The Austrian Sustainability Podcast
The Vienna Insurance Group is one of the six founding members of the "Österreichischer Nachhaltigkeitspodcast” (Austrian Sustainability Podcast).
These days, the Börse Social Network takes over www.boersenradio.at. In the course of this, several new services are being launched, including "The Austrian Sustainability Podcast", which is designed as a community podcast.
Part 3 – The S of ESG: VIG's commitment to affordable housing
In the third episode of the podcast, Petra Ringler and Dieter Pscheidl from the European Affairs and ESG department talk about affordable housing and Vienna Insurance Group's commitment to the S of the three famous sustainability letters ESG (Environment, Social, Governance). Dieter Pscheidl explains why affordable housing is such an important topic that VIG is dedicated to:
“In the area of housing, there has been a very clear development in recent years to the disadvantage of everyone who has been looking for flats and houses. Prices for flats have increased by 75% in the last 10 years, and in the area of rents by almost 50%. This very clear development is also aggravated by five factors: disruptions in the supply chains, resulting in higher construction costs, but also a shortage of craftsmen in construction. Then there is inflation, which is still in the single digits here, but in Eastern Europe it is reaching double digits. Then there is the issue of the ECB's interest rate turnaround; one can assume that loans for house builders will become correspondingly more expensive. Then there is the energy crisis, which has now arisen and is getting worse, and the fifth aspect is EU environmental policy."
Part two – Investment and underwriting as insurers’ leverage for sustainability
In the second episode of the podcast, CEO Elisabeth Stadler talks about the responsibility and relevance of the insurance industry when it comes to sustainability.
“For Vienna Insurance Group, long-term responsibility means that we must be able to fulfill performance promises made to customers, most of which lie very far in the future, at any time. Therefore, sustainable stability of the Group through forward-looking management and profitable growth is necessary. To achieve this, we need an intact social and ecological environment. As VIG, we aim to ensure that economic, social and environmental goals go hand in hand. Sustainability is anchored in our core business. Since we as insurers are important providers of capital to national economies and our Group's investment decisions therefore have an indirect impact on social and environmental issues, the greatest leverage for sustainability lies in investment and underwriting."
Part one – EU Green Deal
In the first episode of the podcast, Dieter Pscheidl, Head of European Affairs at VIG, talks about the significance of the EU's Green Deal for the European insurance industry and about the problem of a possible shift to China:
"The goal of the Green Deal is to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality in the EU. That is, to strike a balance between emissions and their reduction. Europe is to be climate neutral by 2050, and CO2 emissions are to be halved by 2030. It is very important that this Green Deal does not work through bans, but through transparency. The insurance industry has two levers at its disposal: investment and underwriting. The only problem is that if European insurance companies, for example, voluntarily stopped insuring coal-fired power plants, there would be a shift in turnover, because Chinese insurance companies would then do it. Moreover, there would be no CO2 reduction either."
Listen to the full podcast here (in German only):