By Giovanni Liverani, CEO of Generali Deutschland
Generali in Germany wants to be the sustainability leader in the insurance industry. We aim to be 100% sustainable in three relevant dimensions: our products, our operations, our corporate culture. A first important milestone we achieved was the turnaround of our operations that are carbon neutral as of year-end 2021. More ambitious targets will be achieved in the next future as we sell more insurance solutions to protect green assets and activities and to promote a more sustainable lifestyle, within the framework of the Generali’s “Lifetime Partner 24: Driving Growth” strategic plan.
In this field, Generali Deutschland starts from a solid position. We are already one of the German leaders in the insurance of wind power plants and we are pioneers in ‘smart’ solutions that reward more sustainable behaviors, such as a more active lifestyle and a more prudent driving style.
A sustainable offering we want to significantly expand is the one dedicated to Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs). According to the BDI (the federation of German industries), SMEs account for 99.5% of the number of businesses in Germany, 60% of German workers and more than 34% of the total economy’s turnover. Therefore, the impact of their practices on the environment, their employees and the community in general is huge. A greener society, in other words, depends on a greener SME-sector.
Generali Deutschland launched the initiative “Sustainable Impact Award (SIA)” in 2021 together with the country’s leading financial media outlet, Handelsblatt, and the federal association of SMEs, BVMW, exactly with the aim of promoting more sustainable practices among SMEs. The first and only initiative of its kind in Germany, SIA falls under the umbrella of SME EnterPRIZE, the Generali Group’s initiative aimed at this very important part of the economic system.
Plan A. Earth is the SME that was presented in Brussels as “Sustainability Hero” for the German market in 2021: an AI- and science-driven certified SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for automated carbon accounting, decarbonisation, ESG management and reporting.
Bunte Burger, a bio-vegan hamburger restaurants chain, won SIA in the category dedicated to small-sized businesses.
Africa GreenTec, a start-up that brings solar electricity, water purification systems and other solutions to rural, less developed communities in Africa, and Elobau, a manufacturer of sensors and components for industrial machines and commercial vehicles, won SIA in the category dedicated to the most positive impacts on the environment.
Mahafaly, a fair-trade company specialized in eco-friendly products crafted in Madagascar, won SIA in the category dedicated to the most sustainable products.
Neumarkter Lammsbräu, an organic brewery that considers employees’ well-being as its priority, won SIA in the category dedicated to the most positive impacts on humans.
Last, but not least, Eliev, a fashion brand founded by a Syrian refugee, won SIA in the category dedicated to migrant entrepreneurs.
The quantity and – above all – quality of the applications to the first edition of SIA are proof of the growing concern on sustainability among German SMEs. In 2022, Generali Deutschland wants to build on the success achieved in 2021 and capture the opportunity of SIA to draw the attention of the German business environment on sustainability.
Is sustainability already perceived as a key success factor by German SMEs? Is sustainability already in their DNA? Who are the main stakeholders in pursuing sustainable practices – employees, customers, local communities…?
All questions that will find an answer thanks to our initiatives in 2022 along our journey to become the best insurance partner of German SMEs.