German ICMIF member HUK-COBURG says it has always stood for sustainable customer management thanks to its mutual business model. As announced in December 2021, the company now aims to supplement its image as a sustainability-focused organisation, with an internal ESG strategy and HUK Coburg has already implemented some of the first essential measures as part of this strategy. This includes joining the international investor networks the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) and the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA). In addition, the company aims to make its business processes climate-neutral from 2021 onwards until 2030 without the use of eco-certification.
“Whether members participate in surpluses that are not needed; choose repair measures instead of scrapping in claims processing [for example for vehicles]; or our principle of traditionally being lower-priced and striving for long-term customer relationships – we have always been guided by sustainability-focused considerations throughout the history of the company”, says Klaus-Jürgen Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of HUK-COBURG and member of the ICMIF Board of Directors.
Now the company is taking a further step towards even more sustainability: Based on the sustainability position of the German Insurance Association (GDV) and on the basis of a management and stakeholder survey, an internal company strategy now sets out sustainable action by HUK-COBURG in five defined fields of action: the products and claims settlement, capital investments, business processes, social responsibility and governance as well as transparency and communication. One of the first essential steps was to voluntarily join the investor networks PRI and NZAOA. Both initiatives were launched by the United Nations and pursue the establishment of a sustainable global financial system and the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through climate-friendly investment processes, among other things.
Thomas Sehn (pictured above), Director Capital Investments, explains the commitment of HUK-COBURG saying: “Capital investments are a great lever on the way to a climate-neutral and sustainable economy. We have been defining clear social, ethical and ecological rules for our investments for years. By joining the global sustainability initiatives on the investment side, we are officially committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and are making our contribution to it.”
HUK-COBURG has already taken many steps towards greater sustainability. Since 2013, the company has increased its climate efficiency by using electricity from renewable energy sources. In addition, there were resource-efficient combined heat and power plants that were put into operation in 2006, 2008 and 2016. “With our goal of having our business processes climate-neutral by 2030, a process started in 2021, without eco-certification, we are now seamlessly following this early direction,” said Sehn in his additional role at HUK-COBURG as board member for real estate.
In the insurance business, HUK-COBURG has added an ecological component, the Eco Drive, to the already sustainable telematics tariff on the product side. In the personnel side of the business, the company signed a voluntary commitment to the “Diversity Charter” in order to demonstrate its commitment to the topic of diversity in the world of work. The Diversity Charter has the patronage of the former Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
The company says it also assumes social responsibility beyond its core business of the protection of people and assets. It does this, for example, through diverse support for employees in the health and sports sector as well as the promotion of local communities. Last but not least, the founding of the HUK association “HUK hilft e.V.” (HUK Helps) in 2021, can be traced back to this commitment. The association will start its work in the next few weeks and should help people who are in desperate need to rebuild their lives.
For the new year, HUK-COBURG says it is planning further sustainable initiatives, such as a realignment of its travel policy and the conversion of its vehicle fleet to gradually (partially) electric drive as well as developing its website for more transparency around the company’s sustainability efforts.