Barmenia Versicherungen: The climate-neutral insurance provider

Since 2016, Barmenia Versicherungen has been a climate-neutral insurance provider. Since 2010, the company has implemented numerous climate-friendly initiatives and offset unavoidable emissions from their Wuppertal headquarters. Additional initiatives aim to reduce emissions even further.

Barmenia Versicherungen is one of the largest independent insurance providers in Germany. Their products include health, life and accident insurance as well as auto, third-party liability and property insurance.

Climate protection objective:

  • Gradually replace energy-saving light bulbs with LED lighting
  • Replace 500 21-inch TFT monitors with larger, more energy-efficient 27-inch and 34-inch monitors (savings of around 10,000 kWh per year)
  • Continue reducing paper consumption (from accepting applications to issuing insurance certificates as well as contract and claims processes)

1 of 3

Photo: Barmenia Versicherungen, Kristina Malis

Barmenia headquarters in Wuppertal with a solar lawnmower

Diverse methods to protect the climate

At the end of 2010, Barmenia set themselves the goal of running a carbon-neutral business by 2016. In the years since, they've been committed to optimising their environmental and energy management and lowering their resource consumption and CO2 emissions with technological, administrative and behavioural changes. Their Wuppertal headquarters and all branch offices (regional head offices, brokers and local offices) are now powered by green electricity. Forty energy meters that record detailed usage data have been installed to monitor total power use and encourage continuous reduction. In addition to implementing a series of small initiatives to promote efficiency, the entire IT infrastructure has been rebuilt and streamlined. Likewise, IT processes are now predominately paperless. From accepting applications to sending insurance certificates, it is all carried out sans paper. For situations in which paper is unavoidable, Barmenia now purchases certified sustainable paper and has lowered the weight per page. Sending things in the mail has also gone green and is now a carbon-neutral process. Furthermore, they have implemented an intelligent travel management system that takes into account economic, social and environmental criteria when arranging business travel.

Continual reduction in use

Barmenia’s commitment to a diverse set of climate-friendly practices has resulted in an annual savings of some 4,000 tonnes of CO2 – that's nearly two-thirds of their initial emissions – compared with the 2010 baseline. In 2016, the 2,200 tonnes of unavoidable CO2 emissions from 2015 were offset using a certified climate protection project. In hopes of reducing their offset amounts even further, Barmenia is continuing to work on lowering their emissions. Additional initiatives to be implemented include installing more LED lighting, replacing screens with energy-saving monitors, and additional reductions in paper consumption. Barmenia's commitment to sustainable practices doesn't stop at the business level, however. Since 2013, the insurance provider has hosted a sustainability day for employees at their Wuppertal headquarters with the intention of sensitising them to this issue and offering ways to apply sustainable practices in the home.