Sustainable finance

Sustainability issues pose risks and opportunities to the insurance and pension sectors

Climate change, environmental and social risks can have an important impact on human, social and economic life. If not managed properly, they can pose material risks to the assets and liabilities of insurers and pension providers.

At the same time, the insurance and pensions sector can play an important role in the mitigation and adaptation to climate change or sustainability risks, through their investments, products and services. Given their role as society’s risk managers and important long-term investors, insurers and pension funds have a unique opportunity and responsibility to address sustainability-related challenges and facilitate the transition to a more sustainable and resilient economy.

What are EIOPA’s main areas of activity?

Through its work on sustainable finance, EIOPA aims to ensure that (re)insurers and occupational pension funds integrate sustainability risks in their risk management to protect consumers and secure financial stability. In doing so, EIOPA aims to ensure that insurers and pension funds can continue to offer relevant and affordable risk management solutions against natural catastrophes or old age poverty.

EIOPA’s activities on sustainable finance reflect the need for global action to enable decisive progress on the transition to a more sustainable economy. Sustainable finance is a strategic priority area in EIOPA’s work programme 2022-2024, and the Commission’s Strategy for financing the transition to a sustainable economy encapsulates work by EIOPA in delivering on the Green Deal.

In line with EIOPA’s founding regulation and sectoral regulation on insurance and occupation pensions,  EIOPA’s 7 key areas of activity on sustainable finance for 2022-2024 are the following:

  1. Integrate ESG risks in the prudential framework of insurers and pension funds
  2. Consolidate the macro/microprudential risk assessment of ESG risks
  3. Promote sustainability disclosures and a sustainable conduct of business framework
  4. Support supervision of ESG risks and supervisory convergence in the EU
  5. Address protection gaps
  6. Promote the use of open source modelling and data in relation to climate change risks
  7. Contribute to international convergence for the assessment and management of sustainability risks

Download the sustainable finance activities 2022-2024

Tackling greenwashing

The increase in consumers’ demand for investments with sustainability-related features was followed by an increase in offerings with sustainability-related features, giving rise to the risk of greenwashing. EIOPA, in its 2021 Consumer Trends Report, had already warned about a possible increase of greenwashing related risks, and highlighted the need to monitor and mitigate it.

EIOPA as well as the other European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) have received a request for input from the European Commission on greenwashing risks in relation to sustainability claims and the supervision of sustainable finance policies. The request addresses three main areas: understanding and better monitoring greenwashing and related financial risks; taking stock of the implementation and supervision of sustainable finance policies aimed at preventing/addressing greenwashing; and assessing the supervisory and enforcement response. 

How to stay informed about our work?

EIOPA organizes regular Roundtables on Sustainable Finance to discuss past and upcoming work and the vital role that insurance and pensions play in strengthening society’s resilience to sustainability risks.

Our roundtables gather participants from Stakeholder Groups, the European Commission, representatives of the insurance and pensions, asset management and rating industries, and representatives of consumers associations and civil society.

Roundtables are public events and registrations are open to everyone.

Check  the events calendar 

Cooperation on sustainable finance

Climate change does not stop at borders. As a member of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), the Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), EIOPA cooperates with European and international supervisory and standard-setting bodies to establish convergent supervisory practices for  sustainability risks in the financial services sector.

EIOPA’s deliverables on sustainable finance

Find out more about our work in this area. Here below search for news, reports, consultations, as well as speeches, interviews and events in the area of sustainable finance.

Solvency II | Sustainability

Opinion on Sustainability within Solvency II

Solvency II | Sustainability | Impact underwriting

EIOPA issues opinion on sustainability within Solvency II

Frankfurt, 30 September 2019 – The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published today an Opinion on Sustainability and Solvency II. The Opinion addresses the integration of climate-related risks in Solvency II Pillar I requirements. While Solvency II - as a risk-based,...
Solvency II | Sustainability | Impact underwriting

EIOPA issues opinion on sustainability within Solvency II

Frankfurt, 30 September 2019 – The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published today an Opinion on Sustainability and Solvency II. The Opinion addresses the integration of climate-related risks in Solvency II Pillar I requirements. While Solvency II - as a risk-based,...
Financial stability | Risk assessment

Risks and Vulnerabilities in the EU Financial System

The report covers the impact of a no-deal Brexit on financial activities, risks related to the low interest rate environment, as well as climate change risks.
Justin Wray | PEPP | Solvency II | Sustainability

