Environment: our commitment to climate protection

Kim Berrendorf
January 13, 2022
For Baloise, sustainable management also means taking the environment into consideration. Our environmental policy combines the responsible use of resources, energy efficiency and CO2 reduction in our business with a responsible investment policy that focuses on climate-friendly industries, and we also include environmental criteria in our underwriting policy.

Baloise’s environmental policy

We have had our own environmental policy in place since as far back as 1999. Here it was important to integrate sustainability throughout the company as a whole right from the outset. For Baloise, the environment is one of six resources we use to generate value and over which we have a considerable impact. For instance, we avoid greenhouse gases that are harmful to the climate and protect our atmosphere on a sustained basis by constructing our office buildings in line with sustainability standards.

Our value-added model, which we created in 2019, reflects this holistic view. In order to enact positive change in our actions, we follow the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN SDGs). 

Our life cycle assessment

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. As we spend a lot of our time at work and also travel for business purposes, we as a company are committed to reducing our CO2 emissions on an ongoing basis, doing everything in our power to optimise our own material life cycles. We further reduced our travel again in 2021 by using hybrid meeting forms.

Our direct CO2 emissions have fallen continually by 74.4 per cent since 2000. This reduction is documented in our life cycle assessment.

Offsetting carbon and promoting innovations that protect the climate

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:

In addition to optimising our processes and reducing and offsetting our CO2 emissions, an important concern for us is promoting innovations in the area of climate protection. 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 and by raising the awareness of our employees

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.

Climate-friendly company buildings and everyday working life

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, nearly all locations have centralised recycling stations for paper, aluminium, PET and residual waste, which have replaced the waste containers at each workstation. All employees in Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium and at the Head Office in Switzerland have been given reusable bottles.

Climate-friendly employee mobility

  • The introduction of a bicycle leasing service for employees in Belgium and Germany
  • Customers and employees in Basel and Zurich (Switzerland) can charge their electric cars with solar power.
  • An in-house electric vehicle fleet including an electric charging station for Baloise Bank Soba (Switzerland). 
  • The provision of electric bicycles for our claims inspectors in Switzerland.
  • Promoting the use of public transport through discounts or subsidies on ticket purchases in all countries.
  • Electric cars are freely available to employees in Luxembourg during working hours.
  • Numerous charging stations for electric vehicles are available to employees in Belgium as well. The charging infrastructure is being steadily expanded, and about 50 stations will be available by 2024.
  • From November 2021, senior executives in Germany will receive only electric vehicles as company cars, other than where they choose the fixed financial amount instead.
  • In Belgium, the upper limit on CO2 exhaust for company cars was lowered again in 2021. From 2023, only electric vehicles will be provided as company cars.
  • In Luxembourg, ten parking spaces were outfitted with charging stations for electric vehicles

Asset management, underwriting policy and procurement principles

Climate protection is equally important to us when it comes to investments in asset management, in underwriting and the procurement of products and services too.

Innovative products and services for our customers

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. 

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