The insurance industry considers that the ESG data should be improved

18 March 2021 —
Insurance Europe has responsed to the European Commission consultation on the establishment of a European Single Access Point (ESAP) for environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, as there is an increasing importance for investors to access the non-financial information.

Robust, comparable and reliable ESG data is vital for identifying and assessing sustainability risks in insurers' activities and is necessary to enable investors to steer their portfolios towards sustainability objectives, in line with the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal.

Unfortunately, the availability of reliable public ESG data is currently limited and should be improved. A centralised ESAP would therefore help to achieve better comparability, increased transparency and lower barriers and costs, as well as help data preparers by eliminating multiple different requests for information.

The ESAP should, therefore, be established as soon as possible. It is an important initiative of the Capital Markets Union action plan, which Insurance Europe fully supports.

Moreover, the ESAP should:

  • Prioritise ESG data relating to the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and the EU taxonomy.
  • Include relevant ESG information already collected by European and national institutions.
  • Focus on the actual information needs of companies and investors, and not lead to additional obligations in financial and regulatory reporting.
  • Avoid redundant reporting channels: ie data that is already disclosed in the ESAP should not have to be disclosed in other reporting formats, if possible. The ESAP should be used to fulfil existing reporting requirements.
  • Provide data coverage necessary to comply with national legislation, as much as possible.
  • Make data available in a standardised digital format.
Furthermore, the timeframe for the ESAP implementation should be aligned with the development of other reporting obligations and respective interfaces.