Interview with Justin Wray

​Interview with Justin Wray, Deputy Head of the Policy Department of EIOPA, conducted by Evgenia Tzortzi for Kathimerini.
Big Data | Sustainability

EIOPA calls for candidates to join Consultative Expert Group on Digital Ethics in insurance

Today, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) issued a call for candidates to join a Consultative Expert Group on Digital Ethics in insurance. EIOPA recently published the key finding of its thematic review on the use of Big Data Analytics (BDA) in motor and health...
Big Data | Sustainability

Call for expression of interest: EIOPA Consultative Expert Group on digital ethics

Solvency II | Sustainability

Consultation on an opinion on sustainability within Solvency II

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) launched a consultation on a draft opinion on sustainability within Solvency II. The draft opinion forms part of EIOPA's strategic activities on sustainable finance and follows a call for opinion from the European Commission. The...
Risk assessment | Sustainability | Financial stability

Impact of Green Bond Policies on Insurers: Evidence from the European Equity Market

This article empirically investigates whether the introduction of green bond policies by insurance companies have a positive impact on their equity prices. To this aim, the sample of listed (re)insurers in Europe using monthly data for years 2012 – 2019 is employed. Announcements, press releases...
Risk assessment | Sustainability | Financial stability

Impact of Green Bond Policies on Insurers: Evidence from the European Equity Market

This article empirically investigates whether the introduction of green bond policies by insurance companies have a positive impact on their equity prices. To this aim, the sample of listed (re)insurers in Europe using monthly data for years 2012 – 2019 is employed. Announcements, press releases...
Solvency II | Sustainability

EIOPA launches consultation on opinion on sustainability within Solvency II

The draft opinion aims at integrating sustainability risks, in particular those related to climate change, in the investment and underwriting practices of (re)insurers. The opinion addresses the valuation of assets and liabilities, assesses current investment and underwriting practices and seeks to...
Stress test | Sustainability

Occupational pensions stress test 2015

Objective​​ Stress tests are an important supervisory tool to examine the sensitivity of the occupational pensions sector to adverse market developments and to reach robust conclusions for the stability of the financial system as a whole and to enhance consumer protection. The aim of the exercise...
Financial stability | Risk assessment

ESAs launch consultation on technical standards on the reporting of intra-group transactions and risk concentration for Financial Conglomerates

The three European Supervisory Authorities, the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Securities Markets Supervisory Authority (ESMA) launched today a consultation on draft Implementing Technical Standards (ITSs) on the...
Risk assessment

ESAs publish amended technical standards on the mapping of ECAIs under the Capital Requirements Regulation

The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA - ESAs) published today a second amendment to the Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) on the mapping of credit assessments of External Credit Assessment Institutions (ECAIs) for credit risk under the Capital...
Sustainability

EIOPA submits advice on Sustainable Finance to the European Commission

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published today its advice to the European Commission on sustainability in the areas of risk management, investment strategy, stewardship and product oversight. For EIOPA, sustainability is an area of significant strategic...
Solvency II | Sustainability

EIOPA seeks evidence on integration of sustainability risks in Solvency II

Page Content ​Market participants to provide evidence on the integration of sustainability risks in investment and underwriting practices Call for Evidence part of EIOPA's action plan on sustainable finance. The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) today issued a Call for...
Sustainability | Gabriel Bernardino

Sustainable finance – sustainable pensions?

Keynote address by Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA, at the 19. Handelsblatt Annual Conference in Berlin.
Sustainability | IORP | Gabriel Bernardino

EIOPA's Initatives to Empower the Pensions Sector

Keynote Address by Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA, at the 18th Handelsblatt Annual Conference on “Occupational Pensions” in Berlin.
Gabriel Bernardino | Supervisory framework | Sustainability

Capital Markets Union and the Future of European Pensions

Speech by Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA, at Better Finance International Conference in Brussels.
Risk assessment | Supervision | Gabriel Bernardino

Globally under Pressure?

Speech by Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA, at the 4th Conference on Global Insurance Supervision in Frankfurt.
Sustainability | Gabriel Bernardino

Enhancing occupational pensions: Germany could lead the way

Speech by Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman, at the Handelsblatt Conference in Berlin.
Sustainability | Gabriel Bernardino

Topical developments on pensions: an EIOPA perspective

Speech by Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA, at the 9th European Pension Funds Congress in Frankfurt am Main.
Sustainability | Gabriel Bernardino

EIOPA’s vision on private pensions - Enhanced sustainability, strong governance and full transparency

Speech by Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA, at the NAPF Conference in Liverpool.