Axa has launched a new index to measure the insurer’s progress in meeting its environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives across investments, underwriting and corporate responsibility.  

Axa green bonds

Announced yesterday at the reinsurer’s virtual 2021 annual general meeting, the Axa for Progress Index is designed to measure progress on the carrier’s long-term targets.

These include a 20 percent reduction of the carbon footprint in Axa’s general account investment portfolio by 2025 and the expansion of the green investment portfolio to reach €25bn ($30.3bn) by 2023.

In underwriting, Axa has pledged to increase the share of insurance products that have a positive impact on the environment through the guarantees or services offered. It also aims to strengthen and promote inclusive insurance for vulnerable customers.

The index will also measure Axa’s progress against a number of internal corporate responsibility targets. These include training all employees on climate issues by 2023 and achieving carbon neutrality of its activities by 2025.

Carbon neutrality will be achieved by reducing emissions from its operations by 20 percent and offsetting residual emissions, Axa said.

The index will also incorporate Axa’s position in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, which recognises the most responsible companies in the financial sector.

Axa CEO Thomas Buberl said: “After defining our purpose, the launch of the ‘Axa for Progress Index’ is an important step which will allow it to permeate all of our actions. We will also accelerate its deployment by integrating the index’s objectives into our executive compensation criteria.

“This initiative reinforces our approach of confirming Axa’s responsible commitments towards all its stakeholders,” he added.

Axa also confirmed it had received shareholder authorisation for a dividend of €1.43 per share for the 2020 fiscal year.

During the shareholders’ meeting, all resolutions recommended by the board of directors were approved by investors, including the appointment of Guillaume Faury and Ramon Fernandez as directors for a four-year term.

Axa also confirmed the re-appointment of Ramon de Oliveira as a director for a four-year term.