Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) and Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Communications Lead
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 18 May 2023 - 24 May 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-208977-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Result of Service

Ultimate result of services:

The ultimate result of the services is the effective and efficient development, implementation and management of the NZIA communications strategy in line with the goals of the NZIA, PSI and UNEP FI.

Work Location

Geneva, Switzerland (remote working arrangement possible)

Expected duration

12 Months

Duties and Responsibilities

Established in 1972, 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 UN
system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

Founded in 1992, UNEP’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilise private sector finance for sustainable development. UNEP FI works with more than 450 members—banks, insurers, and investors—and over 100 supporting institutions—to help create a financial sector that serves people and planet while delivering positive impacts.

Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and 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, nature loss, pollution, social inequality and human rights. The PSI is a global initiative to strengthen the insurance industry’s contribution as risk managers, insurers and investors 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, Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, and UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights.

The PSI is the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the global insurance industry. Since its launch at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), about 250 organisations have joined the PSI, including insurers representing about one-third of world premium and USD 15 trillion in assets under management, and the most extensive global network of insurance and stakeholder organisations committed to addressing sustainability challenges. The PSI also hosts the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance and the Sustainable Insurance Facility of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers (V20).

The Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) was established by a group of leading insurance and reinsurance companies under the auspices of the PSI, and was launched at the G20 Climate Summit in July 2021. The eight founding members of the NZIA are building on their climate leadership as investors through their membership in the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) established in 2019, thereby demonstrating the key role of the insurance industry as risk managers, insurers and investors in supporting the transition to a net-zero economy.

NZIA members have committed to transition their insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas 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 Paris Climate Agreement. They will individually set science-based intermediate targets every five years in line with a 1.5°C net-zero transition pathway and independently report on their progress publicly and annually.

The NZIA aims to grow its membership by promoting its goals to insurance market participants worldwide. As of April 2023, the NZIA membership has expanded to 29 leading insurers and reinsurers from across the globe. The NZIA is part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the UN Race to Zero campaign.

NZIA global work programme

The Consultant will develop, implement and manage the NZIA communications strategy for the NZIA global work programme, currently comprising the following priority work streams:

a. Metrics & Targets

The NZIA collaborated with the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) to develop the first global standard to measure and disclose emissions associated to insurance underwriting portfolios—or “insurance-associated emissions”. This pioneering global standard was launched in November 2022 and will be reviewed and updated regularly.

NZIA members are required to publish their respective first interim, science-based 5-year targets within 6 months after the publication of an NZIA Target-Setting Protocol, which builds on the NZIA’s work with PCAF to develop a global standard to measure insurance- associated emissions. The NZIA Target-Setting Protocol, the first-ever of its kind for insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios, was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2023 and will be reviewed and updated regularly.

Currently, the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) is developing the world's first standard for science-based net-zero targets in the financial sector (“FINZ”). The FINZ work has the ambition to include informational guidance for science-based target setting for re/insurers' underwriting activities, thus extending the coverage of the FI Guidance not only in terms of target horizon (net zero vs near term), but also in terms of the portfolios considered (including re/insurance underwriting vs. investments/lending only). SBTi FINZ criteria will be incorporated in the FI Guidance and new methods for re/insurance underwriting portfolios are expected to be implemented in both once they have undergone sufficient development and stakeholder engagement.

In recognition of the complementary objectives of the NZIA’s Target-Setting Protocol work and SBTi’s FINZ work, the two initiatives announced their decision to formally partner in October 2022 to collaboratively develop guidance for underwriting portfolios. The long-term goal of the partnership is to harmonise the processes and criteria for re/insurance companies to participate efficiently in both initiatives. This is an iterative process, and substantial differences between the initiatives may persist during early stages given their differing governance and orientation. The NZIA and its members are looking forward to collaborating, on the basis of Version 1.0 of the NZIA Target-Setting Protocol launched in January 2023, with SBTi in the development of the upcoming Financial Institution Guidance and criteria updates.

b. Engagement

The engagement work stream will raise awareness of net-zero insurance and engage on the technical details of this novel concept. Such engagement will span the insurance industry value chain, insurance industry initiatives and associations, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), regulators and policymakers, broader industry, civil society, academia, and other key stakeholders.

c. Life & Health insurance

This work stream will explore approaches that can be taken in the context of life & health insurance business to support a just transition to a net-zero economy.

d. Antitrust

This work stream ensures compliance with antitrust/competition laws, rules and regulations, including consulting appropriate regulatory authorities.

e. Communications

This work stream develops and implements the NZIA’s internal and external communications strategy.


