Fighting for a future free from plastic pollution

Plastic is polluting our planet. On average, each year we produce  300 million tons of plastic waste  . That’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. In recent decades, plastic usage has continued to increase, and in particular, the explosion of single-use plastic is choking our Earth. The plastics we produce, use, and discard, remain long after we are gone – and much of it ends up in toxic landfills, rivers, and our oceans. Yet, our oceans and seas are essential ecosystems that all life depends on. Covering two-thirds of the earth, they play a vital role in carbon sequestration, weather regulation, and are invaluable for protecting and nurturing biodiversity.

Towards a treaty to tackle plastic pollution

In March 2022, we welcomed the news that representatives from 175 nations have agreed to embark upon an ambitious, legally binding treaty to combat plastic waste. The passing of the  UN resolution  means that work begins this year on setting the rules and the final treaty should be complete by 2024. Sufficed to say, this is the most ground-breaking green deal since the 2015 Paris Climate agreement.  

Are you an Allianz employee? Apply now to become a member of the Sea Eagle crew this year!  

Allianz against plastic pollution

As a  Sea Shepherd  partner and supporter, Allianz is proud to be part of the fight against plastic pollution and the destruction of our oceans. Sea Shepherd works hard to protect the world’s oceans and marine wildlife and is committed to the enforcement of conservation law.  Our partnership enables Allianz employees to play an active role in protecting our oceans by having the chance to become a crew member of the Sea Eagle, a ship in the Sea Shepherd fleet. The acquisition of the Sea Eagle was sponsored by Allianz in 2020 with funding from four Allianz entities. Last year, it successfully pulled up 174 illegal fish aggregation devices from the Mediterranean Sea, collected 870 tanks and plastic bottles, and in total collected 12 cubic meters of garbage made of plastic and polypro.

Allianz volunteers and Sea Shepherd crew members aboard the Sea Eagle.
Allianz volunteers and Sea Shepherd crew members aboard the Sea Eagle.
Barbara Karuth-Zelle, Member of Board of Management and COO of Allianz SE 
Cutting single-use plastics in our own offices is also a part of a wider Allianz effort. We have started with a systematic global assessment on single-use plastic and also produced internal best-practice guidance to our operating entities throughout the world. Some entities already have plastic reduction policies in place, aiming to reduce and remove single-use plastic from their premises. We look to expand and enhance our global assessment and continue to work towards plastic reduction.
UNEP/Cyril Villemain, A 30-foot high monument entitled 'Turn off the plastics tap' by Canadian activist and artist Benjamin von Wong stands outside the venue for the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

Villemain, A 30-foot high monument entitled 'Turn off the plastics tap' by Canadian activist and artist Benjamin von Wong stands outside the venue for the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.
Günther Thallinger, Member of Board of Management and Chair of Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance 

Towards a circular economy for plastics

Plastics begin to harm the environment as soon as the production process begins. That’s why it is crucial that the new UN treaty will cover the entire value chain, starting with the design and production of plastic, right down to the disposal and waste processes. The treaty places onus on creating an effective circular economy, with sufficient incentives for multiple stakeholders to benefit from this. However, it is also important that much-needed behavioral changes are instigated and consumers make efforts to reduce and re-use plastic, especially single-use. If successfully implemented, the treaty could reduce virgin plastic production by 55%, save governments  US$70 billion by 2040  , and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. At Allianz, we fully support this resolution. It is a true turning point that can drive measurable and large-scale change.

One treaty, policy, or vessel might seem like a drop in the ocean, but many drops of water can create waves. We continue to champion the impressive efforts of Sea Shepherd and also aim to expand our fight against plastic waste to more areas, including tackling the important issue of plastic in rivers.

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with around 125 million* private and corporate customers in nearly 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 737 billion euros** on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage about 1.7 trillion euros** of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are among the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2023, over 157,000 employees achieved total business volume of 161.7 billion euros and an operating profit of 14.7 billion euros for the group.
* Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.
** As of December 31, 2023.

Press contact

Christiane Hach
Allianz SE
As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements:
Dow Jones Sustainability Index recognizes Allianz as a Sustainable Insurer and underpins transition efforts – “It’s an incentive to continue our work!”

Allianz received a score of 82 (out of 100) in the 2023 Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), underlying the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), as of 24 November 2023. The results reflect Allianz's long-standing commitment to driving positive social and environmental change as well as building meaningful partnerships to shape a better, more sustainable future.

COP 28: EIB and AllianzGI announce new capital commitments to the Emerging Market Climate Action Fund (EMCAF)

New capital commitments from the United Kingdom and German governments. / The fund invests in green transition funds and projects in emerging and developing markets worldwide. / Launched at COP26, EMCAF has already invested more than $100 million in five funds over two years. / EMCAF on track to hold its third close at €385 million in the coming weeks. (Article links to external site)

SDG Loan Fund mobilizes USD 1.1 billion of investor capital

The SDG Loan Fund has successfully mobilized USD 1.1 billion of investor capital to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in emerging and frontier markets, using an innovative “blended finance” model.