Fostering change through social innovation 

As governments, civil society organizations, businesses, and other stakeholders around the world meet in Egypt during COP27 to seek renewed solidarity in the fight against climate change, it is important to remind ourselves that the old adage think globally, act locally still carries within itself a powerful message about the role local communities can play in this global fight for a more sustainable world. Since climate change is a systemic issue that forces us to grapple with systemic causality, local actions can exert a big impact on a global scale.

In response to these global perils and to accelerate the company's societal impact by expanding our strategy to every country we operate in, Allianz has launched its Social Impact Fund in 2017. It is the Group’s key program that offers a strategic opportunity for the company’s worldwide operating entities (OEs). They can receive funding for their local corporate citizenship activities that goes beyond mere charitable donations, focusing on creating measurable impact and inter-sectoral partnerships.

For the 2021-2022 funding cycle, 27 applications from across the Group were received, of which, 16 projects received the funding. More than half a million euros was distributed across the 16 projects in total.

Allianz Colombia: Encouraging social innovation

Of the OEs that received funding was also Allianz Colombia. In 2022, Allianz Colombia successfully launched the second cycle of their Social Innovation Award, an award that aims to incentivize a culture of innovation that could benefit the social sector, reaching all regions of Colombia. For this, the team joined efforts and partnered with the government for technical support in the evaluation process and other companies who supported the idea.

In the 2021-2022 cycle, the initiative covered the categories of: non-profit organizations or foundations that aim to connect with social entities, which are developing projects that benefit vulnerable communities. The projects should have an innovative element addressing a specific problem and providing a solution to it in such a way as to improve the quality of life of the community served (social, economic or environmental). The second category targets microenterprises that will have an innovative line in operation, a product, a production process, or a distribution or service that provides the opportunity not only to open new markets and/or position their brand, but also to generate an important impact on the vulnerable population or on the environment.

Non-profits: education and care for the communities in need

In the non-profit category for the 2021-2022 cycle, there were two winners: Fundación She Is and  Fundación Italocolombiana del Monte Tabor.
Fundación She Is creates virtual classes that allow young women, between the ages of 9 and 15, to access science education from areas of extreme vulnerability. The aim of the foundation is to close the gaps that exist in the STEM field, which can prove to be of immense importance to their own livelihoods and those of their communities. Once all the classes are completed, the young women go for a week to the NASA Space Center in Houston where they participate in classes and present their projects to the NASA Space Center personnel.
Fundación Italocolombiana del Monte Tabor are the creators of the San Raffaele Hospital Ship, a vessel that aims to provide health services in communities on the Pacific coast, especially those without health care infrastructure. In more than a decade of work, almost 124,800 people have been treated on the ship throughout the Pacific region. This hospital is operated by a team of nine crew members and can house up to 31 doctors.

Microenterprises: from ecosystem protection to sustainable plastic bricks

The microenterprises category featured two winners in the 2021-2022 cycle : Grupo Empresarial Solanco and Conceptos plásticos.

Grupo Empresarial Solanco are the creators of an oil formula that works as a mechanism to mitigate oil spills. The basis of this social innovation is a tree from the Amazon: the Sacha Inchi plant. The formula originates from this Amazonian plant, it is natural and does not leave any consequences on the ecosystems where it is applied.

The second, Conceptos Plásticos, is an initiative that converts single-use plastics into bricks for schools and houses in rural Colombia and the Ivory Coast. The process begins with the purchase of single-use plastic from recyclers and women's associations. The efforts have been successful: the bricks have made it possible to build more than 450 schools in the Ivory Coast, being commissioned by the UNICEF to provide the necessary materials to reach the figure of 1,000 schools. Thus, approximately more than 3,000 tons of plastic have been recovered in recent years.

These bricks are more durable and resistant than the usual ones, especially in adverse weather conditions, and do not require other materials such as cement, sand and water. Also plastic blocks insulate more heat and are less likely to ignite and spread fires.

Through high-impact and long-term initiatives, Allianz Colombia’s Social Innovation Award promotes and recognizes those who need it most. This award aims to become a beacon of hope by fostering change through social innovation.

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
As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements:
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