Development, implementation and management of the NZIA communications strategy, including the following main output expectations and performance indicators:

• Analytics of communications channels indicate increase and show high level of engagement (e.g. social media, website)
• Communications campaigns show high level of engagement by external stakeholders (e.g. downloads of research and guidance)
• Communications coordinated with PSI/UNEP FI Secretariat and other UN colleagues
• High-quality communications outputs
• Communications amplified by NZIA members and key stakeholders
• Website content updated
• Multiple channels used to engage segmented target audience.
• Communications plan aligned with NZIA/PSI/UNEP FI strategy and work programme
• Core materials developed and updated (e.g. pitch deck, members’ handbook, brochure)
• Newsletter delivered and readership increased

Specific duties and responsibilities:

Specifically, the Consultant will carry out the following duties and responsibilities:

• Lead the internal and external communications of the NZIA as part of the PSI Secretariat
• Develop and implement the NZIA communications strategy with clear objectives, messaging and transmission channels for each target audience
• Ensure that the NZIA communications strategy is aligned and linked to the wider PSI and UNEP FI work programmes and in coordination with other external partners such as the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the UN Race to Zero campaign
• Support NZIA members in their engagement with other financial institutions, other UN agencies, NGOs, think tanks, media, and other key stakeholder groups
• Maintain a strong NZIA brand, including impactful and fit-for-purpose publications, website, videos, social media and events, in coordination with the communications managers of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) and Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA)
• Develop and implement project and topic-based communications strategies across communications channels and strengthen existing communications delivery, with a specific focus on messaging for key stakeholder groups (e.g. financial institutions, donors, governments)
• Develop and coordinate content for websites, social media, and NZIA communications material to build internal and external visibility and increase interest among key stakeholder groups
• Ensure that all external communications are coordinated in terms of delivery and have a common branding and style
• Coordinate overall PSI communications, from planning to delivery in coordination with the UNEP FI communications team (at least 20%)

Internal communications: This refers to communications between the PSI/UNEP FI Secretariat and NZIA Chair, NZIA and/or PSI members. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

o Coordinate NZIA communications activities across the NZIA membership base and UN-convened net-zero alliances
o Support NZIA work stream leads in communicating their work and outputs
o Support NZIA members in their engagement with other financial institutions, other UN agencies, NGOs, think-tanks, and other key stakeholders
o Write and distribute member communications and e-mail campaigns, as well as monthly newsletters and a members’ handbook
o Support across teams on communications planning and internal processes
o Coordinate on communications campaigns with colleagues across projects and work streams

External communications: This refers to the public positioning and messaging of the NZIA and the PSI. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

o Design and implement a global communications strategy and action plan
o Develop and maintain a strong brand for the NZIA in coordination with the other net-zero alliances, working alongside the PSI and UNEP FI brands
o Develop and implement project and topic-related communications strategies
o Strengthen existing communications products, with a specific focus on messaging for key stakeholder groups (e.g. financial institutions, donors, governments, NGOs)
o Develop an NZIA media strategy in line with the PSI’s and UNEP FI’s overall media strategy and support team members with press engagement, maintaining a high-quality media database and media monitoring reports as needed
o Organise press conferences, press briefings, interviews and media events if appropriate
o Develop and coordinate digital content for websites and social media to build external visibility
o Oversee the development, production and distribution of NZIA communications materials (e.g. global announcements, press/media releases, publicity brochures, factsheets, policy papers, case studies, promotional videos, photographs, multimedia material) and recommend new communications products
o Provide editorial support, including copy editing and proofreading when needed
o Lead the promotion of NZIA publications and news in the appropriate channels
o Lead the preparation and coordination of service providers where applicable (e.g. designers, video producers)
o Assist with the development of websites and other web requirements with the digital coordinator
o Lead other external communications activities on behalf of NZIA as necessary
o Coordinate overall PSI communications, from planning to delivery in coordination with the UNEP FI communications team (at least 20%)

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Head of UNEP FI and report directly to the PSI Programme Leader.

The Consultant will liaise with the wider NZIA/PSI/UNEP FI team, particularly the NZIA Project Manager, NZIA Project Coordinator and other NZIA roles in the future, the PSI Programme Supervisor, PSI Programme Implementation Officer, members of the V20 Sustainable Insurance Facility (SIF) Project Office hosted by the PSI, the UNEP FI Communications Lead and team, and with the NZIA Chair and NZIA members. The Consultant will also liaise with UNEP FI colleagues managing the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) and Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), UNEP FI regional coordinators, and colleagues managing the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), UN Race to Zero campaign, Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), and Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Qualifications/special skills

Education: A university degree in communications, marketing, public/media relations, design, risk management, insurance, finance, business, environment, sustainable development, international relations or related fields. A Master’s degree could be taken in lieu of advanced degree provided the selected candidate has 7 years of relevant experience.

Professional Experience: At least five (9) years of progressively responsible experience in communications or marketing, ideally in relation to the insurance industry and the wider financial sector (banking, investment), climate change and other sustainability issues. Up-to-date proficiency with communications best practices, including social media, is required. Proven knowledge and expertise in developing, implementing and managing communications strategies. Proven excellent writing and editing skills. Creative and resourceful strategist with a track record of proactivity.

This role entails critical thinking, strong relationship building and excellent communication skills. The Consultant should demonstrate the UN’s core values—integrity, professionalism, and respect for diversity—at all times.

Special Skills / Knowledge: Excellent oral and written communications skills, strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain good working relations in a multicultural and geographically dispersed environment. Strong knowledge and interest in risk management, insurance, finance, business and economics and their links with climate change and other sustainability issues.

Ability to cope with heavy workloads, time pressure and multiple and diverse projects and activities in an effective, organized and timely manner. Attention to detail is essential. The Consultant is expected to work independently and must have significant latitude to be self-directed and highly motivated.


Languages: 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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