Zurich pulls out of Net Zero Insurance Alliance

The Swiss insurer is the second to drop out of initiative following Munich Re last week.

Zurich Insurance Group has become the second insurer to drop out of the Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), following the departure late last week of Munich Re. 

The Swiss insurer, one of the world’s largest, confirmed to Responsible Investor that it had decided to pull out of the GFANZ grouping.

It did not give detailed reasoning for the move, but said that after establishing a standardised methodology for measuring and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions associated with its insurance and reinsurance portfolios, “we want to focus our resources to support our customers with their transition”. 

A spokesperson told Responsible Investor that Zurich remained fully committed to its sustainability ambitions and to supporting the net zero transition.  

Announcing its departure last week, fellow NZIA member Munich Re cited concerns around antitrust rules.

In a statement, Munich Re chief executive Joachim Wenning said: “The opportunities to pursue decarbonisation goals in a collective approach among insurers worldwide without exposing ourselves to material antitrust risks are so limited that it is more effective to pursue our climate ambition to reduce global warming individually.” 

While it has left the NZIA, Munich Re said it would remain a member of the Net Zero Asset Owners Alliance (NZAOA). A spokersperson for Zurich said it was an “active member” of the alliance.

Fellow NZIA member Allianz told RI that it was “monitoring developments” and that “in general” it believes in the power of effective partnerships to drive decarbonisation.  

“The UN-convened alliances are considered world-leading in their efforts to mitigate climate change and to build climate resilience,” a spokesperson said. 

Many of the sector-specific alliances which make up GFANZ have seen departures, but not in large numbers.

Germany’s GLS Bank pulled out of the Net Zero Banking Alliance in February, and the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) has seen the departure of one Australian and one Austrian pension fund. US Consultancy Meketa also left the Net Zero Investment Consultants Initiative last year.  

The most notable departure was Vanguard, which left the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative in December. The US giant said in a statement that it had decided to quit in order to make it clear that it “speaks independently on matters of importance to our investors”.