Insurance companies are at the sharp edge of climate change, with severe weather events becoming more frequent, impacting more customers and communities across the motu.
Sustainability reporting from insurers reflects both this impact on their policy holders and the steps insurers are taking to reduce their own contribution to climate change, whether from direct emissions or from financed emissions through its investments.
After assisting AA Insurance with its first Corporate Social Responsibility Report in 2020, AA Insurance again asked Wright Communications to help the highly regarded insurance company prepare its second report in 2022.
Because of a delay due to COVID-19, AA Insurance’s 2022 CSR Report covered 18 months and touched on its activities and achievements; its commitment to the environment in terms of upcoming reporting disclosures, and progress towards decarbonisation.
Wright Communications follows a structured approach to CSR or sustainability reporting, guided mostly by international best practice and the principles of the Global Reporting Initiative. When preparing the content, we are primarily guided by the principles of materiality and impact, either on the environment or on society.
Collaborating with the CSR Manager at AA Insurance, we first developed an editorial outline based on a recently completed Materiality Assessment Report for AA Insurance and the company’s sustainability strategy.
At this stage we also engaged with a design agency that had substantial experience with creating annual and sustainability reports. We assisted with briefing the designers and developing the overall messaging and design theme.
To draft the content, we relied on many sources from in-depth interviews with the acting Chief Executive and members of the Senior Leadership Team to internal memos, data sets, media releases and employee newsletters.
Throughout the drafting and content approval process we were in regular contact with the AA Insurance team, responding to suggestions, drafting new content and provide advice, when required, on recommended disclosures.
AA Insurance has consistently been ranked as a top trusted brand in New Zealand in the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index. It earnt a high degree of trust through excellent customer service and repeatedly going above and beyond for its customers during major insurance claim events.
Naturally then, trust and customer service were a key theme for the CSR Report. The AA Insurance brand narrative and purpose was woven carefully throughout the report and into the design and photography. We also focused case studies on how the company showed up for its customers when it counted – the heart of its reputation.
Sustainability elements such as references to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and material topics were integrated into the report with meaningful business activities aligned.
A substantial section on climate change reported on efforts to reduce emission from operational activities and on the impact of extreme weather events. Work towards greater climate-related finance risk, required in 2023 under new climate disclosures legislation, was also indicated.
Under the headline, ‘Understanding our future impact’ the report published, for the first time narrative and greenhouse gas emissions data on the impact of working from home (WFH). AA Insurance is one of the first employers in New Zealand to report on WFH emissions as part of its Scope 3 GHG emissions.
The AA Insurance 2022 CSR Report captures a moment in time and reflects progress on the company’s sustainability journey so far. And it does so in a friendly, approachable and easy-to-read manner.