“Making a contribution to our society and the environment is something that is close to my heart. The beautiful thing is that many other people at Baloise feel the same way. Whether it’s diversity, education or innovation, there are initiatives everywhere and there are people who are committed to sustainability. This commitment from such a wide range of fields encourages me and shows me again and again how much each and every person can do.”Anna Sigrist, Group Strategy & Digital Transformation
In 1995, Baloise became one of the first insurers to sign the insurance industry declaration on sustainable development formulated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It drew up its own environmental guidelines in 1999 in order to give concrete form to this general commitment. From the outset, it was deemed important to embed sustainability throughout the Company and in all day-to-day business activities.
As a signatory to the UNEP declaration, Baloise strives for sustainable development from an ecological, economic and social point of view. As a primary insurer, Baloise is prepared to assume responsibility for the preservation of the natural environment.
Baloise trains its employees with regard to environmental matters and raises their awareness of the relevant issues. Its employees are aware of the ecological targets and the most important initiatives for achieving them. They are kept regularly informed about the implementation of the environmental mission statement and encouraged to suggest measures of their own. Baloise works hand in hand with other companies, organisations and public authorities in finding solutions to environmental problems. It particularly encourages the sharing of information with other insurance companies, maintains an open dialogue with the public and regularly reports on environmental projects and what has been achieved.
Baloise is constantly working on reducing its direct environmental impact by designing, building and operating its company buildings in a resource-saving and energy-efficient manner. It also follows this principle when purchasing equipment and using its resources. Baloise adheres in particular to the current environmental model and life cycle assessment.
For the operation of our largest branches in Switzerland, Basel, Berne and Lausanne, 100 per cent of electricity is drawn from hydropower. Due to the free market for large consumers, it is possible for us to freely choose the electricity procured for these branches. The electricity market for small consumers, which includes our agencies, is not liberalised. We are therefore unable to decide from which sources we draw the electricity in these cases. However, our agencies only have a small impact on our overall consumption in terms of our electricity procurement.
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 sustainability certificate BREEAM Excellent. Thanks to an E-level of 40, the building received a BEN certificate, making it virtually energy neutral.
Baloise strives to take environmental aspects into account when developing its products and services and fixing premiums and levels of coverage. Its underwriting policy takes account of its customers’ environmental management practices (e.g. ISO 14001) on the basis of identifiable operational and product-related factors. It also advises industrial clients on risk reduction and risk prevention.
As part of its investment policy geared towards medium to long-term profit goals, Baloise consciously incorporates environmental criteria (particularly for securities and real estate) wherever possible and promotes suitable environmentally significant financial products for itself and third parties. For real estate investments, Baloise gives special consideration to economic and energy-saving construction methods and operating systems as well as the use of environmentally friendly construction materials. In this regard, it looks at the life cycle assessment over the entire life cycle of a property.
Baloise bases its external procurement of goods, intellectual property rights and services on ethical and ecological principles.
The Corporate Executive Committee bears ultimate responsibility in environmental matters. Each Group company has a coordination unit which implements the environmental mission statement. This working group is made up of representatives drawn from all key corporate functions.
The total energy and resource consumption revealed by the environmental audit shows the amounts used by the Baloise Group’s large office buildings and its computer centres.