Swedish ICMIF member Folksam are proud to be the first insurance company in the world to offer eco-certified non-life insurance. This certification has been awarded to Folksam by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and applies to their motor, household and holiday home insurance products.
SSNC have one of the world’s most challenging eco-labelling standards which are know as “Bra Miljöval” in Swedish or “Good Environmental Choice” and their four main focus areas, in order to gain certification are as follows:
- Company behaviour including energy efficiency, recycling and good use of resources
- Claims handling including eco-friendly car repairs after an accident such as use of high levels of recycling
- Use of a financial investment system for insurance premiums which complements environmental and ethical principles; the positive selection of companies with better environmental and ethical profiles and the de-selection of companies which do not fit this profile
- Improving communications and relations with policyholders and encouraging them to lead a more proactive environmentally friendly lifestyle also
Folksam’s customers are guaranteed that car repairs are conducted in an environmentally friendly way with a high level of use of recycled materials. Folksam also insist upon high ecological and environmental standards from all their contractors, including criteria such as use of certain building materials to waste sorting and recycling.
Should a Folksam policyholder be involved in an accident then they are also offered a more environmentally friendly and safer replacement car. The criteria for this choice are taken from Folksam’s yearly report “Safe and Sustainable” which is based on information taken following real-life accidents.
The effect that Folksam have as a business on the environment and their ethical behaviours are issues which Folksam take very seriously. They ensure that all of their assets are managed in a socially responsibly way; which means that they do not invest in tobacco or illegal weapons such as cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons and alcohol. Folksam also actively seeks to influence other organisations that they work with to take a greater responsibility for the environment and also for human rights. All Folksam buildings use wind power of specified origin and since 2006 they are climate neutral. Other environmentally friendly initiatives include sustainable sourcing of office products such as paper and coffee for staff and they even go so far as to train their employees in “Eco-Driving” which enables them to lower their fuel consumption when driving their cars.
Charlotte Köhler Lindahl, Director of International Affairs & Relations at Folksam says,”We are proud to be the first insurance company in the world to offer non-life insurance products that have eco-certification. We will continue our work to strive for a sustainable world and this is a step in the right direction”.
Folksam CEO and Vice President of the ICMIF Board, Anders Sundström, added, “Now we have the certification we cannot simply relax our activities in this field; instead we must continue to improve on our standards and keep Folksam evolving and improving in the environmental field. This is in the nature of certification.”
“In order to retain the world’s toughest eco label certification, “Good Environmental Choice”, our environmental work will continue to be assessed by the SSNC organisation. SSNC is concerned about its brand image, just as we are with ours, and we will strive to ensure we are constantly improving” continued Anders.