Founded on a tradition of trust, Great Eastern is committed to using our reach and resources to support the long-term growth of our customers, employees and communities. Despite the onset of the pandemic, and the new normal that the world is operating in, we continue to hold on to this business principle. Nonetheless, business and societal concerns have become more complex and nuanced, and we are facing unprecedented challenges in terms of political risk, economic uncertainty, divided societies and rising occurrence of climate-related disasters. The well-being of our society is important to our collective future, and we remain committed to making a positive impact to all segments of the communities in which we operate in.
We established a 2025 Operational Net Zero target in 2021. During 2022, we succeeded in reducing the intensity of carbon emission from our operations by 20% (2019 baseline) and are on track to achieve our operational net zero target by 2025.
We have made good progress in responsible investments, resulting from our enhanced role as an active investor by reducing our portfolio carbon footprint and scaling up green investments. In addition, a decarbonisation roadmap limits new investment in coal companies and coal-fired utilities without a credible energy transition plan. Close to 90% of Singapore’s investible assets are managed by United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN-PRI) signatories. To date, we have added more than S$3 billion to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) mandates and investments. We are therefore on track to reduce our equity portfolio’s carbon footprint by 20% by 2025.
In the past year, we have embarked on a review of our insurance portfolio in support of the transition to a low-carbon economy. In 2022, we have commenced the assessment of the environmental risks of our corporate customers across our General Insurance portfolio. In 2023, we will focus on baselining the carbon footprint for our General Insurance portfolio and set relevant reduction targets.
A renewed emphasis on sustainability
At Great Eastern, board oversight ensures that sustainability is aligned and embedded in our overall corporate strategy. To provide greater clarity of accountability and targets, we have established four task forces to drive specific sustainability strategies: Product Development, Net Zero, Community and Culture, and Regulation, Risk Management and Disclosure. Each task force is led by a member of the senior management team to drive the execution of strategy and foster ESG related activities across the Group.
Looking after our community
We are firmly focused on improving people’s lives in our communities by making insurance affordable, accessible and inclusive through continued support of government national initiatives such as Dependents’ Protection Scheme (DPS) in Singapore with over 2 million policyholders, and MySalam for the low-income B40 population in Malaysia administering free Takaful health protection to 11.2 million individuals.
In 2022, together with a non-profit organisation, we embarked on several community-based programmes. These included financial literacy workshops and a sustainable schools initiative involving over 11,000 secondary school students to build environmental awareness and advocacy as Singapore moves towards a zero-waste future. We are also proud to be a part of the Platform Workers Work Injury Compensation Network (PWIN), a national initiative set up by the Ministry of Manpower to ensure that platform workers are are adequately protected and compensated for any work-related injuries or accidents. It is a meaningful partnership to ensure that insurance is available and accessible to those who need them.
Ensuring long-term business continuity
The world today presents many uncertainties. Our approach may adapt to the fast-changing external environment but our focus on customer satisfaction and sustained business growth remains
KOH BENG SENG
KHOR HOCK SENG
Group Chief Executive Officer