Activities and focus
Baloise’s environmental policy concentrates on supporting renewable energies, the value-adding expansion of infrastructure and measures for increasing the recycling rate. All activities contribute to climate protection. We handle natural resources responsibly and carefully. This responsibility comes into play when dealing with issues related to our own energy requirements, such as purchasing, investments and the procurement of products and third-party services, and is deeply incorporated in our Vendor Code of Conduct (PDF, 419 KB).
Climate-friendly mobility of our employees
As an insurance company, we do not manufacture goods. Our greatest energy requirements at our sites come in the form of electrical power and heating energy consumption. In addition, we consider business travel during working hours and on commutes. Measures for this are, for example:
- The introduction of a bicycle leasing offering for employees in Belgium
- The option for customers and employees in Basel and Zurich, Switzerland, to charge their electric cars with solar power free of charge
- The provision of electric bicycles for our claims inspectors in Switzerland
- Promoting the use of public transport through discounts on ticket purchases
- Employees are given the opportunity to use public transport whenever possible and to strictly separate waste.
Responsible Investment Policy
Baloise is fully committed to the environment and is continuously strengthening its efforts with new initiatives. This is why it has adopted a Responsible Investment (RI) policy for insurance assets. The RI policy governs the integration of environmental, social and corporate governance criteria in investment decisions. In addition, the RI policy has also been extended to all products for third-party customers managed by Baloise Asset Management. Targeted investments can indirectly contribute to climate protection, for example. To express our commitment, Baloise signed the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2018.
Baloise Asset Management also includes the Real Estate division. Baloise is one of the largest property owners in Switzerland. For us as a responsible investor, sustainable real estate investments and long-term returns are closely linked. In the case of new construction projects, we strive for certification - in the case of renovation projects, this is checked on a situational basis. For this purpose, the consumption figures (energy and water consumption) of the properties are systematically recorded and evaluated. With the help of the cantonal building energy certificate (GEAK), the energy efficiency of each property is determined and concrete measures for improvement are derived.
Reduction of CO2 emissions and life cycle assessment
We consider energy efficiency in the IT infrastructure and in our buildings at all sites, and have thus been able to consistently reduce our CO2 emissions for years. This reduction is documented in our enviromental audit (PDF, 79 KB).
Climate-friendly company buildings
The climate-friendly mobility of our employees is another area whereby we reduce our CO2 emissions. Further projects, some of which are linked to new company buildings, will further support this in coming years.
In addition to optimising operations at the sites in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, consideration is also give to sustainable construction for new buildings. The construction of the three buildings in Baloise Park in Basel, Switzerland, was based on the Sustainable Construction Standard Switzerland (SNBS) and thereby considerably exceeds legal requirements regarding energy efficiency. A new waste separation concept at Baloise Park increases the recycling rate and improves the return of valuable materials to the production cycle.
In addition to the optimisation of operations in Hamburg, which includes the switch to LED, and the start of projects in Bad Homburg to switch to LED and to install a photovoltaic system, the site in Bremen was relocated. The new site in a more efficient building (EUROPA-CENTER Airportstadt in Bremen) enables sustainable energy and cost savings. Among other things, these savings are made possible owing to the smaller site and better space efficiency.
The new office building in Leudelange, Luxembourg, will be the first in the country to be made entirely of wood. The wood used to construct this office building, called “Wooden”, comes exclusively from sustainably managed forests in Greater Luxembourg. Wooden is equipped with photovoltaic modules and is aiming for the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) Excellent environmental certification.
In addition to its constructive qualities, Wooden is also the second building in Luxembourg to be part of the WELL Building Standard® certification process. In contrast to other labels in the construction sector, the focus here is placed on residents, namely through ten concepts that enable a holistic approach to well-being in and around the building: air, water, food, light, physical activity, temperature, noise, materials, spirit and community. The new office building will be better accessible via public transport. This measure will thus also hopefully reduce indirect CO2 emissions. In addition, Baloise relies on consistent waste separation at the Luxembourg site to return valuable materials to the production cycle.
Baloise in Belgium is investing in a prototype for the office life of the future. In March 2019, the company purchased the sustainable building The Link from Ghelamco, making it the largest office proprietor in Antwerp. The office building has been awarded the BREEAM Excellent sustainability certificate. Thanks to an E-level of 40, the building received a BEN certificate, which indicates that the building is virtually energy neutral. The energy used within the buildings is obtained entirely from renewable energies.