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ICICI Prudential Life Insurance ESG Report: Positive Contributions Made in 14 SDGs

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ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is committed to integrating sustainability with their business processes and as a way of doing business. In this context, they adopted the ESG framework in 2020 and their ESG initiatives are monitored at the highest level by the Sustainability Steering Committee comprising members of the Management Committee. The company believes that embracing ESG is of vital significance for long-term value creation for all stakeholders as it enables them to go beyond profits to encompass people, purpose and the planet.
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance CSR budget for FY2022 was Rs. 67.6 million. The Company has spent Rs. 68.2 million for support against COVID-19 pandemic and CSR initiatives, as highlighted by its recently released ESG report. Following are some excerpts from the report.

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and the UN SDGs

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance started operations in fiscal year 2001 by offering long-term savings and protection products to meet the different life stage requirements of its customers. The company has thus been providing families a financial safety-net and enabling them to achieve their long-term financial goals.
Over the years, the company has been working to meet the Indian economy’s need for meaningful socio-economic development which would enable a larger number of people to participate in and benefit from the nation’s economic progress. It has been doing so by enabling education, health, skill development and sustainable livelihood, financial inclusion and other activities. The efforts made by the Company has enabled positive contribution to at least 14 out of a total 17 SDGs.

Goal 1: No Poverty

The Company supports ICICI Foundation’s programme on skill development through sustainable livelihood. ICICI Academy for Skills (Academy) provides vocational training to youth from economically weaker sections so they can undertake economic activity for a sustainable livelihood. The Academy offers industry relevant and job oriented vocational training in 14 technical and office skills from 28 operational centres across the country. The Company has supported 1,558 trainees in the FY2022.

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

As a life insurer, ICICI Prudential provide comprehensive insurance plans. It has affordable protection plans (ICICI Pru iProtect Smart, ICICI Pru iProtect Return of Premium, ICICI Pru Heart and Cancer Protect and ICICI Pru Precious Life) which provide a 360-degree financial safety net to customers and their families. In addition to providing life cover, the ICICI Pru iProtect Smart product also covers the policy-holder on 34 critical illnesses. This ensures that the family’s savings are insulated, in case the customer is diagnosed with any of these critical illnesses. ICICI Pru Heart and Cancer Protect product provides coverage against minor and major conditions related to heart and cancer at affordable premiums. The ICICI Pru iProtect Return of Premium product also has an option of ‘Critical Illness Cover’ which provides a lumpsum amount on being diagnosed with any of the 64 critical illnesses covered under the product. ICICI Pru Precious Life is a unique term plan specifically designed to provide a life cover for individuals with existing health concerns. The underlying health-related concerns include lifestyle-related ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure amongst other conditions.
The Company with ICICI Foundation has conducted vaccination programmes for children (aged 12 to 18 years) and adults in the rural districts of Maharashtra (Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Dhule, Nanded, Nandurbar, Nashik and Palghar). Over 155,000 people were covered under the vaccination programme. Of the beneficiaries covered, 38% were children, 56% were adults and 6% were senior citizens.
The Company continued its commitment towards awareness of proactive health management, financial preparedness and the significance of having an electronic Insurance Account (eIA). Through its communication “Body ke Missed Calls”, the Company educated customers to pay attention to the early signs of critical health issues, go for regular health check-up and be financially prepared. The message was disseminated through radio, the Company’s social media handles and through an advertorial. The programme reached out to 61.4 million consumers.
The Cancer Care programme with Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai to support medical treatment of under-privileged children and youth diagnosed with Cancer concluded in FY2022. Through this programme, whilst the plan was to support 120 children/ youth, 166 children/youth have been supported with treatment and medication.

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

The Company has partnered with Catalysts for Social Action for programme ‘Asha’ which was aimed at supporting underprivileged/orphan/abandoned children living in child care homes to secure education, skilling, vocational training, food & nutrition, health & hygiene. The programme has concluded in FY2022.
During the programme tenure, 129 underprivileged children living in three child care homes in Madhya Pradesh have been supported annually. Besides holistic development of children, the ‘After Care’ initiative is a key component of the programme for children aged 18 and above, which aims to integrate them with society through higher education, skilling and life skills. 48 children are beneficiaries of ‘After Care’ intervention and are pursuing higher education/vocational training/jobs of their choice.
To strengthen employment opportunities and livelihoods, the ICICI Foundation has provided training in technical and non[1]technical skill courses to approximately 5.2 lakh underprivileged individuals in urban and rural India. The Company contributes 70% of its annual CSR budget to ICICI Foundation.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Through the Academy, the ICICI Foundation is empowering the youth by providing pro bono skill development and placement assistance. Women constitute 43% of the learners at the Academy.
The Company is an equal opportunity employer with zero tolerance for any discrimination based on gender, religion, caste or class. This is implemented through our Talent Acquisition Policy. The Company have taken various steps over the year to foster inclusivity at the workplace. The Diversity & Inclusion agenda was strengthened through the implementation of the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion policy. The Company is committed to promoting inclusion at the workplace through an enabling policy framework and initiatives that support gender diversity and sensitivity towards the differently abled and for people with diverse sexual orientations. Over the year, the representation of women in the workforce has improved to 27% in FY2022 from 26% in FY2020 & FY2021 with women constituting 40% in process and support roles.

