Introduction

As a general insurance and reinsurance company, QBE’s purpose is very clear – we give people the confidence to achieve their ambitions. As a company that helps people and businesses protect themselves from risk, a focus on sustainability, and the identification of current and emerging environment, social and governance trends, is an integral part of achieving our purpose, understanding the needs of our customers and ensuring the sustainability of our own business.

I see QBE’s commitment to sustainability as a long-term journey, something we build on each year in response to a rapidly changing environment. Our 2017 Sustainability Report describes the steps we are taking to integrate sustainability into our decision making, our products and our interactions with customers, employees and commercial partners.

Looking back over 2017, I am proud of our continued commitment to our unique Premiums4Good initiative, which enables customers to direct a portion of their premium for investment in securities with an additional social or environmental objective. During the year we also led the way in social bond issuance. We were the first global insurance company to issue a green bond and launched the world’s first Gender Equality Additional Tier 1 bond transaction.

A core part of sustainability is ensuring that we attract and retain the right people, build talent and develop a values-aligned culture. In my new role as Group CEO, I have a focus on culture and capability, and ensuring we provide a diverse and inclusive workplace for our employees. In 2017, QBE became a signatory of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and we were recently included as a member of the inaugural Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. Building on this, I am delighted to join a number of my Australian CEO peers as a Male Champion of Change and will continue to focus on how we at QBE can support our employees, our customers and broader community stakeholders to recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion.

In 2017, we continued to invest in the communities in which we operate. Through the QBE Foundation, our people engaged with a range of charity partners through giving and volunteering. And as a business, we were able to support our customers and global communities impacted by natural disasters.

Throughout the coming year, we will continue to engage with our customers, employees, shareholders, investors, partners and the community to make sure that our approach to sustainability reflects the needs of our stakeholders and responds to emerging trends. This will strengthen our ability to assist our customers to build resilience and achieve their ambitions.

Pat Regan
Group Chief Executive Officer

Who we are


QBE is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and headquartered in Sydney. We are one of the top 20 global insurance and reinsurance companies, with operations in every key insurance market. We employ more than 14,100 people in 36 countries.

As one of the world’s few truly global insurers, our strategic focus is delivering the potential of our business to all stakeholders. This includes our responsibility to ensure we make a positive contribution to the economies and communities in which we operate.

About this Report

This Sustainability Report covers the global activities of QBE during the financial year ended 31 December 2017. All financial figures are quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu was engaged to provide independent limited assurance over QBE’s global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions data for the year ended 31 December 2017, in accordance with the Australian Standards on Assurance Engagement ASAE 3410 Assurance Engagement on Greenhouse Gas Statement. The purpose of this was to provide QBE management with limited assurance over the reported GHG emissions data, calculated in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards’ requirements for Disclosures 305-1, 305-2, and 305-3, QBE’s GHG Reporting Framework, the GHG Protocol’s Corporate Accounting and Reporting and Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standards. The full limited assurance statement is available at the end of this Report.