CSR Evaluation
Insurance Germany

Zielke Research Consult GmbH

Since 2018, Zielke Research Consult GmbH has been conducting an analysis of the sustainability reports of German insurers. The insurers are given the opportunity to achieve a benchmark comparison from this. The aim is to make it easier for policyholders to assess whether their money is being used in an environmentally friendly way. 

The topic of "sustainability" is playing an increasingly relevant role in the insurance industry. This is the result of the "Spotlight" for which the analysts of Zielke Research Consult GmbH examined the CSR reports of the German and two Austrian insurance companies. Listed companies with more than 500 employees are obliged to report.

"It seems that the insurance industry has understood the relevance of non-financial aspects. Public pressure and the advancing climate movement are leading to an ever-increasing awareness in the insurance industry. Short-term measures in particular are focused on the issue of sustainability. In contrast, work is still being done on the long-term nature of ESG integration," the spotlight states.

Unfortunately, insurers do not disclose the sustainability criteria of their investment policy as they should. Only one third of the analysed insurers report on a concrete inclusion of ecological and social criteria in their investment policy and thus assume social responsibility for their own actions. Some give the impression that key figures are chosen arbitrarily or are corrected retroactively.

The analysts examined a total of 46 reports by insurers to determine how transparently they disclose their corporate actions in the areas of environment, social and governance. What kind of policies does the insurer have to reduce its CO2 emissions in the company and in its investments? How committed is the company to its own employees and society, for example in the area of inclusion? How solvent is the company?

In the overall result, the industry has improved from 0.03 to 0.05 points. At the European level, the value is 0.46. In the area of environment, the overall value has even increased from -0.13 to +0.55. Efforts in the ecological area have increased strongly. Two-thirds of the insurers now have responsibles for sustainability issues. Analysts also rate insurers more positively on social issues in 2019 than in 2018, with the rating rising from -1 to -0.87. So there is still room for improvement. There is also a minimal increase in governance.

To motivate insurers to act even more transparently and sustainably, Zielke Research Consult GmbH has developed a CSR label. A golden label is awarded for more than 2.0 points, a silver label for 1.0-2.0 and a bronze label for 0.0 to 1.0 overall score to the insurers who support this study.

Gothaer, Helvetia, Sparkassen-Versicherung and Allianz SE can adorn themselves with a gold label. Debeka receives a silver label and Rheinland-Versicherung and Munich Re a bronze label

Gothaer "achieves first place in the ranking this year. For the first time, specific measures to reduce CO2 emissions and the purchase of green electricity are mentioned. Gothaer also reports transparently for the first time on the inclusion of ESG criteria in its investment policy and presents the proportion of sustainable investments. Reporting in the social area is much more concrete and transparent," says the Spotlight.

The 2020 study will take into account the discoverability of reports, verification by external companies and the overall promotion of employee health. The EU Commission has also commissioned EFRAG to develop new standards to further expand the CSR Directive. Dr Carsten Zielke is a member of the corresponding commission. With this acquired know-how, Zielke Research GmbH intends to offer and certify a separate audit of the capital investment and the passive side with regard to ESG criteria from next year.

german spotlight

Zielke Research Consult



Zielke Research Consult



Zielke Research Consult