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Corporate Social Responsibility

Gjensidige’s object is to create value for society through safeguarding life, health and assets and by relieving customers of risk. We shall ensure that our experience and expertise in loss prevention benefit society at large. Our activities shall contribute to a good, sustainable society characterised by respect for human rights and the environment we live in.

Introduction

Gjensidige follows Oslo Børs’s guidance on the reporting of corporate social responsibility, which was introduced in 2016. The report is based on an analysis of the most important stakeholders we interface with in our activities, and of CSR matters that are relevant to our relations with these stakeholders. 

The analysis is part of our annual risk mapping.

It involves a number of key personnel in various positions in the Group, including the Senior Group Management.

In 2016, approximately 30 stakeholder groups were assessed, and 5 of them were considered to be of particular importance to the risk analysis:

  • Public authorities
  • Owners
  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Partner organisations 

We meet these stakeholders in various arenas, such as

  • Written correspondence
  • Meetings
  • Conferences
  • Presentations
  • Phone calls 

The assessment of relevant topics is based on

  • what topics the stakeholders are concerned with
  • what consequences it will have for Gjensidige not to meet stakeholder expectations
  • what consequences it will have for the stakehol- ders if we do not meet their expectations 

The result of the analysis can be compiled in a table, where topics of great significance to both stakeholders and Gjensidige are placed in the top right-hand corner. Topics of less significance to Gjensidige and the stakeholders are placed in the bottom left-hand corner.Table-SCR

It is important to underline that all the above-men- tioned topics are important. The matrix must be read as a prioritised overview of the areas in which it is natural to have expectations of Gjensidige, how great a risk there is of Gjensidige not meeting expectations, and what the consequences could be if the expectations are not met. 

One example of this could be waste handling, which is not considered material to us, although it is an important topic in general. Gjensidige does not have any processes that generate significant amounts of waste. Our waste production is largely related to office supplies, the running of cafeterias and hygiene. For that reason, it is not natural for stakeholders to be very concerned with Gjensidige’s waste production. This does not mean that we neglect the topic, however. We have sound systems in place for separation at source and recycling, and make constant efforts to minimise the amount of waste we generate.

Measures and results

Gjensidige offers general insurance products to private and commercial customers in the Nordic region and the Baltic states. In Norway, we also offer banking and savings services to private customers and pension products to commercial customers. 

Gjensidige’s corporate social responsibility policy is based on our role as one of the biggest insurance companies in the Nordic region with significant engagement in investment activities with a global focus. 

Corporate social responsibility is an integral part of our business operations. We are an insurance company and wish to use our expertise and influ- ence in areas where we can play a significant role. 

In line with this, Gjensidige shall contribute to safe communities where we operate and make arran- gements so that our employees can demonstrate social commitment. All aspects of our activities shall be based on respect for human rights and employees’ right to meaningful work under safe conditions.

Gjensidige’s employees must comply with laws and regulations in the societies in which we do business, and act in accordance with ethical norms. Ethics and compliance with laws and regulations are key aspects of the internal training of our staff.

We shall seek to engage in dialogue with all interest groups affected by our activities.

We shall ensure as little negative impact on the environment and climate as possible.

The Board and the management have adopted policies, guidelines and instructions that detail and specify the framework our employees must adhere to in different situations. Documents that are particularly relevant to the exercise of our corporate social responsibility are listed in a table on page 35.

A full version of the guidelines for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and socially responsible invest- ments (SRI) is available at www.gjensidige.no. 

Several other chapters in this annual report are relevant to understanding how Gjensidige exer- cises its corporate social responsibility. The most important are:

  • Corporate governance. Page 36
  • Note 3, Management of insurance risk and financial risk. Page 88
  • Note 18, Pay and remuneration. Page 132
  • Note 28, Share-based payment. Page 143 

The Company’s operations are described in more detail on page 8. Our strategy, financial targets and key figures are described on pages 8 and 3, respectively. Capital management is described on page 16.

