As a company operating in the reinsurance industry, we do not make any appreciable use of physical materials. Only the paper consumption at our offices is a relevant use of resources, and we therefore measure and manage this. It amounted to 5,753,750 sheets for the Hannover location in the year under review (equivalent to around 27 tonnes) and – with a drop of 15.6% – was thus significantly below the level of the previous year. Our e-administration system "Ruschlikon by ACORD" also played a part here. Among other things, the system makes possible the paperless processing of official documents. In the first quarter of 2016 alone, for example, we were able to electronically process 7,800 loss advices and altogether 35,000 attachments.
Above and beyond this, we were also able to cut paper consumption in 2016 by digitalising work processes: with the aid of our document management system we have successfully mapped posting releases while adhering to and documenting the principle of dual control.
More revealing than the paper consumption in absolute terms is the relative paper consumption per employee. Since 2010 we have consistently reduced our per capita consumption. Whereas in 2010 the figure was 0.04 tonnes per year and employee, this number had dropped to 0.02 tonnes per employee in the year under review. We have achieved this reduction inter alia by rolling out notebooks as part of our "Next Generation Workplace" programme. Instead of paper-intensive printouts, members of staff now take their notebook to meetings. We avoid unintended print jobs by means of the "Print to me" solution implemented in 2015. Print jobs are not executed immediately, but instead have to be actively initiated by the user at the device. If this is not done, the computer deletes print jobs automatically after three days. The continuous drop in paper consumption can also be attributed to ongoing expansion of our document management systems.
Since 2012 we have used exclusively printer paper bearing the "Euroblume" European environmental seal. This quality seal is awarded to consumer goods which are manufactured with reduced emissions and low energy consumption and which stand out for their restrictive use of chemicals and auxiliary materials. In 2015 we also tested the changeover over to lighter paper of a lower density. Since then we have been using this paper, which has a lower wood content than the previously used paper and is therefore more environmentally friendly, in our printers.
Since 2011 we have used solely FSC-certified paper in the creation of printed products.
Our water is supplied exclusively by the regional water utility company. The total water consumption in the year under review amounted to 16,664,000 litres and was thus higher than in the previous year.
The total weight of waste grew by 3.8% in 2016 to 162,890 kilogrammes. This increase was driven by a significantly higher quantity of biomass in the year under review.
Roughly half of our total waste in 2016 was recycled. All catering waste produced at Home Office in Hannover that requires disposal for hygienic or legal reasons is used to generate energy (sent to a biogas plant).
|Waste by method of disposal for years 2015 and 2016|
|in kg||2016||in %||2015||in %|
|Combination of material recycling, above-ground landfill and energy recovery1||49,520||30.4||49,360||31.5|
|Hazardous waste (e.g. energy-saving light bulbs, paint, varnish)||190||0.1||190||0.1|
|1 Precise classification is not possible due to the method of waste collection|