Nippon Life Inks UN Principles for Responsible Investment

Nippon Life Insurance Company, Japan’s largest life insurer by revenue, today announced that it has signed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

The PRI, which was signed by Nippon Life President Yoshinobu Tsutsui, is a set of principles aiming to realize a sustainable society by proposing that institutional investors incorporate environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues in their investment decisions.

“By signing the PRI, we will be able to announce our ESG initiatives globally and express our efforts to meet social responsibilities as a life insurance company,” Nippon Life said in a statement.

The company added that Nippon Life has been proactively investing in and financing ESG bonds as well as renewable energy projects with the aim of coexisting with the environment, communities, and society and achieving stable growth with companies and the global economy.

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Having signed the PRI, Nippon Life has formulated the Policy on ESG Investment and Financing and has set a quantitative target for investment of JPY200 billion (US$1.78 billion) into ESG bonds in its new Mid-Term Management Plan for fiscal 2017-2020.

“We also intend to work as a group to further enhance our initiatives in ESG investment and financing,” the company added.

In February 2017, Nippon Life invested in the Global Equity ESG Fund managed by Nissay Asset Management Corporation and overseas subsidiaries.

“As an institutional investor, Nippon Life will continue to contribute to the achievement of a sustainable society through ESG investment and financing,” the Japanese insurer added.

Meanwhile, the ongoing conflict between South Korea and China on Seoul’s decision to deploy a US Terminal high Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery is likely to cause indirect damage to Korea’s non-life insurers, according to the Korea Insurance Research Institute (KIRI).

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While Beijing’s economic pressure is currently concentrated on specific industries, such as culture, content, and tourism, the KIRI report said South Korean insurers may face substantial losses if China starts pressuring manufacturers.

Korea’s non-life insurers advanced into the Chinese market along with the country’s manufacturers mostly to cover risks of Korean manufacturers there. –