Loss prevention

Our core business – insurance – gives customers security by reducing or removing negative financial consequences of damage, injuries and accidents. This is an important welfare need in modern societies. It is nonetheless better for the customer, the insurance company and society as a whole
to prevent such events occurring. Loss prevention is therefore a natural and important part of Gjensidige’s core activities and corporate social responsibility.

Through our operations, we have acquired extensive expertise in loss prevention. This know-how shall as far as possible be used for the benefit of society at large.

Most insurance policies are designed to motivate the customer to avoid losses, both through incentives to reduce risk and through the customers usually having to carry some of the financial risk themselves.

The price customers pay for their insurance is normally strongly affected by the financial risk the customer represents. This risk is affected by the customer’s choice of house, car and behaviour, among other things. We reward a number of security measures by giving a discount on the insurance premium. Measures that contribute to reducing the risk for both us and customers include burglar alarms, inspections of electrical systems in buildings, the installation of equipment that reduces the risk of water damage in buildings, and tracking systems for cars.

Young drivers are especially at risk of being involved in accidents. In order to reduce the number of
such accidents, Gjensidige therefore has several measures targeting this group in particular.

In Norway, we give an insurance discount to young people who have practised driving with an accompanying driver for a sufficient number of kilometres.

When they reach the age of 23, customers who have driven claim-free for the past year or longer will be paid an amount as a reward. The longer the claim-free period, the bigger the reward.

We collaborate with the Norwegian Council for Road Safety (Trygg Trafikk) on awareness-raising campaigns in upper secondary schools several places in Norway.

We also collaborate with other insurance companies on road safety through the industry organisation Finance Norway.

In Latvia, Gjensidige contributes to improving road safety through an annual campaign that encoura- ges pedestrians to wear reflectors.

With the help of weather data, we send text messages to customers likely to be affected by bad weather. The messages are based on official weather data and our customer data, so that we avoid distributing false alarms. Every year, we receive feedback from grateful customers who have had time to secure their assets thanks to these messages.

Fire is something that severely affects our custo- mers, both financially and, not least, personally. Together with the Norwegian Fire Protection Association, the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB) and local fire brigades, we organised the ‘Aksjon Boligbrann’ fire prevention campaign in autumn 2016. It involved visiting 40,000 homes. We also contributed to the develop- ment and marketing of educational material on fire prevention for schools. Approximately 20,000 children take part in this training every year.

Every year, Gjensidige is represented on a number of councils, committees and boards, both in

Norway and abroad, that work on fire prevention, prevention of water damage and other initiatives for the benefit of society.

For many years, we have been the main sponsor of the Norwegian women’s national handball team, and in 2016, we also sponsored the men’s national football team. We use these sponsorships to create activities for children and young people that can help to recruit new players into the sport and thereby promote a healthier lifestyle.

Socially responsible capital management

Our investment activities are globally oriented, and we invest in countries where respecting human rights is not a matter of course. By doing so, we risk becoming part-owner of companies that contribute to violating human rights through their production of goods and services or their treatment of employees, suppliers, the local community or other interest groups.

The Board of Gjensidige Forsikring has adopted a group policy for socially responsible investments. It states that our investment portfolio shall comply with internationally recognised guidelines for soci- ally responsible investments: The policy mentions the following areas in particular:

  • Human rights
  • Labour standards
  • The environment
  • Corruption
  • Weapons

The Group’s Chief Investment Officer is responsible for ensuring compliance with the guidelines. Follow-up requires both time and special expertise. We have therefore hired two external consultancy firms to carry out continuous monitoring of companies. The external consultants prepare lists of companies that they believe Gjensidige should not invest in, and why.

One member of the capital management team is responsible for reviewing and compiling all informa- tion from the external consultants. This employee draws up a recommendation to the Chief Investment Officer and the Chief Risk Officer, who reach a final decision on whether to exclude the company in question.

When a company is excluded, we will make sure that the company is not part of any portfolios that we manage ourselves, either by not buying securities in the company or by selling any securities we own.
In connection with all individual investments in securities, we check the exclusion list to avoid investing in companies that have been excluded.

In the case of investments in funds managed by others and where Gjensidige does not decide the framework conditions, we will enter into dialogue with the fund manager with a view to excluding the company concerned. If the dialogue does not lead to a satisfactory outcome, we will terminate our investment in the fund. We also check the fund managers’ SRI policy when we consider entering into management agreements.

Meetings on socially responsible investments are held every quarter and as needed. In 2016, it was decided to exclude 12 companies from Gjensidige’s invest- ment portfolio. At year-end, a total of 85 companies had been excluded.

Our real estate investments are made through the property company Oslo Areal, a company that engages in property development in the Oslo area and invests in environmentally friendly buildings near public transport hubs. The company uses the BREEAM NOR environmental classification system for new buildings and complete restorations.

Labour rights and competence-raising

Gjensidige aims to be a health-promoting work- place where all employees are given opportunities for professional development and competence-rai- sing. We believe that people thrive when they can use their abilities, develop and be part of a larger group. It is our responsibility to facilitate this, but
it is also a sound investment if Gjensidige is to succeed in the time ahead.

At year-end 2016, the Group had a total of 4,005 employees.

Under Norwegian law, employees of the Group are entitled to be represented on the Company’s governing bodies. Employee representatives are elected by and from among the employees.

The cooperation between the Company’s manage- ment and the employees’ trade unions is systema- tic and good, and it is based on a well-established structure with regular meetings of various commit- tees. Rules have been adopted for what processes and decisions employee representatives shall be involved in. Employee representatives are paid by the Company.

In 2016, 86 per cent of the Company’s employees in Norway were covered by collective agreements. In Denmark, approximately 90 per cent of our employees were covered by collective agreements, and in Sweden nearly 100 per cent.

Diversity and discrimination


We work to ensure that all employees in the Group have equal opportunities for personal and professi- onal development. We do not tolerate discrimina- tion on the basis of

  • gender
  • age
  • disabilities
  • ethnic origin
  • sexual orientation
  • religion

Recruitment and HSE procedures ensure compli- ance with the Norwegian Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act.

One measure aimed at ensuring such compliance is the compilation of pay statistics to shed light on any differences in pay for the same work or work of equivalent value. Any nonconformities will be followed up by actions. No special measures relating to equality or discrimination have been necessary in 2016.

At year-end 2016, the number of women and men among our employees was almost exactly the same.

The Group’s Board had ten members in 2016, five of whom were women. Of the seven representatives who were not elected by and from among the employees, three were women.

Eight of the Senior Group Management’s nine members were men. Of the male executive vice presidents, one was acting as replacement for a female EVP on parental leave.

In addition to the Senior Group Management, 395 employees in Norway, Sweden and Denmark held executive positions in 2016. Of these, 64 per cent were men and 36 per cent women.

Gjensidige wishes to increase the proportion of women in executive positions, and this is well known among managers at all levels. This ambition
has contributed to a higher proportion of female managers over time.

In 2016 we surveyed differences between male and female employees in Gjensidige Forsikring Norway when it comes to pay and working conditions.The survey showed that

  • 52 percent of employees are men, and 48 percent women
  • 98 percent of male employees work full time
  • 87 percent of female employees work full time
  • Average annual salary for full time employed women amounts to 84 percent of average annual salary for full time employed men
  • Differences in pay between women and men are highest among the employees of the higher age groups. There is no difference between employ- ees under 30 years of age
  • The percentage with higher education is higher among men than women

We have an equality and discrimination commit- tee that meets when necessary. The committee comprises staff from the HR department and employee representatives. It is the Group’s HSE manager who decides when to convene the committee. Employees reporting discrimination is a typical reason for holding a meeting. The commit- tee held one meeting in 2016. The topic was equal pay for women and men. No wage disparities on the basis of gender were identified in Gjensidige.

Gjensidige shall be an inclusive workplace for all employees. We are an Inclusive Workplace (IW) enterprise and cooperate with the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) on job training for people who, for various reasons, have been unemployed. NAV pays subsidies for employees who suffer from chronic illnesses but still manage to work. We have had employees on job training through this programme in 2016.

All our big office buildings are of universal design in order to accommodate employees with disabilities.

Gjensidige has measures in place that are aimed at helping to ensure that older employees can con- tinue working until retirement age. The measures vary between countries. Examples of measures include the possibility of reduced working hours and extra holidays. The average retirement age has increased over time, but fell somewhat in 2016 due to early retirement in connection with restructuring.

A family-friendly company

By law, parents are entitled to paid leave in connection with childbirth in all the countries where Gjensidige has employees.

Parents are allowed to stay home from work when their children are ill, as long as this is necessary and reasonable.

We take steps to ensure that employees can work from home, out of consideration for their family or for other reasons.

 

Human capital and competence development

Good management and continuous competen- ce-raising measures will give Gjensidige important competitive advantages. We also have a responsi- bility to each individual employee and to society to make sure that employees are sufficiently qualified to be attractive employees.

In 2016, Universum named Gjensidige Norway the most attractive employer for economists in the insurance industry. When all professions and industries are included, we were number 39 on the list, 5 places higher than the year before.

Management and employee development is attended to by the staff entity the Gjensidige Customer and Brand School, which is part of HR and is organised under the EVP of Group Staff and General Services.

The HR Department is responsible for strategic staffing planning, including mapping of critical roles and expertise in the Company. The plan ensu- res that there are successors to all critical positions in the Company, and that we always cultivate talents who can take over key positions.

We work systematically on talent recruitment and have developed an employer branding strategy to this end. We make targeted efforts through digital channels to highlight Gjensidige as an employer. We visit relevant educational institutions with stands and presentations for students.

We have established an internship scheme, where students work for us for a whole academic year. In 2016, we had 13 students in internships. The work is intended to be relevant for their studies and to contribute to putting theory into practice.

Every year we organise the ‘Gjensidige Day’ at Gjensidige’s head office, which offers a varied programme for students. In 2016, 60 students participated in presentations, workshops, group interviews and a social event in the afternoon.

The Gjensidige Customer and Brand School is the Group’s tool for ensuring that all employees have the necessary prerequisites for implementing the Group’s customer orientation strategy. All compe- tence-raising measures are aimed at this.

All new Gjensidige employees take part in an introduction day where the CEO and other key personnel talk about the Company’s strategy, competence-building, culture, brand, ethics and more practical information.

Employees who are to work in sales and customer advice participate in a more extensive course programme, leading up to an exam where profes- sional know-how, ethics and customer dialogue are tested. Advisers targeting the private market are certified in accordance with a national industry scheme for the sale of general insurance. The programmes are developed and organised by the Gjensidige Customer and Brand School.

The Gjensidige Customer and Brand School had 7,113 course days in 2016. Almost 1,600 employees participated in courses organised by the Gjensidige Customer and Brand School in 2016.

E-learning plays an increasingly important role in the school’s programmes. It is mainly used for training in insurance subjects, systems, ethics and procedures. In 2016, staff have completed and passed 11,538 e-learning courses. A total of 5,274 different competence tests were held.

Customised management development program- mes have been developed for groups of managers with different experience backgrounds, from newly appointed managers to the senior management group. The management training programme was updated towards the end of 2016, with a view to making the training more adapted to the individual.

In all, we spent NOK 15,000 per employee on competence-raising measures in 2016, which is somewhat less than in 2015. That was in part because of cost reductions and in part because the number of employees increased due to acquisitions. We have an active career development programme in the Company. Among other things, it facilitates internal mobility for the purpose of broadening the employees’ range of competence and experience.

Health, safety and the environment (HSE)

Systematic health, safety and environmental work is given high priority in Gjensidige. Our goal is not only to prevent sickness absence and injuries, but also to ensure that Gjensidige is a health-promo- ting workplace.

We therefore work on preventing and following up sickness absence and on making adaptations for employees with disabilities.

The work stations of all new employees are inspected as soon as possible by a physiotherapist or an ergonomist, if practically possible. The purpose of this is to adapt the work station with a view to avoiding repetitive strain injuries and to provide information about the prevention of health problems.

