Think globally, act locally

Environmental and climate protection is a top priority for Allianz. That's why the company's some 160,000 employees implement its sustainability strategy at company locations in more than 70 countries - sometimes even in creative ways. The prerequisites for effective environmental and climate protection are sometimes very different in individual countries. But fortunately, there is more than just one way to act sustainably. Here, five Local Environment Officers from five continents explain what environmental protection measures they and their team are carrying out on site. 
Photo credit: Chrome Haus/Gareth Davies
Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Special feature: Further training courses on sustainability for employees
Number: 200 employees took part in further training about climate change

“Initially, our focus was entirely on social engagement. We have gradually integrated environmental protection into our strategy and we currently apply all ESG guidelines to our core business. We have adapted our internal communication in order to make our employees aware of these measures. This includes, for example, podcasts or Instagram Lives with influencers on the topic. We also organize events throughout the year – such as our Sustainability Week – via which we urge our workforce to take action. For example, we support their disposal of recyclable waste – in the office but also at home. Already, 50 kilograms of plastic, 30 used notebooks and 63 kilograms of old clothes have been collected. 

“Many of our training courses have raised awareness about a lifestyle that spares resources. We have informed everyone – the board, managers and employees – about the effects of climate change. A total of 200 employees took part in these courses. A further 300 employees and 150 intermediaries received targeted training on the circular economy. We also try to get people from outside the company involved in our activities. For example, we mobilized 71 volunteers, including 40 Allianz employees, to clean up sections of a beach. This resulted in 815 kilograms of waste, of which 345 were recyclable. 

“I’m sure that we can only secure the future for all of us by consciously making every decision with sustainability in mind. This isn’t a courtesy, but merely our duty as inhabitants of this planet. It’s the only one we’ve got.”

Photo credit: Georges Mohsen
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Special feature: Separating waste and using BRITA filters in the office
Number: 20,580 plastic bottles were collected and recycled from a beach during a summer campaign
“Social commitment and environmental protection are important issues for us because we are very aware of our influence as one of the leading insurers in this country. We have been able to gain a large number of partners with whom we have developed projects in the areas of health, education, youth work, sport and the environment. It is important to us that we design our own work processes responsibly and sensitize our employees in particular to ecological concerns. For example, we have reorganized our office according to sustainability criteria. Recycling garbage cans have been set up to separate waste and recycle as much as possible. In addition, we have been using BRITA water filters for some time now. This is our way of encouraging our employees to do without plastic bottles, bring their own containers and fill them up with drinking water on site. In this way, we avoid an enormous amount of plastic waste - a major problem in Egypt. That’s why we also launched a campaign in summer 2022 to recycle plastic bottles. Recycling machines were installed on two large beaches and workshops were organized where we worked with children, for example, to make toys from recycled material. This enabled us to recycle a total of 20,580 plastic bottles. As a next step, we will formulate a strategy for sustainability and social issues that we want to implement across all areas of the company.”
Photo credit: Ackermann Gruber
Location: Minneapolis, US
Special feature: Community gardens for employees
Number: Cafeteria crockery and cutlery are 100 percent compostable

“Our employees at Allianz Life are passionate when it comes to issues such as safeguarding the future of our planet. This is possibly because we have been investing in sustainability for some time. As part of our 2022 and 2023 strategy, we formalized these efforts so that everyone can apply them – both at work and at home. After all, we all play a role in meeting our environmental and climate protection commitments. In 2008, we set up a Green Team from within the workforce that works closely with managers to develop new programs. In 2013, for example, the Green Store was opened on our premises: here, employees can drop off old office supplies and pick up recycled ones. Two years later, we started separating waste and provided bins on our campus for organic and residual waste, as well as recyclables. Another nice accomplishment: In our cafeteria, we only use crockery and cutlery that is 100 percent compostable. 

“We’re particularly proud of the Allianz Grows project, for which we received the Breakthrough Innovation Award in 2022 (Allianz Life awards this every year for outstanding innovation ideas). We have created an outdoor community garden and allocated the plots to individual employees. Here you can grow, cultivate and harvest organic fruit and vegetables. Due to high demand, the team plans to expand the garden with additional raised beds and two pollinator gardens.” 

Photo credit: Privat
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Special feature: Designing a children’s board game on the topic of sustainability
Number: 222 employees took part in Beach Cleanup Day 2023 to clear rubbish from Taipei’s beaches

“Taiwan is surrounded by water and in recent years the plastic waste that has washed ashore has caused a great deal of concern. The government is doing a lot to reduce the use of plastic bags in particular, and we at Allianz Taiwan want to support these efforts with our sustainability initiatives. In 2022, we called on our workforce for the first time to clean up beaches in Taipei. It turned out that our employees were very enthusiastic about the ESG topic. That’s why we organized several clean-up campaigns the following year – across the entire island: in Taipei, Taichung, Pintung and Hualien. 222 employees took part.

But we didn’t want to leave it at that. We are of the opinion that we need to do more educational work to raise awareness, especially among the younger generation. That’s why we worked with more than 30 primary, middle and secondary schools across the country to introduce an educational program on waste and recycling. We also launched a nationwide educational campaign about the “Circular Economy” board game to help pupils understand the concept of sustainability through play. And we have teamed up with the renowned Taiwanese NGO Re-Think to give talks to our employees to inform them about the importance of recycling and waste prevention. In future, in addition to the clean-up campaigns and training sessions, we will be focusing more on the issue of food waste. Our idea is to collect leftover food and give it to people in need.”

Photo credit: Daniel Delang
Location: Unterföhring, Germany 
Special feature: Shifting from fossil district heating to geothermal energy 
Number: Allianz is working towards a 70 percent smaller carbon footprint in 2030 compared with 2019

Sustainability goals are by no means a new topic for us at Allianz: 25 years ago, Allianz introduced environmental management and proactively integrated ecological operations management as a corporate goal into the Group’s everyday life. A central goal is to reduce our carbon footprint. In order to achieve this, we’re tackling several different issues. We’re continually reducing the energy consumption of our production facilities via modernization and energy-efficient renovation. We’re introducing new working environments for better use and reduction of our office space, as well as increasing business trips by train (instead of by air or car) to also contribute to reducing the Group’s CO2 footprint. 

Wherever possible, we’re systematically shifting from fossil district heating to geothermal energy. The use of renewable electricity, mainly from hydropower, is already the norm.

It’s important to us to get our employees on board. We therefore provide comprehensive information about sustainability topics on our own Environmental Connect page. Our environmental report, published each year, also helps to raise awareness. Internal Allianz awareness campaigns – such as the “Press Me” campaign in winter 2022/2023, which drew attention to various ways to save energy in our everyday working life – motivate our employees to be more environmentally conscious. 

It's clear to us: even after 25 years, our commitment to sustainability is far from over. The next planned step is to integrate additional buildings into the geothermal energy supply. And buildings that we use and that we don’t own will be gradually renovated for greater energy efficiency in consultation with the owners.