Universal Insurance Holdings is committed to creating a sustainable workplace for our employees, society, and our planet. As a property and casualty insurance group, we are keenly aware of the risks posed by increased climate change and issues that affect society at large. By leading with our values, our company focuses on ways we can drive positive change by promoting the benefits of sustainability, reducing our environmental footprint, encouraging employee education and involvement, and monitoring progress.
A Letter from Our CEO
At Universal Insurance Holdings, we are committed to creating a sustainable future that extends far beyond our business operations, to our society, our environment, and our people. Being a responsible corporate citizen is part of our DNA, and I am tremendously proud of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts that Universal is undertaking.
Our ESG approach builds on setting more definitive goals, measuring our successes and challenges, and implementing best practices to ensure we are good stewards on behalf of our key stakeholders —employees, customers, shareholders, agents, and communities. Living up to that commitment means staying true to the values that have defined our organization for many years. Only by harnessing the full power of our businesses and our people can we help solve society’s toughest challenges.
I am delighted to share our recent progress across these priorities and our vision for what lies ahead in Environmental, Social and Governance. We understand that this is a journey and have worked diligently to ensure it becomes an essential part of our culture and company strategy. This deep commitment and focus on sustainability allow us to maintain our leadership position and will support our long-term success.
Stephen J. Donaghy
Chief Executive Officer
Universal believes that active leadership in environmental issues and sustainability is paramount to the well-being of our planet. As a property and casualty insurance group, we understand the risks posed by climate change and increased natural disasters that affect our industry, our planet, and its inhabitants. Our goals are to support our communities when natural disasters strike and to create a sustainable workplace to preserve our environment for future generations.
At Universal, we are taking tangible steps to evolve our company to drive sustainable change, particularly with how our business affects the environment.
Universal Insurance Holdings is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partner (GPP) as of November 2021. Through this partnership, our goal is to protect human health and the environment by reducing the negative health impacts of air emissions using green power.
Our organization has committed to use 652,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually (25% of our energy through renewals). Through the purchase of green renewable energy, including wind, solar, low-impact hydroelectric, and geothermal, we aim to reduce our own carbon footprint while encouraging others to take similar actions. Our purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) has been certified and verified by non-profit validation accreditors such as the Center for Resource Solutions’ Green-e program to meet GPP program requirements.
The CLEO Institute is a Florida-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization exclusively dedicated to climate crisis education and advocacy. Universal is proud to be the 2021-22 primary Corporate Partner for the CLEO Speakers Network (CSN).
The CSN is a certification program that builds individuals’ confidence in climate communication by breaking down the latest science, impacts, and actionable solutions. Through these trainings, they can carry a message of urgency to a broader audience to accelerate climate action. The program has trained hundreds of individuals throughout Florida to prepare and empower them to become climate advocates in our local communities.
Since the inception of the CLEO Speakers Network Program in 2012-2013, the organization has trained approximately 1,000 people across Florida. These trained speakers have provided over 1,500 webinars and presentations with vital climate change information to close to 50,000 Floridians.
Climate Symposium Silver Sponsor
Universal is also a Silver Level sponsor of the CLEO Institute’s 2022 Climate Symposium, which enlists world-renowned speakers to discuss critical topics related to the climate crisis and innovative solutions that are available to tackle it. The Symposium brings together close to 1,000 international participants to receive the most up-to-date data on climate and health-related issues, with a focus on how to lower carbon footprints and become more civically engaged. There is also an emphasis on climate justice to help people understand the impacts on our most vulnerable communities.
As climate change accelerates and natural disasters strike with more frequency, our involvement as a Community Partner with Team Rubicon is vital for affected populations. Team Rubicon is an organization that mobilizes veterans, leveraging their skills and experience to help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises.
Team Rubicon utilizes the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) to ensure they reach the most vulnerable and at-risk communities. The SVI uses census data to measure a community’s resiliency when confronted with an outside stressor. Disasters are indiscriminate, yet their devastating impact continues to disproportionally affect the poor and communities of color. During Hurricane Harvey, the worst flood damage affected a neighborhood that was 49% nonwhite. During Hurricane Katrina, four of the seven zip codes with the costliest flood damage were at least 75% Black.
Given these circumstances, Universal is passionate about the importance of Team Rubicon’s mission. There are natural synergies with this partnership as both our organizations support homeowners in time of tremendous need.
Universal partners with C2ES, the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, which was founded in 1998, and is widely recognized as an influential and pragmatic voice on climate issues. Their mission is to advance strong policy and ambitious action to: reduce greenhouse gas emissions; promote and accelerate the clean energy transition; strengthen adaptation and resilience to climate impacts; and facilitate the necessary financial investments to do so.
Through our partnership, the C2ES resilience program convenes stakeholders and identifies strategies and policies for all levels of government that support the climate resilience of communities and businesses in the United States. A central theme of their work is exploring the connections between local economic competitiveness and climate resilience.
Universal’s funding supports C2ES forthcoming reports, which will examine how corporations can help advance local climate resilience, and how municipalities understand their climate risk to help build resilience.
Climate Leadership Conference
Universal is a proud Bronze Level sponsor of the C2ES Climate Leadership Conference. The annual Climate Leadership Conference is North America’s premier event dedicated to addressing the climate crisis through policy, innovation, and business solutions. The conference brings together over 1,000 forward-thinking leaders from the business (55%), government (20%) and non-profit/academic (25%) sectors to explore energy and climate solutions and opportunities, and to showcase climate leadership.
As of 2021, Universal has installed Elkay water filtration systems in our facilities, with the goal of reducing our plastic bottle consumption by 200,000 bottles per year. Additionally, Elkay filtered ezH2O bottle filling stations reduce lead and other harmful contaminants, putting cleaner, healthier water at our employees’ disposal.
Each filtration station informs users of the number of 20 oz. single-use water bottles saved from waste by using reusable bottles and cups. The innovative and award-winning filtration system aligns with our commitment to delivering a healthy work environment and sustainable design at our facilities. By reducing our dependency on the number of disposable plastic bottles and aluminum cans that pollute our land and waterways, we will also see long-term cost savings for the Company.
To reduce our paper consumption and more efficiently deliver services to our policyholders, we revitalized our digital presence to enable them to submit claims and view documents electronically through revamped public-facing websites.
We have continued our concerted effort to transition close to one million U.S. policyholders to “go paperless.” The goal of this ongoing initiative is to capture all policyholders electronically, while reducing our dependency on paper correspondence.
At Universal, we firmly believe that transparency and accountability are paramount to fostering a culture of ethics and optimal performance. We have established a corporate governance structure to ensure compliance with all legal and financial regulations, as well as strong ethical standards and conduct. Through our Board and governance structure, our goal is to foster informed and effective decision-making, and appropriate accountability measures and monitoring to ensure effective and principled business operations.
Chief Administration Officer
Richard D. Peterson, Chair
Joel M. Wilentz, M.D.
Ozzie A. Schindler
Michael A. Pietrangelo, Chair
Joel M. Wilentz, M.D.
Richard D. Peterson
Jon W. Springer, Chair
Sean P. Downes
Scott P. Callahan
Francis X. McCahill