As long-term risk managers such developments are of crucial interest to actuaries. The Sustainability practice area works to identify the implications for actuaries and their clients and help in the development of appropriate responses.
Foremost amongst these is climate change, an existential threat which has implications for existing practice areas such as:
- pension actuaries in terms of the potential impact on investment values, investment returns, funding strategies, mortality and demographics, and sponsor covenants
- general insurance actuaries in regard to climate-related property claims, business continuity risks, liabilities to third parties and for insurers of directors and trustees
- life and health actuaries in regard to investment values and trends in mortality and morbidity
- finance and investment actuaries in terms of the impact on investment risks, returns and hence strategy, and the development of innovative investment vehicles to assist in climate change adaptation and mitigation
- risk management in developing methodologies to recognise the impact climate change could have on insurance products, markets, reserving and regulation.
The Sustainability practice area works closely with all other practice areas in responding to these issues. It has created a number of Practical Guides for actuaries in the different investment practices which are available to download and included: An introduction to climate change for actuaries.
Other sustainability impacts on actuarial work include:
- resource limitations, and the need to live sustainably in a finite world, which have implications for economic growth, investment returns and liability reserving across all practice areas
- the implications of the emergence of broader societal objectives that recognise the importance of health, education, leisure, poverty reduction and the natural environment, and the limitations of a GDP growth target.
In addition to considering the impact of environmental change on existing work, the Sustainability Board (the “Board”) fosters the development of actuarial involvement in new areas of environmental work as well as those that support the Sustainable Development Goals, for example:
- advising the government and energy generators on long term energy projections
- advising the nuclear industry on funding for long term decommissioning and waste disposal
- wider risks to business due to environmental change and regulation
- the potential insurance costs for carbon capture and storage
- valuing fossil fuel reserves
- assisting organisations dealing with disaster relief.
This is a key part of the work of the Board.
The Board is a senior, member-led committee of volunteer actuaries drawn from a variety of existing practice areas. It advises the IFoA on sustainability issues, including Climate-related risks and is a source of expertise within the profession on such matters. It supports and promotes the interests of members in accordance with the profession’s strategic objectives. The Board has oversight of the Sustainability Research Committee & CPD Committee which co-ordinates its research and CPD activities. Until July 2020, the Sustainability Board was known as the Resource and Environment Board.
Many environmental issues have a global impact and the Sustainability Board is keen to work with IFoA members across the world. It also supports the work of the International Actuarial Association Resource and Environment Working Group.
The Sustainability Board builds on the work conducted by the former Resource and Environment Member Interest Group (MIG). The research and activities that were undertaken by the MIG are now conducted by the Resource and Environment Board. The Board supports a number of working parties, the Sustainable Development Goals MIG and it the Practice Board sponsor of the IFoA’s Financial Systems Innovation Centre (FinSTIC).
The Board welcomes volunteers from all areas of the professional to support and engage in sustainability issues. Find out further details on these opportunities and how to get engaged.
- 18 June 2018
- 23 June 2020
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For more information about Sustainability working parties contact the Communities Team
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Wicked Problems, Clumsy Solutions and Leading Change
Dr Catherine Donnelly will present the basics of the structures for pooling longevity risks and summarise recent research results in this area in addition to outlinging future research around this topic. This is work under a research programme funded by the IFoA's Actuarial Research Centre, called 'Minimizing longevity and investment risk while optimising future pension plans'.
Climate-Related Risk - This free to view webinar on Climate-Related Risk is the first in a series focusing on some of the ‘Hotspots’ identified in the JFAR Risk Perspective bringing the Risk Perspective to life with practical illustrations and insights from subject experts from the IFoA and other Regulators
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This event is now temporarily closed on Monday 26 April, but the session will be repeated on Tuesday 27 April, 09.00-10.30. Please click here to register your place.
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