Commitment with sustainable development is part of IRB Brasil RE's strategy and thus the Company maintains its own initiatives in addition to supporting and sponsoring projects that build responsible ties with society. The Company is also aligned with the role played by the reinsurance market, which is to foster economic growth in Brazil.
As part of how IRB relates with society, IRB sponsors social, cultural and sports activities and on the environmental front, although IRB’s activities cause low environmental impacts, the Company still seeks for rational use of natural resources and to correctly dispose all waste produced in its operations, in addition to requiring the same discipline from its suppliers.
When managing its human capital, IRB recognizes that differences and respect for others create a healthy and harmonious work environment, aligned with common goals that lead to business growth.
The most relevant sustainability management issues, that is, those that can significantly impact business if not well managed, were identified through an assessment provided by Sustainalytics, a company that provides sustainability rankings of publicly listed companies based on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performances. The assessment highlighted IRB’s three key sustainability concerns: ESG/Finance (including socio-environmental aspects and impacts, as well as responsible asset management, among others); Product Governance (the offering of sustainable products, in addition to marketing, quality and safety practices); and Human Capital (diversity, non-discrimination, job turnovers, freedom of association and job relations).
IRB is a member of the Geneva Association, an entity that provides reference risk management surveys for strategic insurance products. Geneva Association also helps identifying the key trends and strategic subjects for insurance products, in addition to fostering discussions and research initiatives on issues such as climate change, population aging, digitalization, among others. Through its research programs, regular publications and international forums, Geneva Association promotes the understanding of the risks inherent the IRB’s business, therefore helping to generate and disseminate information on the identified issues.
IRB is also a member of the Sustainability Committee of the National Insurance Confederation (CNSEG), which discusses sustainability for the insurance and reinsurance market in Brazil. The Company is also in the process of signing the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), an initiative by the United Nations (UN).
Due to the nature of its operations, and the low materiality of social and environmental impacts arising from its activities, the Company does not yet have a formal socio-environmental policy, however, it engages its employees towards a sustainability-focused corporate culture by involving them in the analyses and diagnosis of the Company’s gaps and strengths in terms of sustainability.
IRB works with its clients to mitigate all risks identified, providing support and suggestions on how to avoid environmental, engineering or any other impacts. As the Company's business is to essentially prevent claims from occurring, its entire underwriting team conducts ongoing inspections to detect potential risks and to work closely with clients and anticipate mitigation initiatives for potential property damages, accidents or liabilities.
In addition to the elements that are inherent to its business, such operational, market, credit and image scenarios, IRB's Risk Management Policy pays special attention to social and environmental aspects that may impact the Company’s performance and possibly damage its image and reputation, resulting in financial losses. This policy was last updated on January 28, 2019 and is available at https://ir.irbre.com/enu/bylaws-policies-codes. The Company’s business risks are detailed in its Reference Form (https://ri.irbre.com/ptb/central-de-resultados).
The Risk and Compliance Vice President is responsible for monitoring and controlling IRB’s risks, which are revised twice a year by the Board of Directors, every three months by the Risk Management and Audit Committees, and on a regular basis by the Company's Executive Board. All IRB employees must attend mandatory annual risk training courses, which include topics such as insurance and reinsurance business, money laundering prevention and fight against terrorism, ethics and conduct, governance, risk and compliance, fraud, corruption and conflict of interest, operational risks, among others.
The Compliance Policy aims to ensure the appropriateness, strengthening and efficient operation of IRB's Internal Controls System and that its activities, operations, products and services comply with applicable law, internal demands and regulations, this policy is available at https://ir.irbre.com/enu/bylaws-policies-codes. IRB’s Compliance Manual establishes the responsibilities of the Compliance department, as well as the responsibilities of other departments, to ensure that these controls are effective and to set guidelines for reporting any nonconformities.
The Company also has its Policy on the Prevention and Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, approved by the Board of Directors.
In order to mitigate money laundering and fraud risks, as well as to control relationships with Politically Exposed Persons, the Company maintains active Know Your Customer (KYC), Know Your Employee (KYE) and Know Your Supplier (KYS) activities.
