The main environmental impact directly connected with our activities consist of the consumption of energy, paper and water, the production of waste, and the emission of greenhouse gases associated with business trips. We are committed to reducing this impact through a reduction in consumption and the amount of waste produced, and the decision to prioritise the use of environmentally-sustainable resources such as energy from renewable sources and certified paper.
The management of the Group sites, a series of buildings with very diverse characteristics, offers plenty of scope for making environmental and economic improvements.
After an initial analysis and information gathering phase, we will gradually carry out a series of measures targeted firstly at reducing the area assigned to each workstation and then at making structural changes to the buildings themselves, improving their management and use, and their systems and fittings. We will conclude by carrying out more radical restructuring work to gradually reduce their environmental impact, particularly in terms of energy.
We therefore envisage offices that are safer, healthier and more comfortable for workers, and common areas that are conceived and designed to promote sharing and creativity.
The majority of our energy consumption takes the form of electricity, used for lighting, the operating of machinery, the cooling of buildings and, in France and Spain, also for heating. More specifically, the Data Processing Centres (DPC) consume a large amount of electricity, particularly the one in Mogliano Veneto where activities for the entire Group are carried out.
To contain the energy consumption of the latter, a natural gas-fuelled trigeneration plant was developed that makes it possible to produce electricity, thermal energy and cooling energy at the same time. 21.8% of energy consumption were saved in 2014.
As for the energy consumption of our properties, we carry out constant checks on our assets according to environmental efficiency criteria. We make as much use as possible of energy saving lighting and heating/ cooling technologies such as energy saving light-emitting diodes; building envelopes and insulation and thermal doors; ceiling, under-floor or direct expansion (heat pumps) heating/cooling systems; movement sensors or clocks/timers for controlling the switching on and off of the systems.
In 2014 we mainly consumed energy deriving from renewable sources, thus contributing to the preservation of natural sources.
Environmentally friendly paper
Paper is the most widely used material in our sector. To reduce paper consumption the following practices are already widespread: electronic storage and the digitalisation of documents; the use of email and text messages in communications between companies, agencies and clients; the sale of insurance products using tablets and graphometric signature (pilot project).
In all countries of the EMS, individual printers, photocopiers and fax machines are being replaced with multifunctional machines and centralised printers for each office or floor. To limit the overall weight of the paper we consume, wherever possible we purchase material with a lower-than-average unit weight.
Over 87% of the paper consumed in 2014 was certified ecological paper from forests managed in accordance with environmental, social and economic standards established by national and international regulations.
Paper and cardboard also constitute the majority of the separately collected waste, which came to 81,4% of the total. At every site there are bins for the separate collection of paper and cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminium.
Other metals, wood, wet waste, used oil, sanitary waste, hazardous waste and IT and toner waste are also subject to separate waste collection.
Internal communication campaigns have been carried out in many companies to raise the awareness of employees.
Against the greenhouse effect
We also seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the sustainable management of mobility.
First and foremost, we try to reduce the business trips of our employees by promoting the use of videos and teleconferencing: in 2014 we invested 322,740 euro in order to strengthen our range of instruments for long-distance video communications, setting up new video conference rooms, which made it possible to increase our number of calls by 29.5% compared with the previous year. In France, Germany and Italy it is also possible to take part in video conferences from individual workstations thanks to the availability of dedicated tools such as, for example, Microsoft Lync. 2014 saw an increase in the spread of these tools: in Italy, for example, there were 2,750 new users of Lync, with the aim being to cover around 9,000 employees.
In many countries telecommuting is a possibility while in all countries the travel policy prioritises the use of pu
blic transport in place of private cars and, more specifically, the most environmentally friendly forms of public transport (e.g. trains rather than planes). Meanwhile, the car policy lays down maximum limits for company car carbon dioxide emissions. Finally, in Austria, France and Italy there are also tele-expertise systems for claims, which reduce the number of car journeys by assessors.
To accurately and systematically report greenhouse gas emissions, we have launched a monitoring system and scheduled periodic checks at all of our sites. On the basis of the results we assess the efficacy of the actions we have taken and identify further measures to implement to ensure that our systems are increasingly efficient.
In 2014, overall greenhouse gas emissions deriving from electricity, thermal energy, corporate mobility, water, paper and waste came to 114,798 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
As established by the reporting standards, we have divided our emissions into three categories:
emissions deriving from the direct burning of fossil fuels, acquired for heating, for the production of electricity and thermal energy, and for running the corporate fleet;
indirect emissions deriving from the production of electricity purchased and used by the organisation for electrical devices, heating and the indoor lighting of buildings;
indirect emissions other than GHG emissions from energy consumption that derive from greenhouse gas sources owned by the company or by other organisations, such as emissions connected with business trips, assets used (water, paper, etc.), the mobility of employees, etc..
In 2014, Scope1 and Scope2 GHG emissions amounted to 71,043 tonnes of CO2e, a 5.3% reduction compared with the previous year.
These are outlined in detail in the Generali Group’s Inventory of GHG emissions, which is certified by an independent body according to the ISO14064 standard.
No Travel Week
In the last months of 2014 a Group travel policy was introduced, which had two main goals: to standardise the treatment of employees on business trip in all countries where the Group is present, and to further discourage travel, thanks also to new investment in remote communication tools.
To help achieve this goal No Travel Week was introduced, an initiative which, from February 2015, will see all employees work in their own offices, without making any business trips, for one week a month.
This measure will allow for an annual reduction in distances travelled of 50 million kilometres, with a reduction of around 8,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions.
A prize for the fleet
We choose vehicles with low overall emissions for our corporate fleet.
In 2014 we completely renewed our corporate fleet in Slovenia, thus reducing emissions from 131 g/km in 2013 to 120 g/km. This achievement saw us finish among the winners of ECOfleet 2014, a competition organised by national newspaper Finance which rewards the Slovenian businesses with the most environmentally friendly fleets.
In Germany an E-mobility pilot project was launched which involves the use of 7 company electric or hybrid cars along the Cologne-Aachen route rather than private or hired cars, or taxis.
The rain magicians
At the Guernsey site a rainwater collection and recycling system was installed. After being suitably filtered, the water is then used for sanitary purposes. In 2014 the system made it possible to collect and reuse 350,000 litres of rainwater.
At some German sites rainwater is collected and reused to water green areas. In 2014 240,000 litres of rainwater was collected.
Too good for the bin
This was the slogan of an awareness campaign to reduce food waste that was launched at the Aachen canteen. For two months the leftover food remaining on trays was weighed.
Every week the employees were informed of their total weight and given some tips on how to reduce it. Thanks to this campaign we managed to reduce the amount of food left on the trays by 36%.
Following the success of the initiative, the campaign will be repeated in 2015 in other company canteens, beginning with that of the Cologne site.
Nothing is thrown away
Since 2012 the organic waste of the company canteen of one of the Saint Denis sites in France has been destroyed in an internal incinerator. This process makes it possible to reduce disposal expenses as the waste no longer needs to be transported, and to manage the spaces of the site more efficiently.
Also in France, since 2013 coffee capsules have been collected separately and returned to the supplier who then separates the aluminium, which is recycled, from the coffee, which is used as compost.
In Austria, a specialist company collects used oil from the company canteen and transforms it into biofuel.