Introducing SERI

SERI (Standard for Environmental Risk and Insurance) is a UKRI funded programme bringing partner organisations and leading institutions to bridge the data gaps between finance and climate change.

Current SERI partners: Aon, Arup, Agvesto, Bird & Bird, Brit Insurance, ClimateWise, Dais LLP, Lloyd’s Register Group, Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge and Willis Towers Watson.

If you would like to join our work on SERI, please email michelle.brook@icebreakerone.org

SERI was set up in response to an 18-month consultation with industry, policy and individual practitioners, during which we spoke with 230+ individual experts. The programme will design and test climate-ready financial products ahead of the (originally) planned November COP26 date. With COP26 having moved, we will be launching these products at LCAW 2020 in November.

During our consultation we heard that as large climate-driven catastrophic events occur with higher frequency, the UK’s insurance market needs to evolve. While huge opportunities exist to deliver innovative financing for a resilient and carbon-zero future, there are challenges regarding a lack of data-flow leading to the misallocation of resources, missed opportunities which creates catastrophic risks on our global balance sheets.

The wealth of environmental, financial, and risk data we as a society hold must be used to direct capital to address our climate and environmental crises: to radically improve our investments in, and planning and management of, our global infrastructure. 

Through developing climate-ready financial products, which enable insurers to invest in demonstrably low-carbon financial products and services, we are looking to understand how pre-emptive licensing, better data interoperability, and open data standards can help reduce transaction costs and increase the use of shared data within the insurance sector. 

How are we doing this?

Building upon the approach of the Open Banking Standard, co-chaired by Gavin Starks (Icebreaker One’s CEO), Icebreaker One is acting as an independent third party to convene the relevant stakeholders; insurance brokers, data providers, legal expertise, and academic researchers. This enables us to break-through silos to overcome this collective action challenge.

Through workshops and working groups, SERI will identify the business models made viable by an industry-wide open standard, and deep dive into specific use cases through developing and testing minimum viable financial products. 

Through this work, we are then able to examine the liability, regulatory and intellectual property issues that will arise from enabling access to shared data, with a particular focus on preemptive licensing. We will also then be able to explore the cultural mechanics of data sharing, across sectors and between organisations.