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Being a financial services company, water usage is limited to office use purposes. The company takes appropriate precautions to conserve water. Conventional water-based urinals have been converted to waterless urinals, water taps have been fitted with sensors and aerators and sewage treatment plant has been installed at out Head Office.
To promote cleanliness and prevention of transmissible diseases, the Company protects and safeguard vulnerable children by donating essentials such as hand sanitisers, masks and hygiene kits.

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has implemented green energy in its major offices in Mumbai to reduce carbon footprint. Currently six of the Company’s offices in Mumbai are sourcing their energy requirements through electricity service providers providing green (renewable) energy. It intends to progressively switch to green energy across all offices as and when the electricity service providers scale up their sourcing and distribution of green energy and are able to provide the same.
Additionally, with regards to the target of improving the energy efficiency, the Company has implemented the following initiatives:
Deployment of Inverter Air Conditioners (ACs) and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) ACs vis-à-vis conventional ACs to reduce electricity consumption
Deployment of Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting vs conventional tubelights for energy efficiency
Deployment of LED signages instead of conventional signages for energy efficiency
Using sensor-based lighting in the office space for efficient use of electricity
Periodic maintenance for major equipment, including ACs for energy efficiency

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

The Company supports ICICI Foundation’s project on skill development through sustainable livelihood. The Academy provides vocational training to youth from economically weaker sections so that they can undertake economic activity for a sustainable livelihood. The Academy offers industry relevant and job oriented vocational training in 14 technical and office skills across 28 operational centres across the country. The Company has supported 1,558 trainees in the FY2022.

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

The Indian insurance industry plays a key role in channelising household savings to provide long-term capital needed for infrastructure and housing, as also investing significantly in Government bonds. At March 31, 2022, the Company invested ~45% of its AUM in the industries related to infrastructure/housing and Government bonds (Rs. 332.0 billion and Rs. 758.0 billion respectively).
The Company has specially designed micro-insurance products targeting socially and economically weaker sections, thereby increasing access to financial services to the underserved and underbanked segments of the country’s population.

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

The Company supports ICICI Foundation’s project on skill development through sustainable livelihood. The Academy provides vocational training to youth from economically weaker sections so that they can undertake economic activity for a sustainable livelihood. The Academy offers industry relevant and job oriented vocational training in 14 technical and office skills across 28 operational centres across the country. The Company has supported 1,558 trainees in the FY2022.
The Company partners with ICICI Bank and others in promoting Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana (PMJJBY) a social security initiative. At March 2022, about 524,024 lives are covered under the PMJJBY scheme.
The Company’s Group micro-insurance range of products such as ‘Shubh Raksha’ offers protection to the member’s family in case of death of the member by paying out a corpus or clearing the financial liabilities. In FY2022, we covered 27.4 million lives, bringing the total coverage under such products to 45.6 million lives at March 2022. These plans offer a sum assured as low as Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 200,000.
Its retail micro-insurance term product ‘Sarv Jana Suraksha’ has premium starting as low as Rs. 50 per annum. Its retail micro-insurance savings product ‘Anmol Bachat’ enables one to save with as little as Rs. 200 per annum.
While designing products, the Company has incorporated features to specifically address the unique needs of women. For example, the retail protection plans not only offer lower premium rates for women, but also cover women specific illnesses such as breast and cervical cancer. Within the savings segment, the product “Lakshya”, offers a higher guaranteed benefit exclusively for women.

