Acting Today For A Sustainable Tomorrow

Why and how we developed our sustainability statement

At Edge, we know that when it comes to setting sustainability goals, there’s a limit to what any one company can achieve. But as a leading marine insurance broker, we support a maritime industry that produces an estimated 7% of global CO2 emissions. So even the small changes we make could have a big impact.

That’s why we take our sustainability responsibility seriously. It means we don’t point to our modest, direct carbon footprint and say: “We’re not inflicting much damage on the world – let’s keep doing what we’re doing.” Instead, we think about the consequences of our choices when travelling, the business we support, and the influence we can exert on our trading partners. And we now have a set of realistic, measurable and achievable sustainability goals to help us to do it.

The goals are new, but the philosophy behind them isn’t

The ambitions set out here build upon our corporate values, so they reflect what we’ve been doing for some time. For example, when the implications of the IMO 2020 regulations became clear, we created a product to protect shipowners against the contractual and operational risks of installing exhaust-cleaning systems. It meant we could help our clients to help the environment. And it showed we aren’t waiting until we have to care; we already do.

For me, this proactive approach adds another layer of responsibility: to act as a benchmark for the rest of our industry. I hope the goals our people have chosen will inspire and galvanise others to follow our lead. Because we owe it to the future of the maritime industry, our children and our planet to act.

Anders Langeland Johannessen_Signature

Anders Langeland Johannessen,
Global Head of Project Risk and CEO of Edge Norway

Our Sustainability Statement
Why we created a sustainability statement
  1. It’s the right thing. As a company and as an industry, we have a responsibility to do this, and do it properly
  2. Motivation comes in part from believing in what you do. We hope these goals will provide personal motivation and satisfaction for all our people
  3. Change is inevitable. Our underwriters are releasing sustainability statements, as are a large number of our ship-owning clients. Other stakeholders, such as shipping banks and financiers, are making themselves accountable through the ‘Poseidon Principles’. We think it’s inevitable that similar principles will follow for the marine insurance industry. Why not get ahead?
What does sustainability mean to Edge?

The term sustainability is often used connection only with climate change. But we prefer the definition of sustainable development published in the 1987 Brundtland Report for the UN: “a form of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

How did we develop our goals?

In late 2019, Edge’s global team came together with a purpose to think about our strategy for the coming year – including how our company could contribute to a more sustainable maritime industry.

To decide this, we held a workshop to review the UN Sustainable Development Goals, along with what our peers are doing and other materials. As our people are the ones who will need to live by the commitments, we asked them to pick the ones where we could make (and measure) the most immediate impact.

These are the four they chose. They’re not set in stone; we’ll review and refine them every year. But we believe they’re realistic and achievable.

We hope they’re also inspirational.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

We’ll contribute to the following four goals:

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

How we’ll contribute:

0.1% of annual wage bill
Each Edge office will give 0.1% of its wage bill to a charitable foundation of its choice, with a focus on improving education and living conditions for underprivileged children. Edge offices have chosen to make contributions to SOMTO in Kenya, school construction in Paindane Mozambique through the non-profit marine conservation organisation Love the Oceans, and Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership in the UK.

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

How we’ll contribute:

Spending cut by 25%
  • We already carry out paperless transactions, both internally and with our clients.
  • By the end of 2022, we’ll also cut the amount we spend on new office equipment by 25%. (We’ve based that reduction on our 2020 budget.)
  • We will recycle and reuse more – and waste less – at all our offices

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

How we’ll contribute:

Cutting travel by 20%
  • We’ll be climate-neutral by 2021.
  • We’ll cut our air travel by 20%. To do this, we’ll only fly to meetings (internal or external) if we can’t achieve the same objectives via video or telephone.
  • When we do fly, we’ll always offset the carbon. We’ll encourange all employees to join loyalty programmes which automatically apply compensation for members or compensate for the emissions ourselves.
  • We’ll always use the most environmentally-friendly means of transport when we have to travel for business.
  • We’ll support companies and practices that promote a more sustainable maritime industry.
  • We won’t cover risks arising from activities that are environmentally unfriendly or don’t comply with international standards and requirements. (Such as beaching or scrapping vessels in unsustainable ways.)
  • We will develop insurance products that make environmentally friendly developments possible within our industry. In the past, for example, we’ve designed products to mitigate the risks for ship-owners of transferring to the IMO 2020 regime.

By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organised crime

How we’ll contribute:

Going beyond what is required

Our measures against money laundering and terrorist or criminal financing are already industry leading. We’ll keep up this standard, even when it goes beyond what local law requires.

We’ll do this by adhering to our best-in-class Know-Your-Client procedures and immediately identifying red-flag transactions.

Additionally, Edge has been a long-term contributor to Amnesty International’s work in fighting abuses of human rights worldwide.