KYC – Conducts research on clients in terms of negative media, sanctions and politically exposed persons. The client is only approved after all analysis are carried out by the Compliance department, including an analysis on the client's activities.
KYE – Prepares and monitors if employees have attended compliance training programs, monitors the behavior of employees classified as a politically exposed person and analyzes if candidates nominated for strategic positions at the Company have negative media, sanctions or if they are politically exposed persons.
KYS – Conducts analysis to verify if suppliers have negative media, sanctions or classify as politically exposed persons. The supplier is only approved after all analysis are carried out by the Compliance department.
Clients and suppliers are classified into different risk levels. The classification is verified periodically for the Company’s entire client and suppliers list. Employees also undergo periodic review, including for first-degree relatives.
A sound ethics culture is fundamental for the Company’s sustainable and transparent growth. This process is guided by two corporate policies: (i) Code of Conduct and (ii) Integrity Program, both of which aim to ensure that high standards of behavior are maintained between IRB and its stakeholders. IRB’s Ethics Committee deals with all conflicting issues against the provisions set forth by these two internal regulations.
The Integrity Program aims to effectively and efficiently ensure the Company’s compliance with the sector regulations and best practices, and also provides guidelines that help the Company face the challenges of a competitive and globalized market through agile and transparent actions.
The Code of Conduct serves as a guideline for relationships between the Company’s employees and its stakeholders (shareholders, investors, clients, suppliers, competitors, media) as well as what is expected in terms of professional and personal conducts and employee interaction. The document establishes behavior guidelines for managers, employees and service providers to ensure strong ethical standards in the Company's decision-making processes and activities. Employees are required to take annual training courses on the fight against corruption and bribery.
The Integrity Program and Code of Conduct policies are available at (https://ir.irbre.com/enu/bylaws-policies-codes).
Social investments are focused on promoting health, life quality, sports, education and culture incentives, and are supported by volunteer actions from the Company’s employees. These actions are managed by the Marketing, Communication and Human Resources department.
With this objective in mind, partnerships are maintained with Hospital de Amor (the former Hospital de Câncer de Barretos), Associação de Pais e Amigos dos Excepcionais (Apae) in Barueri, Grupo de Assistência com a Criança com Câncer (GRACC) in São Paulo, Hospital Pequeno Príncipe in Curitiba, among other projects that can be found at (https://www.irbre.com/EN-US/Paginas/acoes-sociais.aspx). These projects are supported by the Company and benefit approximately 421,000 children, teenagers and seniors. Only from 2014 to 2018, about 300 projects were received for evaluation and 19 were qualified for the total contribution, which totaled BRL 8.3 million in investments.
The Company also seeks to broaden its social impact by sponsoring sports initiatives. In 2019, IRB sponsored two projects:
- Sem Barreira, which offers three Olympic modalities, judo, track & field and volleyball, in a single space for approximately 170 children and teenagers of the Sambódromo and Estácio regions in the City of Rio de Janeiro. The initiative is carried out in partnership with volleyball medalist Adriana Samuel.
- Reação Escola Faixa Preta, from Instituto Reação, promotes human development and social inclusion actions through sport and education, incentivizing the practice of judo from beginning to high performance levels. The project benefits moren than 1,200 children aged 4+ and teenagers in nine different locations in the City of Rio de Janeiro.
Additionally, IRB also supports cultural programs offered by schools, social institutions and socially vulnerable groups in the city of Rio de Janeiro, notably the Company’s sponsorship of the Museu do Amanhã Museum, which provides knowledge through innovation and sustainability, two important values for IRB. During the first half of 2019, the Museum offered guided tours to approximately 100 children, teenager and adults, bringing them access to culture and knowledge. The project also supported the creation of a museum app, which allowed visitors an even more enhanced reality experience.
In addition to the Museu do Amanhã, IRB sponsored other cultural projects in 2019, such as the Rock in Rio concert. In 2018, the Company also sponsored Blue Note Rio and the Phantom of the Opera musical.
Many of the Company’s social initiatives includes the participation of its employees, who are engaged in building a better and more caring society. With this in mind, two campaigns were conducted in the first half of 2019: the back-to-school sponsoring of nearly 160 children, who received a complete school supplies kit, and a food collection campaign for the victims of the heavy rains that affected the city of Rio de Janeiro.
