The Brazilian market is showing an increasing concern with managing and mitigating environmental risk, a concern that could even prove itself a competitive advantage and aggregate value to a company.
Environmental concern and how companies can manage and mitigate environmental risks was discussed during an NBCC event on July 15, 2016.
The event, held in the offices of AIG Seguros in Rio de Janeiro, was an initiative by Jocatec Seguros, a insurance broker experiencing an increased interest from clients in this kind of service, in cooperation with NBCC and AIG Seguros.
The ideal is of course having appropriate procedures and certifications, and a focus on risk management in the daily operations of a company, to avoid causing damage to the environment in the first place, but accidents do happen, and it is important to be prepared. In Brazil, the first environmental insurance was commercialized in 2004, and the watershed moment was when new national guidelines established new sanctions and fines for polluters back in 1991.
AIG is described as a global leader in the field of managing environmental risk, and Nathalia Gallinari, Head of the Environmental Department of AIG Brazil, was the main speaker of the seminar.
«After a slow start we are currently experiencing an increasing interest in this particular product. But it is still a common perception among business leaders out there that their company has no environmental risk, or that the risk is well managed and under control. What you need to remember is that there is environmental risks in almost all operations. Pollution is not necessarily a dangerous material, but any material in the wrong place that would represent a risk to the environment. It could even be orange juice», Ms. Gallinari said in her presentation.
She also outlined the current legislation, and said that there is a tendency towards a bigger degree of obligatoriness and that laws are getting more comprehensive. Both Antaq and the Brazilian regulations of ports have requirements demanding insurance policies for environmental risks already, and who can be held liable, is increasing.
«Having an insurance policy can thus be a competitive advantage that would aggregate value to the company, in a bidding process, or on the ranking at the stock exchange.», she said.
Ms. Gallinari also presented the different insurance products that AIG offers, and explained what they would cover. Clean-up after an incident, waste treatment, emissions and the personal and material damage caused, is something the insurance could cover. It could also cover legal and investigative costs. She also talked about the services offered to the offshore sector and coverages that could be offered, basically related to wastes management activities including transportation, storage and final destination of it.
«Sustainability and environment are important topics on the corporate agenda around the world. Our environmental insurance policy is important tool for risk management and mitigation «from cradle to grave. It covers gaps that other insurance products do not cover, and is a tailor-made product for every client», she concluded.
League of their own
Director of Jocatec, Luiz Felipe Cassinelli, was also present at the event. The insurance broker based in Rio de Janeiro has 65 years in the market. Mr. Cassinelli emphasized the importance of having a greener approach and mindset.
«This is a new insurance product in Brazil, but the topic is a concern to many, and the demand is increasing. We also see that legislation is getting more rigid. All companies and all operations have some kind of risk, and an incident is something that could break a company completely, not only financially, but also institutionally, because the name of the company will for ever be connected with the incident. This is why I think this kind of insurance will increase in importance in the near future. Companies devoted to preserving the environment will play in a league of their own.»
André Cassinelli, also representing Jocatec, applauds the environmental concern that Nordic companies, especially in companies from Norway, Denmark and Sweden, are showing.
«You are world leaders when it comes to protecting the environment and taking care of the environment», he said.
«There is no doubt that multinational companies bring experience and this way contribute to speeding up the process here in Brazil. Having an environmental concern, a different view, could be what makes a company stand out», Luiz Felipe Cassinelli concluded.
About 20 people were present for the seminar held in the offices of AIG in downtown Rio de Janeiro.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist