New report reveals strong demand for ESG talent development within the Irish Insurance Industry

10th March 2023: A new report which analyses Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) knowledge and skillset requirements within the Irish insurance industry has been launched today.

Commissioned by the Sustainable Finance Skillnet and produced by KPMG, the report, Insurance industry ESG knowledge and skills analysis 2023’, is the result of an industry-wide collaboration between Brokers Ireland, LIA, the Insurance Institute, and Insurance Ireland. Report development was supported by Skillnet Ireland.

ESG challenges are one of the most critical issues facing societies and economies today. The financial services sector, including the insurance industry, will play a critical role in Ireland’s transition to a net zero economy.

Talent development and capacity building are recognised to be critical drivers of the sustainable finance agenda for Ireland. In this context, the report analyses current ESG awareness within the insurance industry, highlights knowledge gaps and provides recommendations for the development of future training programmes, in line with ‘Pillar 1 – Talent Development’, of the Irish Sustainable Finance Roadmap.

The report highlights the strong demand for introductory training on ESG and sustainable finance but also the need for targeted training for specific roles and across seniority levels. Regular assessments and refinement of training programmes will also play an important ongoing role, given the evolving nature of the sustainable finance agenda.

The findings presented in this report mark an important milestone for the insurance industry in its journey to support Ireland in becoming a leader in sustainable finance.

Recognising the importance of the report, Director of Business Networks, Skillnet Ireland, Dave Flynn said: “Skillnet Ireland plays a crucial role in developing the skills and talent pipeline needed for a sustainable economy, and our focus on sustainable finance reflects the growing importance of ESG factors in investment decision-making. This report provides a useful means by which we can gather knowledge of the skills and talent gaps in the insurance sector. There is strong appetite from the industry to participate in ESG upskilling. By developing skills in ESG, companies can better understand the risks and opportunities associated with ESG factors and make more informed investment decisions. This, in turn, can lead to a more sustainable and resilient economy.”

Speaking at the launch, Chair of the Sustainable Finance Skillnet Committee, Mary Whitelaw, said: “We welcome the collaboration across the insurance industry on this report and would like to thank our partners Brokers Ireland, LIA, the Insurance Institute, Insurance Ireland and KPMG for their support. Understanding the existing ESG capacity and awareness of the industry is a critical step for the development of further learning opportunities for the insurance sector and we look forward to supporting this in 2023 and beyond.”

In welcoming the report, President of the Insurance Institute and CEO of Zurich Insurance, Anthony Brennan said: “There are a lot of important messages in this milestone report for our industry, but I think that the most important one is that this is about way more than regulation and reporting. This is about the whole insurance industry supporting society, our customers and our planet.”


For further information please contact International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence Communications Manager, Anthony McFeely by mailing [email protected].

Notes for editors:

International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence

Action 1 of Ireland’s Sustainable Finance Roadmap, the International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence (the Centre) is focused on accelerating sustainable finance activities in Ireland and further afield by supporting the design, development and launch of innovative financial mechanisms to facilitate the transition to a sustainable economy.

This includes supporting specialist training in the field of sustainable finance and supporting financial institutions as they navigate the organisational and talent development challenge of transforming into ESG-aligned financial institutions.

The Centre is supported by the Department of Finance, Skillnet Ireland, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as well as key partners across the public and private sectors.

Skillnet Ireland

Skillnet Ireland is the national workforce development agency. We are a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity and innovation of businesses through enterprise-led talent development.

Skillnet Ireland partners with 57 industry bodies, supporting over 22,500 businesses and 86,500 trainees annually, through its 72 Skillnet Business Networks across most sectors and all regions in Ireland.

Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

To learn more about Skillnet Ireland, please visit

Skillnet Business Network search tool:

Facebook: @SkillnetIreland

Twitter: @SkillnetIreland


Sustainable Finance Skillnet (SFS)

The Sustainable Finance Skillnet is a national network that works to develop skills and leadership capacity to advance ESG best practice across Ireland’s financial services ecosystem.

Network companies work collaboratively to share best practice and to respond effectively to the specific skills needs of the sector.

The objective of this national network is to support sustainable business growth and practices in Ireland by embedding sustainable approaches within firms through the delivery of specialised training aimed at business leaders and employees.

Irish Sustainable Finance Roadmap

In October 2021, Ireland’s first national Sustainable Finance Roadmap was launched by Minister Donohoe, T.D. Funded by Skillnet Ireland, roadmap development was Action Measure no. 1 under the Ireland for Finance Action Plan 2021.

Unlocking Irish potential in this area and acting as a catalyst for public-private action, under the five pillars of Developing Talent; Industry Readiness; Leveraging Digital; Enabling Environment; and Promotion and Communications, 18 roadmap actions were identified.

Underpinning Ireland’s ambition to be a leading sustainable finance centre by 2025 is the development of a world-class talent base.



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