Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) – Africa Implementation Officer
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 15 September 2022 - 02 October 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-191004-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

The ultimate result of the services is the effective and efficient coordination, delivery and implementation of the PSI global work programme in Africa, in line with the PSI’s purpose to better understand, prevent and reduce environmental, social and governance risks, and better manage opportunities to provide quality and reliable risk protection; and the PSI’s vision of a risk aware world, where the insurance industry is trusted and plays its full role in enabling a healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable society.

Work Location

Nairobi, Kenya

Expected duration

The duration of the contract is 12 months.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

The overall objective of the UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 400 banks, insurers, and investors. For over 29 years UNEP FI has been shaping and driving the international sustainable finance agenda, setting global standards, and growing a global network of leading financial institutions. Through its work-streams and regional activities, peer learning, methodology development, training and research, UNEP FI carries out its mission to help the financial industry align with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and with that take on the crucial role it must play in achieving a sustainable future.

Endorsed in 2012 by the then UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and by insurance industry CEOs, UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues—such as climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, pollution and social inequality—as risk managers, insurers and investors. The PSI is a global initiative to strengthen the insurance industry’s contribution to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies on a healthy planet in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Climate Agreement, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

As the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry the PSI membership comprises over 170 insurance and stakeholder organisations worldwide, including insurers representing more than 25% of world premium volume and USD 14 trillion in assets under management.

FSD Africa is a specialist development agency helping to make finance work for Africa’s future. Based in Nairobi, FSD Africa’s team of financial sector experts work alongside governments, business leaders,¿regulators,¿and policy makers to design and build ambitious¿programmes¿that make financial markets work better for everyone.¿Established in 2012, FSD Africa is incorporated as a non-profit company limited by guarantee in Kenya. It is funded by UK aid from the UK government.

This UNEP consultancy contract is being funded by FSD Africa.

Under the direction and supervision of the PSI Programme Leader, the Consultant will support the management, delivery and implementation of the PSI global work programme in Africa.

In doing so, the Consultant will also liaise with the wider PSI/UNEP FI team and the FSD Africa team, particularly the PSI Programme Supervisor, UNEP FI Membership & Regional Coordination Manager, UNEP FI Africa Regional Coordinator, and the Director and Assistant Directors of Risk and Resilience at FSD Africa.

As risk managers, insurers and investors, the insurance industry is uniquely positioned to promote economic, social and environmental sustainability—in other words, sustainable development.

The four Principles for Sustainable Insurance, including a list of possible actions, provide a common aspiration and global framework for the insurance industry to manage sustainability issues, and to strengthen its contribution to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies on a healthy plant. The Principles are structured according to the spheres of influence of an insurance company, from core business strategies and operations, through to business partners, governments, regulators and other key stakeholders. Furthermore, the Principles promote accountability and transparency.

PSI global work programme

The PSI work programme comprises collaborative projects and activities structured around 8 priority work areas, which support the implementation of UNEP’s Medium-Term Strategy 2022-2025 – on the road to 2030.

1. Climate change, disaster risk management and inclusive insurance

1.1 Implementing the different work streams of the UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) to transition insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios to net-zero emissions by 2050 consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 in order to contribute to the implementation of the COP21 Paris Agreement.

a. At the G20 Climate Summit in Venice in July 2021, 8 of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers launched the NZIA under the auspices of the PSI. By establishing the NZIA, these insurers and reinsurers are building on their climate leadership as investors through their membership in the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) established in 2019. They are therefore demonstrating the key role of the insurance industry as risk managers, insurers and investors in supporting the transition to a net-zero economy.

b. The NZIA will develop the first global standard to measure and disclose insured GHG emissions. This standard will help insurers understand the climate impact of their underwriting decisions, laying the foundation to decarbonise their insurance and reinsurance portfolios through target setting, scenario analysis, strategy development, and taking concrete actions that have real-world impact through emissions reduction in the real economy.

c. The NZIA will develop a target-setting protocol in line with the commitment of NZIA members to individually set intermediate, science-based targets every 5 years, and to publicly and annually report on their progress in achieving their respective targets.

d. The NZIA will generate and deepen knowledge related to the novel concept of net-zero insurance. This knowledge will be made available to the public through different channels such as publications, papers, webinars and events.

e. The NZIA will engage with policymakers, regulators and supervisors, civil society organisations and other key stakeholders to advance the net-zero insurance agenda.

1.2 Supporting the implementation of the recommendations of the FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) through the PSI-TCFD pilot project covering physical, transition and litigation risks (see the report, Insuring the climate transition: Enhancing the insurance industry’s assessment of climate change futures); exploring further TCFD piloting through a PSI TFCD Phase 2 work programme; and contributing to UNEP FI-wide efforts to establish climate risk platforms on topics such as stress-testing, sector-specific analytics on risk and opportunity, integration of physical, transition and litigation risk analysis; and a global database of TCFD disclosures from the financial sector.

