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.

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.
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 more than 126 million* private and corporate customers in more than 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 706 billion euros** on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage nearly 1.7 trillion euros** of third-party assets. Thanks to the systematic integration of environmental, social and governance criteria in our operations, business processes and investment decisions, we continue to be recognized as among the sustainable insurers in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (September 23, 2022). In 2021, over 155,000 employees achieved total revenues of 148.5 billion euros and an operating profit of 13.4 billion euros for the group.

These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

*Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.
** As of September 30, 2022

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:
Allianz Colombia: Fostering change through social innovation

Local communities play an important role in the global fight for a more sustainable world. In 2022, Allianz Colombia successfully launched the second cycle of their Social Innovation Award. The initiative covered the categories of non-profit organizations or foundations, as well as microenterprises.

COP 27: From declarations of intent to concrete measures

In an op-ed published in the German newspaper Boersen Zeitung, Matt Christensen writes that COP 27 must strike the right balance, and that interaction between the public and private sectors is critical to the success of innovation when it comes to climate finance.

The road to change: From climate literacy to climate action

With the UN climate change conference, or COP27 as it is known, taking place from November 6-18, it is a good time to ask how people deal with the complex topic of climate change. Do they understand that climate change represents an imminent threat to their livelihoods and environments? Do they care enough to act? What actions lead to change?