IRB’s Volunteer Program was created in 2016 and focuses on creating opportunities for employees to donate a portion of their time towards good causes. The volunteer program has a management and execution committee and is focused on four action fronts; Life, Wellness, Sustainability, and Development & Training. The projects are collectively elaborated and includes wishes, skills and possibilities offered by the program’s volunteers.
The volunteer program leads three projects (Caring for Your Loved Ones, Reading is Love, Health is Life), which have activities that are planned annually, in particular the Bazar Solidário, a bazaar that raises funds for two social institutions, and the Blood Donation Program, which served the blood bank at the Santa Casa de Misericórdia hospital in Rio de Janeiro and saved 228 lives in the first half of 2019.
The selection, hiring and assessment of suppliers are guided by impartiality and transparency criteria, without any type of favoritism or discrimination. Technical, economic and reputation aspects are carefully evaluated in order to ensure plurality, competition and relationship with suppliers who value quality and competitive prices for the products and services hired. The Know Your Supplier policy determines that due diligence processes are carried out before any contracts are effectively signed. Depending on the contract’s relevance, an on-site visit is required to confirm installations, conditions and quality of the supplier’s staff and systems.
IRB’s internal regulations foresee confidentiality and conflict of interest clauses and selected relevant aspects are verified during the due diligence process, including the supplier’s registrations status with the Cadastro Nacional de Empresas Idôneas e Suspensas (CEIS), Cadastro Nacional de Empresas Punidas (CNEP), negative media, FGTS and labor liabilities, among others.
Due to the nature of the IRB’s operations, and the low materiality of the social and environmental impacts arising from its activities and the activities of its suppliers, the Company has not yet established a specific socio-environmental policy for selecting or evaluating suppliers, and the Company does not have a specific self-assessment policy for its sustainability practices (human rights and environment).
However, to ensure full compliance with human rights issues, all IRB’s suppliers must comply with the Company's Code of Conduct, which includes mandatory labor, social security and tax clauses, as well as restrictions against the use of child labor or slave-like employment conditions. Compliance with labor requirements are assessed through mandatory questionnaires filled out by suppliers.
The Company’s Code of Conduct also determines environmental conservation practices, even if these activities do not represent relevant environmental impact.
IRB also has contractual clauses demanding suppliers to comply with legal and regulatory requirements related to the prevention of money laundering, terrorism financing, fraud, corruption and conflicts of interest.
Despite the low environmental impact of its operation as a service company, IRB remains committed to promoting efficient management of natural resources in its activities and by its employees. The Facilities department is responsible for managing the actions taken towards reduction of environmental impacts.
Each employee is encouraged to control his/her consumption of water, energy, paper, plastic objects and office supplies, as well to contribute with the preservation of the environment. Thus, the Company encourages its employees to produce less waste through actions that contribute with less use of natural resources.
The Company’s office building in Sao Paulo is self-sustainable and certified with the silver Core Shell Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) award granted by the Green Build Council. The building’s windows are designed to lower internal temperatures, thus reducing energy consumption, and other sustainable initiatives include the rainwater reuse, full sewage treatment, bike racks and charging outlets for electric vehicles.
The Company’s headquarter building in Rio de Janeiro has a green roof to improve the building’s thermal and acoustic conditions, thus reducing air condition consumption and increasing thermal comfort of its external areas, in addition to helping purify urban pollution.
IRB manages all its operational residues that can be recycled by hiring a specialized firm which collects and properly disposes the materials, including necessary landfill disposals. A recycling cooperative also participates in this effort. IRB also stores and properly disposes garden waste, which counts on a specific deposit area and a specialized firm to collect and properly dispose this material.
Another initiative carried out by the Company is the recycling of coffee capsules, which are dropped in special disposal containers next to all coffee machines. Thus, IRB seeks to reduce the waste impact caused by this object, which has become an issue in recent years.
The "Reduza Resíduos" campaign began in 2017 and was initially aimed at eliminated the use of plastic bottles and cups at the Company’s offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Each employee received a reusable cup, known as the Menos 1 Lixo cup, and a ceramic coffee mug. With this initiative, the use of over 370,000 plastic water cups and 110,000 plastic coffee cups has been avoided annually.
