Paper

Paper consumption

  • Distribution of paper consumptionPaper is still the main material used in insurance and financial activities. For this reason the Group set itself the goal of reducing its overall consumption of both white paper and printed paper, i.e. paper purchased from suppliers in order to print Group documents and publications such as policies, statements, studies, reports etc..
  • The objective of reducing the overall consumption of paper by 5% during the 2010-2012 three-year period was achieved thanks to the various initiatives launched in all countries, which also resulted in estimated financial savings of around 5 million euros. More specifically, the good results achieved in Italy and Switzerland can be attributed to the reduction in the number of personal printers and the replacement of the paper communications sent to customers and sales networks with electronic communications. The substantial increase in consumption recorded in Austria in 2012 compared with 2011 is to be regarded as exceptional as it stemmed from the obsolescence of a series of documents connected with the introduction of a new European regulation and the inclusion of Austrian real estate companies in Generali Real Estate S.p.A..

In all countries it has become standard practice to print on both sides of the paper, to replace individual photocopiers/ printers and fax machines with multifunctional machines or centralised printers for the office/floor, and to reduce internal paper-based correspondence. In many agencies policies are only printed when taken out, with the elimination of preprinted forms, and policy conditions are available on the websites. In addition, for communications between companies, agencies and customers attempts are being made in all countries to switch to alternative systems to paper, such as e-mail and text message; however, it is important to remember that in the insurance-banking industry many communications must be paper-based by law.

ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE | 129 Ecological paper quota (%)

  • The Group is also committed to increasing the amount of ecological paper as a proportion of total paper consumption, which in 2012 came to 90.8%. Ecological paper means paper that has a limited and controlled impact on the environment in all of its processes, from forest management for the retrieval of the raw materials to production. Currently, 100% of the paper purchased in Austria, Spain and Switzerland is certified as ecological as it satisfies the criteria established by national and international certification systems such as European Ecolabel, Der Blaue Engel (German blue angel), the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and the PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification).
  • Paper with a lower than normal unit weight, equal to 75 g/m2, is used in all countries, with additional savings in terms of the natural resources employed even if the current consumption rate in terms of sheets of paper remains the same.
  • As well as ecological paper, the Group companies also use a small quantity of recycled paper, equal to 6.9%.

As well as ecological paper, the companies in all of the EMS countries are also committed to purchasing stationery and toner with low environmental impact. Indeed, many countries have a catalogue of 'green' products which includes, for example, solvent-free pens with water-based ink, pencils made with wood from sustainably managed forests, and toner produced with recycled and/or regenerated materials. In 2012, the companies in the System bought 464 quintals of toner cartridges (-28.5% compared to 2011), of which 39.7% were regenerated and 12.5% recycled. In this context, the network of Alleanza Toro agencies in Italy is equipped with EcoBoxes, containers provided directly by the toner supplier who manages the delivery and collection of the boxes and the refilling of the cartridges.

Initiatives to reduce paper consumption in 2012
COUNTRYTYPE OF INITIATIVE
Italy, Austria, France,
Germany, Switzerland,
Spain
As well as reducing paper and electricity consumption, the replacement of individual
photocopiers, printers and fax machines with multifunctional machines or centralised printers
for the office/floor makes it possible to streamline workplaces, improve service levels, and
reduce IT waste.
Italy, Austria, France,
Germany, Switzerland
As well as eliminating the use of paper, replacing the paper communications sent to customers
and sales networks with electronic communications (e-mail, text message) makes it possible to
keep in constant contact with clients.
Italy, Austria, France,
Germany, Switzerland
The electronic storage and digitalisation of documents is increasingly widespread with benefits in
terms of both the accessibility and the security and confidentiality of the documents. Thanks to
electronic archiving, over 14 million sheets of paper were saved in 2012.
ItalySince 2012 members of the Assicurazioni Generali Board of Directors have only received
documents in electronic format to be read on tablets. In january 2013 the newspaper project
was launched, which involves a subscription to the online edition of the Sole24Ore newspaper.
There was also a switch from paper lunch vouchers to electronic lunch vouchers which, as well
as eliminating the use of paper, also has positive effects on emissions as the vouchers are no
longer physically distributed to the various sites.
AustriaSome workstations were equipped with two monitors to reduce the need to print documents;
in addition, fabric towels are used instead of paper towels in the bathrooms, which also
reduces the amount of waste produced.

The majority of the measures described above have had positive effects on paper consumption as well as toner and energy consumption. This reduction in consumption can be added to the reduction resulting from changes already made or ongoing with regard to the Group's real estate assets.