Our latest broker barometer survey reveals sustainability matters

One in three brokers (35%) have a plan to achieve net zero emissions, and/or are already implementing one1, up from 27% in 2023 and 17% in 2022, according to our latest Broker Barometer research. The proportion of brokers who have taken steps on their journey to net zero has doubled in just two years, showing the positive strides brokers are making to becoming more sustainable. Only 5% of brokers have taken no action to date.

Net zero plans remain a priority despite challenges

Our Broker Barometer finds there remains a clear desire from brokers to help organisations take steps towards achieving net zero, with 78% of brokers wanting to make their and their client’s businesses more sustainable. However, this figure has fallen since 2023, when nearly all brokers (97%) said this, with respondents now citing several hurdles to implementing net zero plans, including costs, accessible resources, business priorities and adaptability measures.

Brokers say that over a third (37%) of clients ask for advice on the impact of climate-related events on their business, up from 26% last year, and 38% are looking for support with reducing their carbon footprint and environmental impact – also up from 26% last year.

While cost is cited as the primary reason for brokers not having taken action to achieve net zero emissions, other reasons referenced include that they are too small for net zero to be an issue (40%), transitioning to net zero is not a strategic objective (33%) and not having the necessary resources (13%). Despite these challenges, brokers without an active net zero plan can find plenty of practical initiatives and training to support the uptake and implementation of their respective sustainable business goals.

Our Sustainable Business Coach

When asked what support would be helpful to brokers in starting or accelerating their sustainability journey, 42% of brokers chose help setting the direction, ambition and strategy for their transition to net zero.

Our Sustainable Business Coach is designed to help brokers get climate-ready and discover their business's impact on the environment and wider society. The free and easy-to-use tool aims to support brokers in building a more resilient business, helping them become more efficient - resulting in potential cost savings – while measuring their improvement over time.

Created with brokers, for brokers, the Sustainable Business Coach will also help them set sustainability goals, benchmark their progress towards net zero and provide the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding with free learning modules.

Brokers also said carbon calculators (37%), additional funding (37%), education (33%) and accreditation (31%) would help support them in their journey to net zero. Such support would help brokers feel confident in their endeavour to lead by example when advising clients.

More to do

Despite the positive momentum shown by brokers, two-thirds (65%) are yet to develop or implement a plan towards achieving net zero emissions. Over half of insurance brokers (53%) without a net zero plan cite costs as the primary inhibitor to achieving their net-zero business goals.

Simon Burckitt, Sustainability Lead, Aviva, commented:

“The challenge of achieving net zero emissions for brokers can feel overwhelming. For many the task feels big, and the associated costs a burden.

However, expectations and behaviours are changing. Our research shows a shift in demand from broker’s clients asking for support and guidance on making their businesses more sustainable. In addition, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of brokers implementing plans to achieve net zero. We want to help brokers meet this demand, leading by example and ensuring that they and their client’s businesses transition to net zero smoothly, providing them with the necessary tools and support. Although costs and adaptability measures continue to challenge many businesses, we can help brokers and their clients find their own path to a net zero business plan that works for them.

We want to support brokers in becoming more sustainable in their effort to get climate-ready. Aviva’s Sustainable Business Coach is one of those tools that provides brokers with the ability to benchmark their progress. Not only does this help them to create a long-term plan, but it also makes sure that they remain a confident and reliable partner to clients whose needs are constantly evolving in this space.” 

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1 The research was conducted by Censuswide with 251 general insurance brokers 18+ (all job levels/seniorities) between 19.03.2024 – 25.03.2024. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.