(left-to-right, from top): Kathryn Corrick; Jeremy Hindle; Ben Cotton; Kristian Steele; Katharine Stephens; Duncan Duffy, Gavin Starks [inset]; Srini Sundaram, Gea Mikic; Emma Thwaites; Cybele Wong; Stephanie Lopes; Andrea Gaglione; Erik Mackie representing partners including Lloyds Register Group, Brit Insurance, Arup, University of Cambridge, Bird & Bird, DAIS, Agvesto and Icebreaker One.

How are we developing a climate-ready financial product?
Meet our product innovation team.

Icebreaker One began on 1st April 2020 with the initiation of our UKRI funded work: the SERI programme.

Following a month of planning and hiring, we kicked off on Friday 1st May with our Product Innovation team (above). 

The team represents a fantastic constellation of skills spanning legal, engineering, financial services, insurance brokers and providers, science and communications experts.  

We explored the insurance ecosystem to begin identifying how we will create climate-ready financial products

Our initial perspective of ‘climate-ready’ is framed around ‘demonstrably net-zero emissions’.

We are building on existing frameworks such as Open Banking and considering the potential of new data types such as Earth Observation (e.g. 3-meter resolution, daily, whole earth) and Internet of Things (e.g. infrastructure that is instrumented with thousands of sensors).

SERI has programmes on Product Innovation, Policy Innovation and Systems Innovation. The Product Innovation team (above) kicked off  Insurance, Assets and Convergence

We identified many challenge questions, including:

  • We currently don’t know what data is available and, when we do, the contract models are complex and not standardised — Could there be a standard contract for shared data in order to enable preemptive licensing?
  • We would like to see a marketplace for insurance data but current estimates expect it would take two to three years to unfold — How can we identify the necessary standards and drive adoption to accelerate to achieve this goal in 6 months?
  • Across sectors, we speak different languages — What common terminology can we create?
  • What are the levers of change — for each sector or component parts of their supply chain?
  • How can we use price as a lever to create climate-ready products?
  • How do we define climate-ready? There are different elements to risk: transitional and physical. In order to be climate-ready, we need to address both.
  • How do we score (and therefore prioritise) what projects will act as our MVP (minimum viable products)? 
  • How do we ensure we are transparent to maintain credibility? 

Next steps

Our next steps, as subgroups and as a whole team, will be to drill deeper into these questions: where do the order of magnitude or transformational categories of improvement lie, and how do we address them? 

This programme is part of the Standard for Environment, Risk and Insurance (SERI) programme, under the Product Innovation workstream. This is a collaborative programme funded by UKRI and Icebreaker One’s commercial members, including Aon Impact Forecasting, Arup, Agvesto, Bird & Bird, Brit Insurance, Dais LLP, Lloyd’s Register Group, University of Cambridge ‘Cambridge Zero’ to develop and test climate-ready financial products this year. 

Additional supporters and funders of Icebreaker One include EIT Climate KIC, UN Environment Programme, Blue Ventures, Cenfri, Solvere Infraestructuras, Dgen, Open Climate Fix, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, University of Oxford, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Oasis LMF, Resilience Brokers and Santam.

If you’d like to get involved in these work programmes or related developments, please join here.