1.3 Supporting the work of the UN-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) to transition investment portfolios to net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with the NZIA’s aim to have a total balance sheet approach to net zero.

1.4 Contributing to the work of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). GFANZ brings together existing and new net-zero finance initiatives into one sector-wide strategic forum, and will work to mobilise the trillions of dollars necessary to build a global net-zero emissions economy.

1.5 Supporting the development of climate, disaster risk and inclusive insurance solutions for vulnerable communities, primarily via a Sustainable Insurance Facility for V20 countries, comprising 48 climate-vulnerable economies with a combined population of 1.2 billion people and a 5% share of global emissions.

a. The V20 Sustainable Insurance Facility (V20-SIF) is a project pipeline development facility that will assist V20 economies in scoping the financial protection needs of their micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in order to build their resilience to climate change impacts and support the transition to net-zero economies.
b. The V20-SIF’s Project Office, with initial funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will be hosted by the PSI.

2. Sustainable insurance frameworks

2.1 Defining sustainable insurance business in the context of the SDGs and developing a set of Insurance Sustainable Development Goals, a PSI global initiative launched in July 2020. Key aims of the initiative include:

a. Create a UN-backed alliance of leading insurers committed to supporting the achievement of the SDGs by 2030 via their insurance portfolios through a set of Insurance Sustainable Development Goals (iSDGs)

b. The alliance will map existing insurance products and solutions and how they already support the SDGs, and identify gaps where new products and solutions are needed

c. The alliance will define sustainable insurance business vis-a-vis the SDGs, and will assess potential trade-offs between positive and negative contributions

d. The iSDGs are ambitious, quantitative, insurance product/solution-specific goals/targets at the global insurance industry level. They will promote insurance products and solutions to support the achievement of the SDGs in the UN’s Decade of Action leading up to 2030, and to close the protection gap across developing and developed countries worldwide

e. For each iSDG, a roadmap at the global insurance industry level (“industry roadmap”) and targets at the insurance company level (“company targets”) will be developed by alliance members. The aim is to increase the penetration of existing SDG-supporting insurance products and solutions, and develop new SDG-supporting products and solutions that are needed

f. The alliance will develop methods and toolkits for the insurance industry and key stakeholders on how to measure sustainable insurance business in the context of achieving the SDGs.

3. Natural ecosystems and pollution prevention

2.1 Supporting the implementation of pioneering global insurance industry guidance and recommendations:

a. The guide developed by the PSI, WWF and UNESCO to protect World Heritage Sites

b. The guide developed by the PSI to tackle the risks of plastic pollution, marine plastic litter and microplastics, and exploring further work (e.g. specific lines of insurance business)

c. The guide developed by the PSI and Oceana to tackle illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing

d. The report on environment pollution liability and the insurance industry

2.2 Exploring biodiversity and ecosystem risk assessment tools and frameworks tailored for the insurance industry.

3.3 Supporting the agenda of aligning financial portfolios with the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and initiatives such as the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and UNEP FI Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative.

4. Life & health

4.1 Develop a ESG Guide for managing environmental, social and governance risks in Life & Health insurance business

4.2 Develop a research paper on how Life and Health insurers can drive more inclusive preventative healthcare models to close the health protection gap.

4.3 Supporting the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge for banks, insurers and investors and exploring guidance on tobacco-free insurance.

5. Cities

5.1 Supporting the implementation of the Insurance Industry Development Goals for
Cities developed by the PSI and ICLEI to help achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 on resilient and sustainable cities.

6. Sustainable insurance roadmaps and strategies

6.1 Contributing to the development of sustainable insurance roadmaps and strategies in several countries and jurisdictions, such as the work to develop a California Sustainable Insurance Roadmap.

7. Policy, supervision and regulation

7.1 Engaging with the UN-convened Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF), an international network of insurance regulators and supervisors that aims to promote cooperation on critical sustainability challenges and opportunities.

7.2 Contributing to the insurance industry-related priorities of the COP26 Private Finance Hub.

7.3 Contributing to the International Platform on Sustainable Finance, consultations on sustainable insurance/ finance policy and regulatory initiatives, and UN processes relevant to sustainable insurance/finance.

8. Shaping the sustainable insurance agenda and knowledge sharing

8.1 Shaping the sustainable insurance agenda by convening insurance industry leaders and practitioners, regulators and supervisors, and key stakeholders nationally, regionally and internationally through events and webinars. Examples include the PSI-Swiss Re virtual event series in 2020 on sustainability leadership in insurance and the PSI sustainability leadership series launched during Climate Week NYC and the UN Biodiversity Summit, the Net-Zero Insurance Series organised by the NZIA in 2021, and the Nature-Positive Insurance Series co-organised by the PSI and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2021 in support of the 2021-22 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15).

