The Baloise Group is more than just a traditional insurance company. The changing security, safety and service needs of society in the digital age lie at the heart of its business activities. The 7,900 or so employees of Baloise therefore focus on the wishes of their customers. The best possible customer service, combined with innovative products and services, makes Baloise the first choice for people who want to feel ‘simply safe’. Located at the heart of Europe, with its head office in Basel, the Baloise Group is a provider of prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets are Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Switzerland, the Group also operates as a specialised financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. The Group offers innovative pension products to retail customers throughout Europe from its competence centre in Luxembourg. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange.
Sustainably must be viewed holistically. As an insurer, bank and asset manager, Baloise has an influence over sustainable development in ecological, social and economic areas and, therefore, social responsibility. Using its value-added model as a basis for its sustainability activities allows Baloise to provide a holistic overview, show dependencies and focus on the areas where it has the greatest influence over sustainable development.
Added value for all stakeholder groups
The Baloise value-added model answers the question of how to create value for six different resource groups. These groups are not restricted solely to employees, customers and investors: partners, society as a whole and the local and global environment have also been integrated and are involved in decisions and activities. The model summarises all measures and activities that Baloise undertakes for the resource groups mentioned and maps the respective focus areas where Baloise sees itself as currently having the greatest influence according to an internal materiality assessment. The focus areas relate to social, ecological and economic activities that promote sustainable development.
Achieving a holistic approach through stakeholder dialogue
Baloise’s holistic approach stems from the dialogue it holds with its stakeholders. Baloise will actively seek a stakeholder dialogue both now and in future by means of discussion and surveys, incorporating the results in its annual review of its sustainability approach.
One advantage of this holistic approach is that, in future, the dependencies of impacts on resource groups will be able to be identified and communicated too. The idea of this holistic perspective is to ensure that Baloise is achieving a sustainable impact across all resource groups. It also provides a means of demonstrating the impact that measures aimed at one resource group can have on other resource groups. For instance, our ongoing and further training programme for employees has implications for the level of education within the company too, and our voluntary commitment in the field of education for young people in turn has an impact on the level of education of potential future employees. The purpose of our annual objectives will be to focus measures in such a way that an optimal balance can be achieved across all groups; as such, Baloise is aware of the importance of viewing sustainability holistically within a closed system.
Governance structure for sustainability
The value-added model was adopted by means of a newly established governance process for sustainability. This process stipulates that Baloise’s sustainability network devises content on the topic before then discussing and approving said content in the Group Strategy Board. The Board of Directors assists where necessary and monitors implementation.
Baloise’s sustainability network is made up of specialists from various departments, e.g. Logistics, Asset Management, Product Management, Human Resources, Communication, Risk Management and many others which have an influence on implementation in the area of sustainability. The Group Strategy Board is made up of all the members of the Corporate Executive Committee and the CEOs of the national subsidiaries.
Complete termination of the share buyback program
As part of the buy-back programme launched in April 2017, Bâloise Holding AG repurchased 3 million registered shares on a separate trading line on the SIX Swiss Exchange at an average price of CHF 160.4. CHF 481 million were thus returned to shareholders. This corresponds to around 6 percent of the share capital of Bâloise Holding AG entered in the Commercial Register. The acquired shares were repurchased for the purpose of a capital reduction, less withholding tax.