Homegrown financial services company Singlife has become a signatory of the United Nations (UN)-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. Singlife is now the first insurer in Southeast Asia to join the global network for institutional investors committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies.
Supported by the UN, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) works to understand the investment implications of ESG factors and to support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment and ownership decisions. Launched in New York in 2006, the PRI has grown to more than 5,000 signatories, managing over US$121 trillion.
In July 2022, Singlife became the first Singapore-based insurer recognised as a signatory of the UN Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) within its first year of operations. It is also already a supporter of the UN-led Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and Singapore Stewardship Principles (SSP) for Responsible Investors.
In support of the international sustainability agenda, Singlife also monitors its portfolio’s alignment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As of December 2022, Singlife has committed over S$500million towards sustainable investments such as the Altrium Sustainability Fund I launched by Azalea Investment Management and co-seeded by Singlife and sponsor, the Azalea Group, an indirect subsidiary of Temasek.
Singlife’s Sustainability Report
Singlife’s commitment to the ESG agenda was exemplified in its inaugural Sustainability Report. The report outlines its sustainability approach, priorities, practices and progress for the 2022 financial year. The report covers the firm’s five-pronged sustainability strategy, ‘RAISE’: Responsible investor, Accelerator of net zero, Innovator for green and good, Sustainability-embedded culture, and Effective governance and risk management.
Chia Ko Wen, head of sustainability at Singlife, discussed the importance of the move for the company. He said: “Sustainability is a core pillar of Singlife’s business strategy, and we have made meaningful progress since launching our sustainability programme a year ago.
“Our first Sustainability Report aims to provide transparency on our progress and allow stakeholders to understand our approach and ambitions.
“We are honoured to be the first Southeast Asian insurer to join the PRI. This reflects our dedication to playing an active role in advancing sustainability outcomes through responsible investing.”
‘Insurers are an integral voice in the global move towards responsible investment’
Kim Rosenkilde, group chief investment officer at Singlife, also commented: “Joining the PRI is part of our fiduciary responsibility to our clients. We have a duty to act in their long-term interests and that means integrating ESG considerations into our investment process and decisions, so that we can better assess the risks and opportunities. We will work to uphold the principles and strengthen our practices as our investment approach evolves and matures.”
David Atkin, CEO of Principles for Responsible Investment, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Singlife as a signatory to the PRI, and as the first Southeast Asian insurer to join the organisation. Insurers are an integral voice in the global move towards responsible investment and we welcome Singlife’s commitment to transparency and disclosure, as evidenced by the release of the organisation’s Sustainability Report. We look forward to working with Singlife as a vital part of the PRI’s signatory base now as well as in the future.”