Sustainability ecosystems enable insurers to use the resources and skills of a network of partners committed to building a sustainable future.
Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges we face in the insurance industry. To meet this challenge, carriers must build strong ecosystems.
Many insurance companies have discovered the importance of digital ecosystems. They help digital businesses thrive by linking them to a variety of customers and partners. The networking effect of digital ecosystems can create exponential growth.
Sustainability ecosystems are also important. They are important for the well-being of companies and the many different communities they serve. They extend beyond traditional value chains. They connect companies to customers, employees, shareholders, business partners, authorities and non-profit organizations.
Why are sustainability ecosystems important? They are essential because they provide companies with a network of partners to help them meet the challenges of sustainability in the most efficient way possible. Sustainability is such a huge and complex issue that no organization should try to answer on its own. Partners are important. At the heart of sustainability is the recognition that we are all ̵
Sustainable insurance companies, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, put sustainability at the core of their business strategies. It governs all important decisions. Communication with policyholders, conversations with employees, discussions with business partners and management of investment assets, for example, should reflect the company's commitment to sustainability.
360-degree value is the basis for successful sustainability ecosystems.
In sustainability ecosystems built around what our CEO Julie Sweet calls the principle of "360-degree value" all participants can gain value. But it is important that each of them also maintains the values of the other ecosystem participants. Such an approach requires transparency and trust. It puts common values high on the checklist when choosing new partners. Do the companies you want to work with support your commitment to sustainability? If not, they will weaken your sustainability ecosystem.
Consumers, employees and regulators are increasingly pushing companies to change. They want companies to do more to counter threats such as climate change, environmental pollution and poverty. Sustainability ecosystems can help carriers identify how best to respond to such requirements. Insights from customers, employees and business partners are likely to be invaluable.
Grassroots initiatives often flourish.
Several insurers have initiated sustainability strategies that include "grassroots initiatives" that meet local needs.
Sustainability ecosystems are crucial to the success of all these initiatives.
MAIF looks to the members for sustainability direction.
The French operator MAIF has adopted a comprehensive "top-down" strategy to develop its sustainability ecosystem. The mutual insurance company has identified six aspects of its operations where it can improve its commitment to sustainability and has asked its members to rank their importance. MAIF's strategy recognizes the importance of the company's members. It also recognizes that its members can give the company new perspectives on how to deal with the challenges of sustainability. The path taken by MAIF is a useful framework for other insurance companies that want to strengthen their sustainability ecosystem. These are the initiatives they asked their members to rank:
- Digital Services: Deliver all products and services in digital format. Provide comprehensive training and support for users of digital offerings. Ensure robust security and control over all digital channels.
- Economics: No investment in companies or industries that do not respect biodiversity, human rights or the environment. Fund projects that positively affect society or the environment. Support the local economy.
- Internal practice: Fight money laundering, corruption and fraud. Improve the environmental impact of business infrastructure and operations. Promote shared transportation and work from home among employees. Adopt responsible purchasing routines.
- Management: Promote responsible tax policies that support local tax authorities. Maintain a mutual business model that promotes members' interests rather than shareholders. Think about environmental and social performance, as well as economic criteria.
- Employees: Build trust in working relationships with employees. Develop employees' skills and well-being.
- Society: Ensure that products and services are available to all potential customers. Provide consumers with clear and comprehensive information about the company's offerings. Develop products that handle climate change and related risks.
At Accenture, we have long been committed to sustainability. And we have helped many other organizations address the challenges of sustainability. We have learned that a commitment to sustainability requires companies to set goals, develop a strategy, take action, collect data, measure performance and hold leaders accountable. There are no shortcuts. Too often, companies declare their support for sustainability but do not support this commitment with measures that can be measured and assessed.
In my next blog post, I will discuss how insurance companies can use their digital technology resources to increase their commitment to sustainability. Until then, you can find a lot of information about sustainable business methods and ecosystems in the links below. Or send me a message. Be careful.
Decade to deliver: UNGC-Accenture Strategy CEO Study on sustainability.
The green behind the cloud.
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