Development and implementation of the PSI global work programme in Africa, including the following main output expectations and performance indicators:

¿ African insurance industry and stakeholder sign-up to the Nairobi Declaration on Sustainable Insurance and subsequent engagement in:

o Developing Insurance SDGs at the global level, roadmaps at the insurance industry level, insurance portfolio targets at the company level, definition of sustainable insurance business, and measurement tools including an Insurance SDGs calculator

o Developing commitments, methodologies and targets to transition towards net-zero insurance underwriting portfolios

o Developing methodologies to better assess, coordinate and disclose climate and nature-related physical, transition and litigation risks in insurance portfolios in line with the TCFD and emerging TNFD recommendations

o The Sustainable Insurance Facility for V20 member countries

o The PSI global report on environmental liability and sustainable insurance

o The updated PSI global sustainability guide for non-life insurance business

o The PSI global report on the life & health insurance industry and sustainable development

¿ Well-coordinated communications to the PSI African Network on key outputs of PSI projects and activities

¿ At least 5 PSI events and webinars promoting sustainable insurance thinking and practices in Africa

¿ At least 6 new PSI signatory companies and 3 new PSI supporting institutions in Africa

¿ A sustainable insurance training programme for the African insurance industry, taking into account, among others, key findings and outputs of the various PSI projects and activities mentioned above

Specific tasks and responsibilities:

Specifically, the Consultant will support the PSI Programme Leader and the wider PSI/UNEP FI team in carrying out the following main duties and responsibilities, in coordination with the FSD Africa team:

¿ Developing and coordinating priority work areas in the PSI global work programme and their links and contributions to the sustainable insurance agenda in Africa, the UNEP Medium-Term Strategy 2022-2025 and relevant global frameworks, particularly the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Agreement, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. This will include, for example:

a. Developing practical roadmaps for African insurers to adopt ESG/sustainability frameworks and to align their businesses with Insurance SDGs

b. Developing and implementing training programmes for the management and executives of African insurers to build capacity for the implementation of these sustainability roadmaps

¿ Organising PSI Africa Network meetings and events that shape the sustainable insurance agenda in Africa and support the implementation and delivery of the PSI global work programme in Africa

¿ Preparing for, coordinating, communicating and participating in PSI leadership events and knowledge-sharing webinars on best practice and emerging practice on sustainable insurance

¿ Increasing African insurance industry and stakeholder sign-up to the Nairobi Declaration on Sustainable Insurance.

¿ Growing the PSI African membership by recruiting PSI signatory companies and PSI supporting institutions, and onboarding them to the PSI Initiative

¿ Coordinating with UNEP FI thematic leads (i.e. climate change, biodiversity & ecosystems, positive impact), UNEP FI regional coordinators (i.e. Africa & Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, North America) and the FSD Africa team on PSI activities and UNEP FI financial sector-wide activities relevant to Africa

¿ Coordinating the PSI Africa Network communications across projects and activities, including social media promotion and updating the PSI and UNEP FI websites

¿ Engaging with policymakers and insurance regulators in Africa to promote widespread action on ESG/sustainability issues, and to advocate for the adoption of ESG/sustainability frameworks in policy, legislation and regulation, as necessary

The Consultant will report to and be supervised by the PSI Programme Leader with regular engagement, consultation and input from the Director, Risk and Resilience at FSD Africa.

The Consultant will also liaise with the wider PSI/UNEP FI team and the FSD Africa team, particularly the PSI Programme Supervisor, UNEP FI Membership & Regional Coordination Manager, UNEP FI Africa Regional Coordinator, and the Director and Assistant Directors of Risk and Resilience at FSD Africa.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The successful candidate should have strong analytical and programme management skills, excellent spoken and written communication skills; should be able to carry out manage multiple projects and activities in an organised and timely manner; and should be a team player and able to communicate and interact effectively with various internal and external stakeholders in the private and public sectors, across multiple cultural and professional backgrounds.

Academic Qualifications: An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in risk management, insurance, finance, business, development economics, environmental/sustainability issues, international relations, or related fields. A first-level university degree in combination with at least 7 years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: For applicants with an advanced university degree, a minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience preferably in the insurance industry or the broader financial sector in Africa and/or organisations involved in promoting sustainable insurance, investment, finance and/or business strategies and operations in Africa. Prior experience at the international level is advantageous. Proven experience in project management is required.

A first-level university degree in combination with at least seven years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Language: English is the working language of the PSI and UNEP FI Secretariat, so oral and written fluency in English is required. Fluency in other languages, particularly official UN languages, is highly desirable.

No Fee


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