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A new report commissioned by the Sustainable Finance Skillnet which analyses Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) knowledge and skillset requirements within the Irish insurance industry has been launched today.

The Insurance industry ESG knowledge and skills analysis 2023 report was supported by Skillnet Ireland and authored by KPMG, with industry-wide collaboration between Brokers Ireland, LIA, the Insurance Institute, and Insurance Ireland.

ESG challenges are one of the most critical issues facing societies and economies today. The financial services sector, including the insurance industry, will play a critical role in Ireland’s transition to a net zero economy.

Report analyses current ESG awareness within the insurance industry

Talent development and capacity building are recognised to be critical drivers of the sustainable finance agenda for Ireland. In this context, the report analyses current ESG awareness within the insurance industry, highlights knowledge gaps and provides recommendations for the development of future training programmes, in line with Pillar 1 – Talent Development, of the Irish Sustainable Finance Roadmap.

The report highlights the strong demand for introductory training on ESG and sustainable finance but also the need for targeted training for specific roles and across seniority levels. Regular assessments and refinement of training programmes will also play an important ongoing role, given the evolving nature of the sustainable finance agenda.

The findings presented in this report is an important milestone for the insurance industry in its journey to support Ireland in becoming a leader in sustainable finance.

Developing the skills and talent pipeline needed for a sustainable economy

Recognising the importance of the report, Director of Business Networks, Skillnet Ireland, Dave Flynn said: “Skillnet Ireland plays a crucial role in developing the skills and talent pipeline needed for a sustainable economy, and our focus on sustainable finance reflects the growing importance of ESG factors in investment decision-making. This report provides a useful means by which we can gather knowledge of the skills and talent gaps in the insurance sector. There is strong appetite from the industry to participate in ESG upskilling. By developing skills in ESG, companies can better understand the risks and opportunities associated with ESG factors and make more informed investment decisions. This, in turn, can lead to a more sustainable and resilient economy.”

Speaking at the launch, Chair of the Sustainable Finance Skillnet Committee, Mary Whitelaw, welcomed the collaboration across the insurance industry on this report. “We would like to thank our partners Brokers Ireland, LIA, the Insurance Institute, Insurance Ireland and KPMG for their support. Understanding the existing ESG capacity and awareness of the industry is a critical step for the development of further learning opportunities for the insurance sector and we look forward to supporting this in 2023 and beyond.”

Anthony Brennan, President of the Insurance Institute and CEO of Zurich Insurance, said: “There are a lot of important messages in this milestone report for our industry, but I think that the most important one is that this is about way more than regulation and reporting. This is about the whole insurance industry supporting society, our customers and our planet.”

To learn more read the full Insurance industry ESG knowledge and skills analysis 2023 report.

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