Resource environment | Activities and focus
Our environmental policy: climate protection
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). Baloise has been publishing a group-wide life cycle assessment since 1998.
All activities contribute to climate protection and and promoting the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular No. 7 (affordable and clean energy), No. 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), No. 12 (responsible consumption and production) and with a special focus on No. 13 (climate action).
Responsible Investment Policy
The Responsible Investment Policy (RI Policy) for insurance assets integrates environmental and social criteria, as well as criteria for corporate governance, in investment decisions. In addition to this, the Responsible Investment Policy was also expanded to include all products managed by Baloise Asset Management on behalf of third-party customers. Our new climate strategy came into effect on 1 February 2021, and reinforces the focus on the issue of climate and climate protection within our responsible investment approach. 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. As a strategic instrument, the CO2 emissions for the entire real estate portfolio are calculated based on a uniform scale and modelled until the year 2050, taking into account all maintenance measures. This enables a constant comparison of emission with the overarching climate goals and visualises the impact of the planned measures on the CO2 emissions reductions.
Sustainability criteria in the underwriting policy
Through our products and services, we have an influence on sectors, companies and individuals whose activities we support with our offerings. From 2022, Baloise will apply environmental, social and corporate governance criteria in its underwriting guidelines.This means that Baloise will end support for certain sectors and activities while giving affected companies time to demonstrate that they are developing a sustainable business model so as to be able to continue to take advantage of Baloise’s offerings. During this transitional phase, customers should be able to demonstrate a development towards a sustainable business model so that they can continue to take advantage of the Baloise offering. In addition, Baloise sees itself as a reliable insurance partner for customers whose business model is currently in transition.
Reduction of CO2 emissions and life cycle assessment
As an insurance company, Baloise is not a producer of goods. The greatest energy requirements at the Baloise sites come in the form of electrical power and heating energy consumption. 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, 33 KB). In addition to general material and energy flows, we calculate our absolute and relative CO2 emissions according to VfU guidelines. Since 2000, Baloise has achieved huge reductions in both absolute and relative CO2 emissions. In absolute terms, emissions have been cut by 74.4 per cent.
When it comes to our climate-friendly company buildings, we apply state-of-the-art construction standards and renovation methods and run the buildings in the most resource-saving manner possible. At all of our locations in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, we obtain 100 per cent of our electricity from renewable energies in buildings where we are able to determine the energy mix ourselves. In addition, there are centralised recycling stations with paper, aluminium, PET and residual waste at almost all locations. These replace the individual waste bins at the workplaces. All employees in Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium and at the headquarters in Switzerland have received reusable bottles.
- Switzerland: New Head Office and various optimisations.
- Germany: various optimisations and vommissioning of out photovoltaic system.
- Luxemburg: the genesis of Wooden.
- Belgium: The Link.
Since 2020 we have been retroactively offsetting our company’s CO2 emissions that we have not yet been able to avoid through optimisation and reduction. In 2020 we offset about 11,000 tonnes through three certified projects. The projects were audited for the arrangements and procedures of the following procedures and honoured:
- Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)
- The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCB Standards)
- ISO 14064-2, validated by TUEV NORD
- Certificate of offsetting Swiss Climate
Promoting e-mobility and environmentally friendly innovations
Baloise promotes e-mobility on the one hand by gradually converting its own vehicle fleet and by offering e-car charging for employees and tenants of its properties, for example with the BalCharge project.
Our innovations in sustainability focus on our Home and Mobility ecosystems. In particular, mobility innovations are of great relevance for the environment and for our customers. In addition, we offer insurance for electric vehicles, solar panels, etc., thus affording security for environmentally friendly alternatives.
Through our membership in the Swiss Climate Foundation, we have been investing the net amount from the redistribution of the CO2 tax each year since 2021. The Foundation uses the monies to support SMEs in Switzerland and Liechtenstein that are developing innovative solutions for the climate or improving their energy efficiency.
Protecting the environment through CSR
We provide funding and volunteer work to organisations that strive to protect our environment and climate. Charity work does not just affect us as people, it also affects our environment. Only in an intact environment can we feel at ease; only in an intact environment can we really flourish. That is why we support environmental organisations and play an active role in protecting the environment too.
Doing so will involve focusing on raising the awareness of our employees and providing background information and tips on a range of issues relating to sustainable development, some of which can also be applied to our home lives. In Luxembourg, for instance, we collaborate with OUNI (Luxembourgish for “without”, operator of the first packaging-free organic grocery store in Luxembourg) and train our employees specifically on how to act in an environmentally friendly manner. In Germany, the Green Team provides tips and tricks to employees for a sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyle at work and at home. A discussion forum enables employees to contribute their knowledge and allow others to share in it.