Keenly aware of its responsibility to the environment, Swiss Life strives to conserve natural resources in a sustainable manner, thus helping to keep the environment intact. Since 1998, Swiss Life in Switzerland has been a member of the Energy Model Zurich and is thus committed to increasing the energy efficiency of its business premises in Zurich by at least 1.5% a year until 2012. The company again reached its target in 2011, lowering not only energy consumption and emissions, but also costs.
Swiss Life is one of the 11 companies which founded the Swiss Climate Foundation in 2008. It donates its steering tax reimbursements on CO2 emissions to the non-profit foundation.
ECOLOGICAL BALANCE SHEET — Continuous monitoring of energy consumption and emissions — Since 2008, Swiss Life has produced an annual environmental data report for the whole Group. Each market unit has specialist offices for environmental management, which exchange information with each other on an informal basis. Environmental Management Switzerland is responsible for the annual Group-wide environmental report.
In accordance with the standards set by the Association for Environmental Management and Sustainability in Banks, Savings Banks and Insurance Companies (VfU), the environmental report collects and analyses data on electricity, heating, paper, transport, water and waste disposal and proposes measures for improvement. The Association’s standardised key figures make for fair comparison of the results of different companies. The reporting cycle, however, is not aligned with Swiss Life’s annual report so that the final figures for 2011 are not yet available. The environmental report includes data for Swiss Life in Switzerland (internal services and the sales force), Germany, France, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, and in 2010, for the first time the AWD headquarters in Hanover. Data for the other AWD locations in Europe has been projected in order to make cross comparisons.
Energy consumption (electricity and heating) for the Swiss Life Group in 2010 rose considerably over the previous year’s figures to 63.8 million kWh as a result of the new inclusion of AWD. The overall distance travelled for business purposes was maintained at the prior year’s level, totalling 31.5 million km, despite the inclusion of AWD. A year-on-year comparison of GHG emissions is not possible due to methodological differences caused by new emission factors in accordance with the VfU indicators. Total GHG emissions in 2010 amounted to 26 352 tonnes. The key figures are also available on the internet this year for the first time.
ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT — Ongoing improvement through deployment of alternative energy sources — There are several reasons for the improved results regarding environmental indicators: optimisation of energy efficiency in the business premises, procurement of environmentally friendly electricity from renewable sources and active environmental management.
Since 2006, Swiss Life in Switzerland has been using electricity exclusively from renewable energy sources. In this way, the company has been able to reduce its GHG emissions by about 1300 tonnes a year; the use of electricity by the business premises now produces almost no GHG emissions at all.
Swiss Life is fully confident that increased awareness of energy and materials consumption among employees can sustainably improve the ecological balance sheet. For this reason, it is pursuing initiatives throughout the Group aimed at reducing everyday consumption. In the year under review Swiss Life in Switzerland equipped all sanitary facilities in the main building and the Zurich offices with automatic water supply fittings. This is expected to produce savings in freshwater consumption of 600 000 litres and savings in heat consumption of 33 MWh.
Swiss Life in France launched an environmental information campaign in 2011 aimed at economical use of paper and office supplies. When properties were renovated, the environmentally relevant standards were exceeded. In addition, the national company joined the 10:10 project run by the environmental organisation Good Planet. The objective is to reduce the company’s CO2 output by 3% per year.
Swiss Life in Germany has been taking part in the climate protection programme “ECOPROFIT” since 2008. As a result of the measures taken, the company saves 91 000 kWh of electricity annually at its Munich location and has reduced its annual CO2 output by 58 tonnes. In December 2010 it was awarded the Munich ECOPROFIT company certificate for 2009/2010 (the second time it has won the award) for its exceptional commitment to corporate environmental protection. Since January 2010 Swiss Life in Germany has also been drawing electricity exclusively from renewable sources. As a result, its GHG emissions have fallen by about 1000 tonnes.
AWD undertakes constant improvement and renewal of its technical installations. The numerous measures implemented since 2001 have yielded energy savings of over 4.5 million kWh. In addition to its involvement with the Climate Alliance Hanover, AWD has been undergoing environmental audits since 2005 through its membership of the ECOPROFIT CLUB in Hanover.
The Swiss Life Group is one of the leading private real estate owners in Switzerland. As part of its environmental initiatives , it has fitted some 10 000 of its properties since 2005 with water meters for consumption-based billing. This measure has resulted in water savings of almost 20%.
In 2011 the Swiss Life Group again took part in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), in which an independent, non-profit organisation conducts the world’s largest survey of corporate information on climate change. With the publication of its data, Swiss Life underlined its own aspirations to transparency and its position as one of the most transparent companies in Switzerland.