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In its own operations, Swiss Life supports energy-saving measures and the sparing use of resources. Swiss Life has published comprehensive indicators on operational ecology for ten years, thus demonstrating clearly how environmental data have developed from year to year.

Environmental and Climate Protection

Environmental data on operational ecology are gathered annually in accordance with the globally recognised standard of the Association for Environmental Management and Sustainability at Financial Institutions (VfU). Since their Group-wide collection is time consuming, the data for the year under review are not published until May of the following year. All data are published on swisslife.com/operationalecology as soon as they have been gathered. Its annual data collection allows Swiss Life to determine where progress has been made, where risks lie and where steps must be taken. The VfU key figures conform to the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol (Scope 1, 2 and 3) standards and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The data are gathered, evaluated and analysed across the Group. All the major Swiss Life locations have environmental officers and the individual divisions work closely together. Our aim is to consistently reduce our environmental impact and continually improve energy efficiency.

Absolute environmental indicators

2016 12015 22014
TOTAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION (IN MWH)54 11052 28056 300
Electricity (in MWh)37 84035 16036 400
Heating (in MWh)14 36015 44017 790
District heating/cooling (in MWh)1 9101 6802 110
RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY (IN MWH)14 99615 63414 291
Proportion of renewable electricity (in %)404439
BUSINESS TRAVEL (IN MILLION KM)62.660.050.0
PAPER CONSUMPTION (IN T)1 0991 2101 360
Proportion of paper with FSC label (in %)605439
WATER CONSUMPTION (IN M3)72 20079 620120 920
WASTE (IN T)1 1081 3501 590
WASTE RECYCLING (IN T)647871959
Waste recycling (in %)586560
TOTAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (IN T)27 75026 23027 560
Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 1 (CO2 equivalents in t)8 8408 4608 870
Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 2 (CO2 equivalents in t)7 2906 4207 140
Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 1 and 2 (CO2 equivalents in t)16 13014 88016 010
Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 3 (CO2 equivalents in t)11 63011 35011 550


Relative environmental indicators per full-time position (FTP)

20161201522014
TOTAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION (IN KWH/FTE)6 7206 6307 210
Electricity (in KWh/FTE)4 7004 4604 660
Heating (in KWh/FTE)1 7801 9602 280
District heating/cooling (in KWh/FTE)240210270
RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY (IN KWH/FTE)1 8621 9821 830
BUSINESS TRAVEL (IN KM/FTE)7 7707 4507 000
PAPER CONSUMPTION (IN KG/FTE)137150170
WATER CONSUMPTION (IN M3/FTE)91020
WASTE (IN KG/FTE)140170200
WASTE RECYCLING (IN KG/FTE)80110122
TOTAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (IN KG/FTE)3 4503 3303 530
Greenhouse gas emissions Spope 1 (CO2 equivalents in kg/FTE)1 0991 0701 140
Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 2 (CO2 equivalents in kg/FTE)903810920
Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 1 and 2 (CO2 equivalents in kg/FTE)2 0101 8802 060
Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 3 (CO2 equivalents in kg/FTE)1 4501 4401 480

The Swiss Life Group was able to markedly reduce its waste production in 2016 once again (–19%). Water and paper consumption was also down (–10%). What is more, the share of paper with FSC label was increased anew (+10%). Greenhouse gas emissions increased over the previous year by 5%, business travel by 4%. This increase of consumption values in 2016 stems from a new and more detailed inventory of vehicular and railway data by one market unit. Building energy consumption rose slightly over the previous year (+3%). The share of fossil fuels in the energy mix was further reduced (–7%).

In Switzerland, Swiss Life is a member of the Zurich Energy Model and has been drawing all its electricity for company buildings from renewable energy sources since October 2006. This has enabled the company to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by over 1300 tonnes. With its energy model, Swiss Life has pledged to improve its energy efficiency at its Zurich location by 1.76% every year until 2020. The head office in Zurich is heated and cooled with water from Lake Zurich. All the sanitary facilities at the Zurich office are equipped with water-saving installations, which allows Swiss Life Switzerland to save some three million litres of water each year. Rainwater has also been one of the water sources used for the sanitary facilities since 1999. All printers and copiers use paper with FSC label from environmentally- and socially-friendly forestry. Employees are instructed to keep their paper consumption to a minimum.

In Germany, the two main branch offices, in Garching near Munich and in Hanover, have repeatedly been awarded the ECOPROFIT seal for their outstanding commitment to corporate environmental protection. The seal rewards efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and save resources. Swiss Life uses green electricity at both branches. In Garching, in addition, Swiss Life moved into a new energy-efficient building some years ago whose heat requirements are covered by district heating from a local geothermal power station.

In France, regular awareness campaigns have been held since 2008 to sensitise employees to the urgent need to reduce their impact on the environment. The energy generation facilities in that country were replaced by more effective installations requiring less energy, and the air conditioning installations were optimised to make them more energy efficient. Swiss Life France will also look more closely at its employees’ travel arrangements, which account for a large proportion of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why additional rooms are being organised to host video conferences at different locations. Moreover, charging stations for electronic vehicles were installed in some car parks and employees were sensitised to environmentally- friendly driving.

All the departments forming Swiss Life International work in modern, energy-efficient offices. Optimal workspace occupancy and digitalisation measures help to consistently reduce the company’s environmental impact. Employees are instructed to keep their paper consumption and generation of waste to a minimum. Furthermore, the number of parking spaces is limited to encourage staff to use public transport, and thus to help reduce CO2 emissions.

Swiss Life also wants to make an active contribution to climate protection through operational ecology. It is for this reason that in 2008 it set up the Swiss Climate Foundation together with other Swiss companies. The foundation supports SMEs in becoming more energy efficient and reducing their CO2 emissions.

Swiss Life Germany is also represented in the Klima-Allianz der Stadt Hannover network and undertakes, in cooperation with other companies, to reduce CO2 emissions and increase energy efficiency in urban areas.

Carbon Disclosure Project

Since 2011, the Swiss Life Group has taken part in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) survey. CDP is an independent charitable organisation which holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of corporate information on climate change. In its first submission, Swiss Life scored 70 out of 100 index points for transparency (climate disclosure score). Swiss Life was awarded a “C” in 2017, a slight drop over the previous year (B). The lower grade can be ascribed to an adjustment in CDP’s valuation matrix.