FEELING THE HEAT: ALLIANZ AND WWF PUSHING AN INDUSTRY TOWARDS CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION
This case documents the efforts of two leading organizations, one on the financial services industry and the other a global NGO, to roll out an initiative to hedge business impacts of climate change. It follows Allianz and WWF during their experience of building a partnership for action leadership and illustrates the challenges and obstacles encountered during implementation. It provides a framework for discussions around the implementation "pain points" of ambitious strategies with long-term objectives, which involve high uncertainties, risks and business opportunities. It opens the floor for an interesting discussion on how to take on the challenges of a changing business context and balance them against long-term objectives. Allianz and WWF joint venture evolved from a collaborative awareness-raising effort to an action-driven partnership with the ambition to lead the financial industry on the climate change issue by example. The partnership goals were to quantify climate change effects on financial services and use it as an innovation driver for products and services in insurance, banking and asset management business. In 2008, a year after the partnership was implemented, points of tension at the operational level accumulated, mainly in relation to the governance model and follow up on certain issues. In the same period, the financial markets crisis hit. This significantly changed the business environment and pushed Allianz to rethink their strategy and engage WWF on discussing where, if and how the partnership could be adjusted while keeping the core strategy. A video documenting Allianz' efforts on Corporate Responsibility can be used with this case (see link under Notes). Learning ojbectives: 1) Understand the challenges of rolling out sustainability strategies. 2) Illustrate the dilemmas of adapting to a changing business context while staying on course with long-term objectives, particularly in difficult business circumstances. 3) Illustrate the barriers and success factors of corporate sustainability partnerships. 4) Change the traditional perception of business responsibility in pushing forward the agenda for action on climate change and other "mega-issues".