QBE – ESG Audit and Assurance Project

QBE have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission. QBE have partnered with Talisman to develop and execute a project to achieve this aspiration. With QBE’s focus covering four lines of business, QBE has decided to first adopt this ESG initiative within its People Risk line of business. The service is designed to assist QBE with ESG audit and assurance processes that will support their Clients meet their internal and external ESG strategic requirements. Additionally, the Service encompass assurance services and an ESG software solution that will support environmental management, social performance, including workplace, wellbeing, health & safety, liability reduction, claims management and injury prevention, as well as assessing and supporting the Client’s governance practices.


QBE have pledged a strong commitment to sustainability, embedding it within their business practices and strategic framework. They have initiated numerous programs such as Premiums4Good, positioning themselves as industry leaders. The company’s commitment extends beyond their operations; they aim to guide businesses and customers along their ESG journey. Recognising a business advantage in being an industry first-mover, QBE chose to initiate ESG audits and assurance processes for current and prospective customers. This service aimed to facilitate their clients’ internal and external ESG strategic requirements, covering aspects like environmental management, social performance, workplace well-being, health & safety, and governance practices. To actualise this vision, QBE partnered with Talisman, focusing first on their People Risk line of business.


Our project with QBE focused on integrating sustainability into their operational model by assisting their clients in their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) journey. This service aligns with QBE’s goal of creating a resilient future and lessening harm to people and environment. Understanding the varied ESG knowledge across industries, we launched an assurance and education program, communicating clearly about ESG expectations. Our strategic tool was a tailored ESG assessment, adaptable to QBE’s diverse client base, based on global sustainability standards. It aimed not just to assess, but to guide businesses on their unique ESG path. The tool also supported environmental management, social performance, and governance practices, making it beneficial for clients in reducing liabilities and improving workplace wellbeing. The project, a first for QBE, encompassed stakeholder groups from subject matter experts to technical software parties. Engagement sessions with these stakeholders were crucial to understand their driving priorities. To ensure alignment with QBE’s broader goals, we maintained a shared philosophy, founded on mutual values of protecting our communities and environment. We used robust methodologies for project management, including governance meetings and commercial agreements, while remaining flexible to QBE’s changing needs. Clear milestones were established for accountability and success monitoring. Communication collateral was developed to manage changes and impacts on resources, addressing the new workload for QBE’s customers involved in the assurance process.


The project with QBE, still underway, has set its sights on the long-term outcomes of improved ESG performance and transparency. We anticipate these outcomes to greatly benefit QBE’s clientele, who will see an increased focus on ESG as a result of this project. While it may be too early to gauge the project’s direct impact on the company’s overall performance, safety record, or operational efficiency, we believe the potential for improved performance and increased transparency will ultimately translate into tangible outcomes. Several key lessons have emerged from this project so far, most notably around the importance of clear expectations, project tracking, setting and monitoring agreed milestones, and robust cross stakeholder communication. Especially with multiple parties involved, each with diverse skillsets and motivations, the necessity for clear, concise, and regular communication becomes a pivotal tool for managing change. Already, the project’s success in raising the profile of ESG amongst a broad customer base is evident. By utilizing a risk-focused lens, the project is providing certain customers with a level of assurance that can offer opportunities for improvement and transparency, potentially distinguishing them from their peers. The experience gained from this project carries significant potential for the company’s future. The ESG advisory space is vast and, to date, not well coordinated. It is indeed a competitive space with numerous other organisations offering similar services. Yet, our unique selling points – our experience, approach, agility, and a highly tailorable software platform that supports ESG assurance – sets us apart. The opportunity to apply our project’s approach to other companies and industries holds the promise of a robust expansion in the ESG assurance landscape.

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