As an insurer, we promise to provide our customers with coverage in the future.
In the case of life or health insurance, these promises usually stretch over a period of several decades. So long-term thinking and a forward-looking approach are a core element of our business.
Thinking ahead, acting responsibly
We believe we have a responsibility to consider future generations
Creating a liveable future
Insurance is sustainable by its very nature: we provide protection against future risks. But our Group aims to go beyond the long-term essence of insurance. We are taking steps to create a liveable future and have also formulated a sustainability strategy.
To guide us in this process we are using the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are aimed at building a sustainable future for the planet. In terms of how our company can play its part, we see the greatest potential primarily in relation to four of the SDGs:
- Good health and well-being
- Sustainable cities and communities
- Climate action
- Gender equality
At VIG, responsible operations begin in our core business, where we take social and ecological factors into account in the investment process. This extends to our customers – our smart product design addresses new forms of mobility and encourages people to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It also influences human resource management, where we give all of our people space to realise their potential in line with our core value of diversity. And it’s also reflected in our efforts to conserve natural resources by implementing recycling and renaturing projects.
In addition, we are working hard to minimise our environmental footprint. In May 2019 we published our climate change strategy, which included strict investment and underwriting guidelines for the coal industry to support the transition to an environmentally friendly, low-carbon future.
Finally, our emphasis on sustainability is highlighted in our detailed analysis of long-term challenges like climate change, digitalisation, affordable housing, and safeguarding care services and pensions.
Wherever people work, we need to keep society in mind
We believe that companies also have a responsibility to society – after all, they not only comprise their core business, but also people who perform a service for the good of society as a whole. We live up to this responsibility on various levels. We behave as a good corporate citizen, and our main shareholder, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, has implemented a series of initiatives that benefit disadvantaged members of society, as well as culture and the arts.
We are a responsible, forward-looking company which strives to ensure that financial objectives go hand in hand with social and environmental aspects. Our sustainability strategy is another step towards creating a more liveable future.Managing Board member Gerhard Lahner
We have been continuously listed on the VÖNIX and FTSE4Good CSR indexes for many years – a clear endorsement of the Group’s long-term sustainability strategy.
VÖNIX is the sustainability benchmark for the Austrian stock market. It contains domestic companies listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange that are leaders in terms of environmental and social activities and performance. Vienna Insurance Group has been included in the index since it was introduced in 2005.
FTSE4Good is an international index developed by the global index provider FTSE Russell to spotlight businesses that implement extensive environmental, social and governance measures. Companies are rated in five categories: environmental management, climate change, human and workers’ rights, labour standards, and fighting corruption. A wide variety of market participants use the FTSE4Good indexes as a tool for creating and evaluating sustainable investment funds and other products. VIG’s shares have been listed on the index since mid-2007.
A responsible member of the community
Promoting numerous projects in order to fulfil our social responsibility to people in the countries where we operate reflects how we see ourselves as a company.
Our insurance companies are long-standing, reliable partners to cultural and social projects, and provide valuable impetus in key areas of society. They adapt their actions to the needs and circumstances of the countries concerned.
Our main shareholder, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, supports and implements many of these initiatives.
Launched in 2012, the Günter Geyer Award for Social Conscience shines the spotlight on Group companies’ commitment to supporting social causes. Named after the Chairman of the Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein Managing Board, the award is presented annually to three of our insurance companies which have provided outstanding service to the community through their social activities.
The Award in Recognition of Commitment to Voluntary Activities was launched in 2013 to pay tribute to Group employees who do outstanding voluntary work in aid of others in their free time. The employees are nominated for the award by their colleagues, and a panel of judges chooses the winners from the numerous submissions.
VIG Kids Camp
Our main shareholder set up the VIG Kids Camp initiative to promote cross-cultural understanding among young people. For over a decade now, around 500 children of Group company employees have been invited to Austria every year for the camp.
At VIG Kids Camp, children from countries in which the Vienna Insurance Group is represented, have an entertaining time finding out more about their parents’ international working environment and learning about diversity and multiculturalism.Günter Geyer, Chairman of the Managing Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein
Social commitment at VIG’s Group companies
Kooperativa, Czech Republic: preventing road accidents
The vision of our Czech Group company Kooperativa is to have zero deaths or serious injuries caused by traffic accidents. The company is bringing together various stakeholders in the field of traffic safety, and initiating and supporting numerous projects through its platform Vize nula, which means ‘Vision Zero’. The platform focuses on areas such as improvements in learner driver training, courses for older drivers, wider use of cycle helmets, and early identification of whiplash injuries.
Vienna osiguranje, Bosnia and Herzegovina: supporting healthier schools
VIG insurance company Vienna osiguranje in Bosnia and Herzegovina is working with schools to promote healthier lifestyles through its “In healthy school, healthy kids” campaign. The goal of the initiative is to help tackle the widespread problem of obesity and lack of exercise among children and young people. All of the country’s primary schools were able to take part by submitting their ideas and plans for encouraging their pupils to lead healthier lifestyles. Thanks to the participation of sports and TV celebrities the campaign caught the public’s imagination. The project won the 2019 Gold Günter Geyer Award for Social Conscience.
Kniazha Life, Ukraine: charity donation replaces anniversary event
In summer 2019 Kniazha Life celebrated 20 years on the Ukrainian market. But instead of organising an event for its employees and partners to mark the occasion, the company decided to donate money to a charity for seriously ill children. They selected the Tabletochki foundation, which is one of Ukraine’s most highly respected charities. By making the donation, Kniazha Life wanted to underline its commitment to greater social engagement and encourage other Ukrainian companies to follow its lead.
A day for good deeds
Since 2011, our Group has allowed employees to spend one working day a year doing voluntary work for charities and aid organisations. A day for doing good deeds, you might say. The initiative, called Social Active Day, was launched by VIG’s main shareholder.
Every year, our employees in various countries send a strong signal underlining their dedication, charitable spirit and sense of solidarity. On average, over 5,000 Group employees from more than 20 countries take part. This equates to a contribution of over 48,000 working hours to good causes by VIG Group companies.
Staff engage in a wide variety of activities. Employees from Latvian Group company Compensa participated in a blood donation drive. At Omniasig in Romania about 70 employees planted 2,000 trees in the mountains in a single day. And staff from Sigma Interalbanian in Albania, including the CEO, provided charitable organisations such as a homeless shelter with food for a month.
The Social Active Day initiative has been extremely well received in the various Group companies, and it goes without saying that our senior managers also do their bit.