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Sustainability & Society

Setting a good example: UNIQA's green management

15.03.2021 5 minutes reading time

Climate protection starts at home. That is why the UNIQA operations management has imposed strict environmental standards: energy efficiency, more renewable energies, fewer CO2 emissions, and resource conservation. Measures such as the expansion of the e-charging infrastructure in Austria carries relevance well beyond the company.

Worldwide, energy production accounts for around a quarter of all greenhouse gases. It is therefore important to use energy carefully and efficiently. With the industry's leading energy monitoring system, UNIQA analyzes and optimizes electricity, heat, gas, cooling and water consumption at around 70 locations in Austria. Since 2018, changes in the settings of technical systems alone have saved well over one million kilowatt hours of electricity and over 800,000 kilowatt hours of heat, and thus more than 400 tons of CO2. This is roughly equivalent to the annual electricity and heat requirements of 300 Austrian households.

Energy production accounts for around a quarter of all greenhouse gases worldwide. It is therefore important to use energy carefully and efficiently. With industry-leading energy monitoring, UNIQA analyses and optimises electricity, heat, gas, cooling and water consumption at around 70 locations throughout Austria. Just by adjusting the parameters on technical systems, well over a million kilowatt hours of electricity and over 800,000 kilowatt hours of heat – and thus more than 400 tons of CO2 – have been saved since 2018. This roughly corresponds to the annual electricity and heating requirements of 300 Austrian households.

Climate neutral by 2040

'In our sustainability strategy we are committed to the Paris climate goals and are already striving for climate neutrality in Austria by 2040', says René Knapp, Board Member for Sustainability at UNIQA Insurance Group AG: 'Energy monitoring is a flagship project in our #environmentallybettertogether package of measures for more energy efficiency and conservation of resources.'

Overall, UNIQA has already implemented more than 600 organisational measures in the area of energy efficiency with the help of energy monitoring – from the optimisation of heating systems to the operating time of ventilation systems and lighting.

Targeted measures have also been taken as a result of our energy monitoring: In cooperation with partner CLEEN Energy, 55 UNIQA locations throughout Austria have switched to LED lighting in recent years and have saved more than 180 tons of CO2 with this alone. 

On the road with our own fleet of vehicles

Other climate offensives for sustainable management are the expansion of photovoltaic systems and the greening of heating systems, as well as the company's own vehicle fleet. By the end of 2024, the fleet's CO2 emissions of around 150 vehicles should be reduced to an average of 80 grams per kilometer. By 2026 the UNIQA fleet aims to be fully electrified, own charging stations included.

UNIQA is here cooperating with ÖAMTC, the largest automobile club in Austria. The around 60 public charging points across the country connect the supply network for all e-drivers and increase price transparency by billing only for the electricity used with no hidden additional costs or parking fees.

E-charging stations, fair and for everyone

'With ÖAMTC as a partner we can guarantee clean and fair billing to climate-conscious drivers,' says Wolf Gerlach, Chief Operations Officer at UNIQA Insurance Group AG: 'Aware of our social responsibility, we have invested in publicly accessible charging stations for everyone in Austria.'

In addition, UNIQA employees and customers benefit from own internal charging points from an internal contingent – also in the UNIQA Tower, which makes it one of the largest such garage projects in Vienna. 

E-drivers save with UNIQA

Almost 14 percent of all newly registered passenger cars in Austria are currently running on electricity only. This places Austria in a brilliant third place in the EU. The popularity of e-cars increases with their range. Most batteries today manage 250 to 450 kilometres, even 600 is possible. This allows longer distances to be covered without a loading break. E-cars make up for their comparatively high acquisition costs through their running costs: servicing is up to two-thirds lower than for conventional cars. In addition, the motor-related insurance tax and the standard consumption tax (NoVA) for e-cars are eliminated, as is – in the case of company cars – the remuneration value for employees (incidentally, electric vehicles used for business purposes are tax deductible). And: UNIQA has been supporting electromobility in Austria from the very beginning and is giving e-drivers a 25 percent discount on motor vehicle liability premiums.

Energy monitoring