendations on how to promote adaptation, as well as the organization of public symposiums.
How Should We Adapt Climate Change Risks: Smart Adaptation for Businesses, Governments, and Grassroots Organizations
This book covers topics relating to the impacts of climate change, rationale for actions, numerous case studies, and recommendations for climate adaptation actions.
Leadership to Address Climate Change
Leadership through Various Initiatives
It is important that many stakeholders work collaboratively to address the challenges of climate change. As climate action is being discussed in numerous initiatives both in Japan and the world, we are making an effort to show leadership in such initiatives. Here we introduce some of our major activities.
Caring for Climate
Caring for Climate is an initiative established by the United Nations Global Compact (UN GC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to advance the role of business in addressing climate change. Masao Seki, Senior Advisor on CSR at Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, is a member of the steering committee
Caring for Climate
The CDP is a set of collaborative initiatives by the world’s leading institutional investors. It encourages businesses worldwide to adopt climate change strategies and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions. Sompo Japan Nipponkoa has been a member since 2005 as an institutional investor. Sompo Holdings was selected for the 2016 Climate A List in a survey on climate change and among the highest ranked financial institutions in Japan and the world.
COP22 Climate Conference
In November 2016, the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was held in Marrakesh, Morocco. Masao Seki, Senior Advisor on CSR at Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, spoke at a session of a side event organized by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, focusing on Japanese corporations’ efforts for climate resilience. He also participated in a High-Level Meeting on Climate Change organized by Caring for Climate during COP22, as a steering committee member.