In 2020 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published guidance called Managing environmental, social and governance risks in non-life insurance business, which references the FARMS as a resource for assessing and mitigating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and for supporting decision-making in this area. It was developed by UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI).
The PSI aims to help the industry address ESG risks and opportunities and to strengthen its “contribution as risk managers, insurers and investors [in] building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies.” The long-term goal of the PSI is for the insurance industry to help make society more “healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable.” It has been endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and insurance industry CEOs.
The UNEP guide puts the livestock sector, including animal welfare, at the top of the list of economic sectors prone to ESG risks and provides tools that enable insurance companies to develop their ESG approach, such as integrating ESG concerns into operations, management, and reporting. Animal welfare risks during livestock transport are highlighted in particular.
“Animal welfare is an important ESG risk which insurance companies need to engage with,” says Julie Janovsky, Vice President, Farm Animal Welfare at Humane Society International, one of the FARMS Initiative partners. “This ESG guide provides a general framework to start doing so … and offers the tools to set clear standards and objectives regarding animal welfare in livestock production.”