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

The Company partnered with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-India in FY2018 to support skilling and sustainable livelihood of the local communities living in the Himalayan regions with the objective of creating diversified livelihood opportunities and addressing the challenge of sustainable rangeland management practices. Through the programme, eco[1]tourism and handicraft production have been undertaken. Around 40 homestays and 6 ecocafes have been set up to host tourists; and over 500 women from local communities have been trained on handicraft production. Further, a handicraft production facility has been set up at Tsokar.
The programme also aimed to address the challenge of sustainable rangeland management practices due to over exploitation of rangelands. A comprehensive rangeland preservation plan has been developed for livelihood security and a functional pasture management in Pir Panjal and Ladakh regions of Himalayas. The programme concluded in FY2022.
The Indian insurance industry plays a key role in channelising household savings to provide long-term capital needed for infrastructure and housing, as also investing significantly in Government bonds. At March 31, 2022, we have invested ~45% of our AUM in the industries related to infrastructure/housing and Government bonds (Rs. 332.0 billion and Rs. 758.0 billion respectively).

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

The Company’s focus is on minimising the adverse environmental impact of energy consumption by promoting responsible consumption through energy saving devices, limiting energy use through temperature control and regulated hours. Whilst it has always invested in the latest energy efficient equipment, the Company has taken several measures and actively invested in initiatives for energy conservation such as inverter ACs and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) ACs in place of conventional ACs, Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting in place of conventional tube-lights etc.
Being a financial service entity, water usage is limited to office use purposes, however, the Company has undertaken appropriate precautions to conserve water through measures such as waterless urinals, aerator taps etc.
Reduction of paper consumption has been a key strategic thrust for the Company. Another big focus area for it has been replacement of disposable paper cups as they had high usage and wastage and were difficult to recycle. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has been encouraging employees to use reusable mugs and glasses. The organisation has stopped the usage of single-use plastic water bottles across most offices and replaced them with reusable water jars and glasses. Plastic garbage bags have been replaced with bio-degradable bags and plastic dustbins with steel dustbins.
E-waste such as computers, printers, switches, and scanners have been the main e-waste generated. 18,162 kgs of e-waste generated were disposed of through authorised recyclers in FY2019 and 9,763 kgs in FY2022. Re-cycling certificates have been received from selected government-authorised e-waste vendors.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has implemented green energy in its major offices in Mumbai to reduce its carbon footprint. Overall, approximately 1,770 tonnes of carbon footprint have been saved during FY2022 through initiatives directed at energy consumption, water conservation and waste management, resulting in a cumulative saving of 6,748 tons in FY2020, FY2021 and FY2022.

Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

The Company partnered with WWF[1]India in FY2019 to prevent retaliatory killing of predators by supporting the villagers financially for their loss of cattle. The financial support extended aimed to soften the blow of losing a critical means of livelihood. The three-year programme was implemented across WWF-India’s priority tiger landscapes in India, namely, Brahmaputra landscape (Assam), Western Ghats Nilgiris landscape (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka) and Terai Arc landscape (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar). The programme concluded in FY2022. Over 3,800 villagers have been supported through the programme.
The Company partnered with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)- India in FY2018 to support skilling and sustainable livelihood of the local communities living in the Himalayan regions with the objective of creating diversified livelihood opportunities and addressing the challenge of sustainable rangeland management practices. Through the programme, eco-tourism and handicraft production have been undertaken. Around 40 homestays and 6 ecocafes have been set up to host tourists; and over 500 women from local communities have been trained on handicraft production. Further, a handicraft production facility has been set up at Tsokar.
The programme also aimed to address the challenge of sustainable rangeland management practices due to the over-exploitation of rangelands. A comprehensive rangeland preservation plan has been developed for livelihood security and functional pasture management in Pir Panjal and Ladakh regions of the Himalayas. The programme concluded in FY2022.

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

A sound corporate governance mechanism is critical to retaining and enhancing stakeholders’ trust. The Company’s corporate governance philosophy is based on an effective independent Board, the separation of the Board’s supervisory role from the executive management and the constitution/functioning of Board committees.
The Company has in place an annually reviewed Board-approved policy on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML), through which it has put in place procedures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Compliance, Risk, and Internal Audit teams undertake a range of monitoring activities during the year to provide assurance that business units are complying with applicable laws, regulations, and company policies. It also has in place a policy on Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption (ABC) and Operational Guidelines for Acceptance of Gifts, Entertainment and Sponsored Travel.

Human Capital: Creating the People Edge

To enable employee well-being, the company has put in place a holistic well-being framework for employees which is focused on both physical and mental well-being which in turn helps enable organisation productivity by growing and building talent from within and offering a long-term career constitutes the essence of their employment proposition. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is also building an engaged and agile workforce where the company has a multi-generational workforce that blends the richness of experience with the energy of youth. Accordingly, the varying need and priorities of each employee cohort are catered to with differentiated propositions.
Disclaimer: This report is largely comprised of extracts from the ICICI Prudential Life Insurance ESG Report FY2022.