Sampo Group's companies follow the common values of ethicality, loyalty, transparency and enterprise in their business operations and contacts with all stakeholders. Insurance is a business where responsibility and trust are inherent in daily customer contacts. Social responsibility is high on the agenda in the Group. If P&C, the largest P&C insurer in the Nordic countries, represents 92 per cent of the Group's personnel and is a natural focal point for Corporate responsibility activities in Sampo Group.
If's guiding principle as a company is to contribute to a society where everyone has the opportunity to live a safe and comfortable life. The insurance company is, in fact, one of the most important contributors to our daily sense of security - together with law enforcement, emergency rescue, and other public authorities. In 2010 alone, If processed 1.4 million insurance claims ranging from individual consumers injured on the open road to companies that saw their production facilities go up in smoke. All in all, If paid out close to EUR 3 billion in claims over the past year.
As the leading insurance company in the Nordic region, If takes on a social responsibility heavier than that brought on by business alone. If uses its unique knowledge of risk management to help build a safe environment in the areas where it does business. Its goal is to always act in ways that meet, or preferably exceed, the ethical, legal, and commercial requirements placed upon the company.
As an example, If has taken an intensive interest in environmental issues over the past few years, and all the company's actions are guided by a strict environmental policy. The fundamental thought behind the policy is that If should always seek out the most environmentally viable solution for the company itself, its customers, suppliers and partners. If has joined the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) program in year 2010, and will become climate neutral over the course of 2011.
The year 2010 saw a long line of concrete actions:
- If introduced a selection of environmentally conscious insurance products. Among others, the coverage of damages to the environment has been increased in Finnish home insurance policies; customized insurance for electrically powered cars has been developed in several countries of business; and there is an on-going effort to increase corporate awareness of the need for environmental liability insurance.
- An ambitious, company-internal awareness program was implemented. The program contains 100 areas in need of improved environmental awareness. One of these focus points is unnecessary travel, which has now dropped almost 33 per cent over the past three years. This has been accomplished, among other solutions, through a conscious move towards video and web meetings. Video meetings have, in fact, more than doubled during this timeframe.
- Since If handles over 300,000 damaged motor vehicles annually, and outsources reparations to housing and commercial facilities to the degree of several million Swedish krona per year, the company is in the position to continue to place climate-friendly demands on its suppliers and their selections of transport, materials, work methods, and emission and waste level control. In 2010, for example, the total amount saved by If's multi-year investment into developing new work methods passed EUR 10 million - auto-repair shops can now fix damaged plastic parts instead of replacing them with new ones.
If has an extensive program for supporting a wide range of safety advances. In Sweden, If is an avid supporter of the Rädda Barnen (Save the Children) organization's work against Internet bullying, and cooperates with both the national Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (Direktoratet for samfunnssikkerhet og beredskap) and the Fire Protection Association in Norway (Norsk Brannvernforening). In Finland, the company keeps first graders safe with fluorescent yellow caps that ensure the children stand out in traffic on their way to school.
Additionally, If puts great effort into helping customers prevent accidents on their own. This is done on a smaller scale by offering safety-increasing products to consumers, and on a larger scale by supporting commercial customers through systematic risk analyses.
Naturally, If also tries to convince politicians and other decision makers to come to sensible and far-sighted decisions. In Sweden, for example, If has alerted zoning officials to the risks of raised water levels in hopes that they will weigh the risks before taking a stand on any new waterfront housing. If's researchers also analyze the company's extensive statistics on motor vehicle accidents with the aim that the information will be used to improve road safety. One of many results of this work is a report on which traffic situations are most dangerous for pedestrians.
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