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Environmental and climate protection at Munich Re

Download CR Report 2020, p. 78
The environmental impact of our activities is limited, since Munich Re does not have an energy- and resource-intensive business model. However, as a large organisation with more than 39,600 employees, we have responsibilities for environmental protection and have involved ourselves in areas that we can influence in practical and positive ways. In determining our goals and activities, we are focusing on reducing energy consumption and the associated carbon emissions, ensuring that business travel is as environmentally friendly as possible, and achieving a higher level of material and resource efficiency for our processes by generating less waste and using sustainable materials. In parallel with these activities, we are sensitising our staff to behaving in an environmentally compatible way.

Strategic management using the Environmental Management System

Munich Re Group has coordinated environmental activities at all sites since 2012 using a standardised, mandatory environmental management system (EMS) that meets the requirements of the international DIN ISO 14001 standard. The EMS is based on the Group’s environmental guidelines and on selected key performance indicators (KPIs) that we use to assess our carbon footprint. It also defines the processes required and our organisational responsibilities. In 2020, 82% of Group´s employees worked at sites integrated into the EMS. In addition, 46% of Group´s employees worked at companies externally certified as DIN ISO 14001.

Our goals until 2020

We want to be measured against the implementation of our environmental and climate protection strategy, and orientate ourselves towards the following objectives formulated in 2015, which we want to achieve by 2020:
35%
A reduction of carbon emissions of 35% compared to the base year of 2009 per employee
Permanent carbon neutrality, taking into account compensation projects
Full conversion of electricity procurement to renewable energy sources Group-wide
An increase in the percentage of environmentally friendly consumables procured (e.g. paper, catering) and the procurement of environmentally friendly vehicles
Enhancement of employee motivation to behave in an environmentally friendly way
Regular certification of environmental and energy management systems at selected sites
Annual, Group-wide verification of environmental data

Our success

58%
less CO₂ per employee since 2009
We exceeded our reduction target of 35% per employee (2009–2020) by far and achieved 58% less carbon emissions in 2020 (44% less in 2019). While we continued to actively reduce our environmental impact in 2020, the results have to be interpreted against the backdrop of the Corona Pandemic
90%
Green electricity Group-wide in 2020
In the year under review, we procured approx. 90% of our electricity requirements Group-wide from renewable energy sources.
> 73,000 t
CO₂ offseted for 2020
Since 2015, Munich Re (Group) has been committed to maintaining carbon neutrality in our business operations. We compensate unavoidable carbon emissions by purchasing carbon certificates. We follow strict requirements when selecting offsetting projects. In addition to avoiding carbon emissions, we also place a special emphasis on maintaining social standards. We primarily support projects that promote health, facilitate education, develop local infrastructure, avoid deforestation and maintain biodiversity.

Climate Ambition 2025

We trust in the scientific evidence on climate change and aligne the decarbonisation pathway of our own emissions with the Paris Agreement. We support the international efforts to keep the global temperature increase well below 2 degrees while mitigating the effects of climate change. To achieve this, humanity’s CO2 emissions must be reduced significantly and fast. But this is not enough. To achieve a decarbonised economy in 2050, CO2 must also be removed from the atmosphere to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Group has therefore taken an holistic approach and set itself ambitious decarbonisation targets for its investments, its (re)insurance transactions and its own emissions from operational processes. 

Bold targets for own emissions up to 2025 and beyond

12%
less CO₂ per employee 2019 to 2025
100%
green electricity Group-wide in 2025
2030
own emissions of the Group are cabon net-zero
As we realise that the world has to make an even bigger effort to achieve the goals of the Paris agreement, we decided to go a few steps further. The first step is our intermediate target of reducing our own carbon emissions per employee a further 12% by 2025 (base year 2019). We will achieve this by focusing on the main triggers of our emissions – energy consumption and business travel. Our goal is to increase our current purchase of green electricity from about 90% to 100%, Group-wide by 2025. In addition to these measures on carbon reduction, carbon removal from the atmosphere is also crucial. Therefore – as a second step – we set ourselves a carbon net-zero goal by 2030 for our own operational emissions. This means that every gram of CO2 we still emit, will be removed from the atmosphere by way of financing suitable projects such as re- and afforestation or carbon capture and storage (CCS).

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Corporate Responsibility Report

In our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report, we describe the ways in which we embrace corporate responsibility in our day-to-day operations.