© Anders Tukler / plainpicture

Environmental and climate protection at Munich Re

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 2019, 83% of Group´s employees worked at sites integrated into the EMS. In addition, 40% 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:
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

CO₂ reduction per employee since 2009
We already achieved our carbon reduction target of 35% in 2017 (39% less carbon emissions). In 2019, a 44% carbon reduction was achieved.
Green electricity Group-wide in 2019
In the year under review, we procured approx. 90% of our electricity requirements Group-wide from renewable energy sources.
98,000 t
CO₂ offseted for 2018
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. For example, at least one of the project must meet the Gold Standard and be implemented in one of the world’s least developed countries. 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. To achieve carbon neutrality for the 2019 financial year, we obtained carbon certificates from the following projects:

Sensitizing our employees

Climate friendly menue

As of October 2019, about 18,000 employees from Munich Re, ERGO and MEAG in Germany have been able to regularly enjoy a “climate-friendly menu” in any of the Group’s canteens in Germany. The menu offers regional products which, where possible, are organically produced.  It only takes a few facts to make the motivation clear: Agriculture causes 10% of European greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions resulting from the transport and storage of food are also significant. Frozen food comes at the expense of the climate. And the carbon footprint of every food-type can now be calculated. For example, the carbon footprint of beef is extremely high. Pork and poultry have a footprint that is only a quarter that of beef, and vegetables, of course, have a much smaller footprint still. A lot can be achieved with just a few measures: for example, reducing the amount  of meat, sourcing fresh-water fish from local waters, or sourcing organic vegetables with “blemishes” from a local start-up.

As a father, how could I not be worried?

Over 20,000 delegates from all over the world attended the UN Climate Change Conference at the Exhibition Centre in Madrid, Spain, which is coincidentally also one of the countries in Europe most severely affected by climate change. Reason enough to ask the long-standing CEO of DKV Seguros, Dr. Josep Santacreu, what he thinks about environmental and climate protection.

Read the interview in our CR Report, page 63.

© Munich Re
Dr. Josep Santacreu
CEO of DKV Seguros, Spain

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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.