Use of natural resources
IRB has taken different measures to reduce its consumption of natural resources. To save water, for example, the Company installed toilets with different outflow levels.
The Company's headquarters in Rio de Janeiro also received new lighting after the building’s retrofit project. Currently, 98% of lightbulbs are LED (light-emitting diodes), which are more efficient than conventional lamps. The building also has power-generating solar panels.
Additionally, the Company installed automated power controls. Air conditioners are turned off at 7:30 pm and lights go out at 10:00 pm, with both being turned on again at 6:00 am of the following day. Electricity is only turned on during the weekends upon prior request. At the beginning of 2019, an energy consumption panel was installed to indicate, in real time, the amount of power being used aimed at identifying potential power leaks and monitoring energy use at each of the Company’s floor. The objective is to continue the enhance this tool for an effective control electricity consumption and to monitor the energy generated through the solar panels.
Campaigns are launched periodically to promote reduction in energy consumption, such as:
- Turning off monitors during lunch time, evenings and weekends.
- Always turning off lights after leaving meeting room.
- Using stairs instead of elevators and turning off the automatic elevator call from employee’s ID badges.
To contribute with the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Company modified its employee air travel policy for meetings, including with clients. Whenever a face-to-face visit is not necessary, employees use videoconferences for client meetings in Brazil and abroad.
The Human Resources Policy requires the Company to create a diverse and stimulating work environment, fostering interpersonal and intersectoral relationships to reach common interests. Team spirit is one of the Company's values and it rejects any form of discrimination. In December 2018, the Company had 447 employees, of which 389 were own employees and 58 were outsourced professionals.
The Code of Conduct states that any internal or external relationship should be guided by respect and transparency, and bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination regarding color, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or other behaviors are not allowed. An Ethics Committee is responsible for evaluating reports on bullying and sexual harassment.
With this determination, the Company also supports freedom of association and maintains a healthy union relationship, with no conflicts or strikes having occurred in the last three years. IRB maintains friendly relationships with its unions and provides them, upon request, with a list of employees and emails for communication purposes.
IRB carries out an office climate and engagement survey on an annual basis. The 2019 survey was conducted during the second half of the year to verify that policies are being adopted and the level of well-being of its employees. An annual assessment is also carried out by an independent firm to evaluate the company's corporate culture.
IRB also has a Life Quality Program to encourage employees to practice sport activities and also maintains health campaigns, especially regarding vaccination, ergonomic assessment and other health initiatives. All employees have access to private healthcare and dental plans. Senior level employees have the right to an annual executive check-up and all other employees have access to periodic health exams.
We also highlight two social inclusion actions:
- Hiring of individuals with hearing impairments;
- Young Apprentice Program, which aims to assist in the insertion of young individuals into the job market by offering technical and professional training. In the first half of 2019, 10% of IRB’s young apprentices were hired for intern positions at the Company.
An annual performance evaluation cycle is carried out for all employees and the Company’s assessment model enables employees to receive performance insights from all perspectives: peers, internal clients, managers, subordinates, as well as their own self-evaluation. All evaluations are discussed in committees, which address the employee’s development needs, such as the need for internal and/or external training, education programs for foreign language studies and higher education programs for college, postgraduate, extension, specialization and master’s degrees. IRB reimburses 50% of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Periodic feedback is fundamental for professional growth and encouraged by the Company’s Human Resources department so that managers can effectively carry out this role by using good techniques.
In order to ensure business sustainability in times of transitions, IRB gives special attention to the training of successors and stimulates the professional growth of employees identified as potential successors through the Individual Development Plan.
IRB maintains a talent retention program, approved by the Board of Directors, aimed at retaining high-performing, high-potential, and hard-to-replace employees. In 2018, the Company's employee turnover rate was 20%, the same level as in 2017. The retention program is reinforced by the Performance Award, which recognizes IRB employees with differentiated performances and those who deliver strategic results that bring relevant impact to the business. In 2018, 31 employees were awarded with a bonus, ranging from 1-3 monthly salaries.