(Hong Kong, Shanghai, March 13, 2023) – Benjamin Deng, Chief Investment Officer of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (“Ping An” or the “Group”, HKEx:2318; SSE:601318), says the Group’s responsible investment priorities are aligned to China government’s green transition policy.
“ESG in China is coherent. We follow the national policies toward net zero, and so we don’t have to fight our own battles to do better things,” Mr. Deng said at the Insurance Asset Risk 2023 Conference.
Insurance companies are encouraged to make green investments with regulatory support, such as the 10% discount for the credit risk factor in green bonds under the China-Risk-Oriented Solvency System (C-ROSS) phase 2, Mr. Deng said. “All these things are helping in the same direction for us to invest in socially responsible and green target projects,” he said.
In line with China’s goals to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, Ping An set annual growth rates for its green investments of no less than 20%, green insurance premiums no less than 70% and green credit balance no less than 20%. Ping An aims to achieve the overall targets by 2025, with green investments and green credit of RMB400 billion and total green insurance premiums of RMB250 billion. As of September 30, 2022, Ping An’s green investment and financing totaled approximately RMB319.8 billion, and its green banking business totaled RMB184.2 billion. Premium income of environmentally sustainable insurance products totaled approximately RMB110.5 billion in the first nine months of 2022.
Ping An is investing in green and low carbon assets, while reducing the proportion of high carbon emitting assets. According to Ping An’s TCFD report published in 2021, less than 2% of the estimated RMB7.92 trillion in Ping An’s assets in investment and banking services were related to major high carbon-emitting sectors. It has pledged to support innovations in clean technology, renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy technology, carbon capture and ecological carbon sinks, carbon trading and other environmental fields.
Ping An was the first Mainland Chinese asset owner to sign the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and to join Climate Action 100+, the investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters act on climate change. Ping An has maintained a market-leading A- rating since 2020 in climate change by the internationally renowned non-profit organization CDP for its transparency and execution in addressing climate change. It was rated A in the Morgan Stanley Capital Investment (MSCI) 2022 ESG Ratings, ranking first in the multi-line insurance and brokerage industry in Asia Pacific and rated as "Low ESG Risk" by Sustainalytics, the best score among Mainland China's insurance companies.
To support responsible investing more widely in China, Ping An also participated in drafting China’s first ESG disclosure standard, the “Guidance for Enterprise ESG Disclosure”, which took effect in June 2022, and upgraded its proprietary AI-based ESG evaluation system, which covers more than 4,500 A-share listed companies and more than 2,700 Hong Kong listed companies. It evaluates more than 4,600 corporate credit bond issuers and 58,000 green bonds, nearly 140 fund management companies and more than 14,900 funds.