HONG KONG and SHANGHAI, April 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter "Ping An", the "Company" or the "Group", HKEx:2318; SSE:601318) has published its 2021 Sustainability Report. The sustainability report, the 13th from Ping An, highlights the Group's achievements in sustainability strategy, management, and operations as well as its milestones in environmental, social and governance performance.
Advancing green finance to achieve operational carbon neutrality in 2030
In 2021, Ping An announced its green finance development goals and plan to achieve operational carbon neutrality by 2030 for the first time. Ping An supports the efforts to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change outlined in the Paris Agreement, and China's goals to achieve a carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. By 2025, Ping An aims to achieve its overall targets with investment and credit of RMB400 billion and total green insurance premiums of RMB250 billion. As of December 31, 2021, Ping An's green investment and financing totaled RMB224.6 billion, green banking business totaled RMB89.8 billion, and environmentally sustainable insurance premium income totaled RMB44.57 billion.
To achieve operational carbon neutrality by 2030, Ping An has adopted a carbon neutral strategy in line with international best practices. It has prioritized internal measures to reduce emissions, and is also looking at external ways to further reduce emissions, including purchasing external green power. After all emission reduction measures are implemented, Ping An will achieve carbon neutrality through multiple approaches, including buying carbon credits.
In 2021, Ping An focused on reducing the impact of its operations on the environment through energy-saving transformation, smart office features and digitalization to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Ping An's total carbon emissions decreased by 19% year-on-year to 429,000 tons; the electricity consumption of Ping An's own workplaces and leased workplaces was 513,946,880 kilowatt hours, down 2.65% year-on-year; and the total paper consumption at Ping An's operating sites and workplaces was 1,631 tons, down 75.89% year-on-year. Ping An also applied green and environmental technologies to construct green buildings. As of December 31, 2021, more than 10 of Ping An's green building projects, including the Ping An Financial Center in Shenzhen and the Ping An National Customer Service and Support Technology Center in Shanghai have obtained green building certifications at home and abroad, including the US Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification for Buildings Operations and Maintenance.
Focusing on rural revitalization for sustainable development
Ping An promotes rural revitalization by supporting the development of industries, healthcare and education and advancing its Ping An Rural Communities Support programs. In 2021, Ping An provided RMB12 billion for industrial revitalization. Leveraging the Group' s premium medical resources, Ping An also trained village doctors, upgraded village clinics and provided free health checkups and medical consultations for rural residents from its mobile Ping An Healthcare Diagnostics Center vehicle. During the year, Ping An held 69 events for mobile health checkups and medical consultations in rural areas, providing charitable healthcare services to 9,483 people. Ping An also recruited 875 volunteers in 2021, who provided over 20,000 hours of online and offline teaching services at 127 Ping An Hope Primary Schools. As of December 31, 2021, Ping An cumulatively provided approximately RMB41.9 billion for poverty alleviation and industrial revitalization, funded 119 Ping An Hope Primary Schools, and recruited nearly 10,000 volunteer teachers who served approximately 370,000 hours.
Improving corporate governance and shareholder returns
In 2021, Ping An paid an annual dividend of RMB2.38 per share in cash, up 8.2% year-on-year. The Group also started a new round of share repurchase. As of December 31, 2021, Ping An repurchased 77.77 million A shares, worth RMB3.9 billion. In order to retain key employees and establish long-term incentive and restraint mechanisms, Ping An has implemented the Key Employee Share Purchase Plan and the Long-term Service Plan, with 89,304 employees participating in the plans as of December 31, 2021. The Group has had stable and healthy operations since the implementation of the plans. The Group, shareholders, and employees have shared benefits and risks, providing a strong foundation to continue to improve the Company's governance structure, and facilitate the long-term, sustainable and healthy development of the Company.
Promoting responsible investment and sustainable insurance
Ping An believes that responsible investment helps to manage risk and contributes to long-term stable returns. In 2021, Ping An updated its Policy Statement on Responsible Investment and Policy Statement on Coal Related Business of Ping An Group. They set strict standards for monitoring the investments in high pollution and high emission industries. In addition, Ping An is committed to incorporating environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) concepts into insurance business development and insurance product design. In 2021, Ping An updated the Group's Policy Statement on Sustainable Insurance based on the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) from the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). As of December 2021, the scale of Ping An's responsible investment and financing reached nearly RMB1.22 trillion, of which Ping An's green investment and financing was nearly RMB 224.58 billion. Inclusive investment and financing was nearly RMB 68.467 billion, and social investment and financing was nearly RMB 926.860 billion, with 2,303 sustainable insurance products offered.
ESG practices and achievements with international recognition
In 2021, Ping An became a constituent of the FTSE Russell Sustainability Index (FTSE4Good), the Hang Seng ESG 50 Index, and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) ESG Index. Ping An was rated as low risk in Sustainalytics' ESG risk rating and BBB in MSCI's ESG rating, indicating a leading position in China's insurance industry. It was rated A- in the Carbon Disclosure Project, the highest rating obtained by a mainland China-based financial company. Ping An is dedicated to participating in global sustainable development initiatives. Ping An was the first asset owner signatory from China that joined UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment network and Climate Action 100. It was also the first company in mainland China to sign up for the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance.
Ping An said: "Driven by sustainable development strategies, Ping An integrates ESG core concepts and standards into enterprise management in all respects, striving to promote 'integrated finance + healthcare' services, and to create value for shareholders, customers, employees, partners, the community and the environment. In 2022, focusing on 'Integrated finance' and 'healthcare', Ping An will continue to build upon the strategy of 'finance + technology' and 'finance + ecosystem' to become a world-leading integrated financial and healthcare services provider."
The Sustainability Report was compiled in accordance with the Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting Guide of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and by reference to Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Standards, as well as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards on Commercial Banks, Insurance and Asset Management & Custody Activities.
Click here for the Ping An 2021 Sustainability Report
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