Our health-promoting measures include (varies from office to office):

  • Arrangements to facilitate cycling to work in the form of bicycle parking and changing rooms
  • Gym rooms
  • Competitions that motivate moderate physical activity on a daily basis
  • Short exercise breaks during working hours
  • Company sports club that organises a range of activities

Special adaptation procedures have been adopted for employees who have health problems that are aggravated by computer work or who wish to pre- vent such problems arising. The Company has not been notified of any repetitive strain injuries in 2016.

Sickness absence was 3.9 per cent in Norway, Denmark and Sweden in 2016. Our goal is to reduce sickness absence to three per cent by 2019.

In 2016, we conducted three internal HSE audits in Norway, two in Denmark and two in Sweden. The result shows that the Company takes a systematic approach to health, safety and the environment, and that relevant measures are successfully implemented. The nonconformities that were found will be addressed and closed.

No work accidents resulting in personal injuries or material damage occurred in 2016.

The HSE work is monitored through external audits and followed up internally by employees with special responsibility for HSE. All incidents that can represent a risk must be reported in the Company’s nonconformity system.

Working environment issues are integrated in the annual employee satisfaction survey.

In 2016, 92 per cent of our employees in six countries chose to take part in the survey. That is a very high response rate. The survey measures various criteria on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 indicates an optimal condition.

The following are a selection of key results from the 2016 survey:

  • Job satisfaction: 73
  • Contentment: 72
  • Motivation: 74

The industry average for corresponding criteria is 67–68.

All managers review the survey with their staff in cooperation with the HR department. Each department defines an action plan that is followed up by the individual managers.

Customer satisfaction and product quality

It is Gjensidige’s goal to be the most customer-ori- ented company in the Nordic insurance industry. Customer orientation permeates our behaviour, priorities and communication at all levels of the organisation. The focus on customers is a key part of product and service development, the training of employees, advisory services, sales, claims settle- ment and the handling of complaints.

Customers’ satisfaction with the Company and individual advisers is measured on a continuous basis, and improvement measures are initiated based on feedback from the customers. Gjensidige has defined clear goals for customer satisfaction. The level of goal attainment influences the payment of bonuses to executive personnel and collective bonuses to all employees.

In 2016, Gjensidige’s customer satisfaction index (KTI) was 77.4 at group level, which is an increase of 1.2 from 2015, and a very good result.

The quality of insurance products is not directly measureable. Quality for the individual customer will depend on the extent to which their expectati- ons are met in connection with claims settlements. It is Gjensidige’s ambition that all customers shall receive the right settlement as soon as possible.
Both factors are important to their perception of quality.

The possibility of efficient but thorough complaints handling is part of delivering high-quality claims settlements. Gjensidige has established a complaints system whereby customer complaints can be considered at three levels.

The first level is the case officer. If the case officer does not reverse his/her decision, the customer can complain to the second level – the customer ombudsman – which is the Company’s internal complaints board. The customer ombudsman service is staffed by highly experienced claims settlement personnel, who can take a fresh look at the case without being influenced by the original case officer’s personal assessment.

The third level is the Norwegian Financial Services Complaints Board (Finansklagenemnda), which is a joint complaints board for the whole insurance industry that comprises representatives of the consumer authorities, the financial industry and independent experts. The composition ensures that the independent representatives decide the outcome of cases in which the consumer authori- ties and the financial industry disagree.

The number of complaints can provide an indica- tion of how well Gjensidige succeeds in its ambition to deliver high-quality claims settlements.

The Financial Services Complaints Board received 389 complaints from Gjensidige customers in 2016. They accounted for 12 per cent of all insurance-re- lated complaints to the Board. This must be seen in conjunction with the fact that Gjensidige had a market share of 25,6 per cent in 2016.

Of the cases reported to the Financial Services Complaints Board, the Board found in favour of the customer in whole or in part in 21 per cent of the cases. A high percentage would indicate that the threshold for succeeding with a complaint internally in Gjensidige was high.

Innovation and technology development

In order to ensure that our products and customer service maintain a high international level at all times, we collaborate with research institutions

on innovation. In the period 2015 to 2022, we are participating in a research collaboration with, among others, the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen and the Norwegian Computing Centre on several projects that we expect to give us new insight into topics relating to the processing of large data volumes (big data). Examples include risk pricing, forecast and trend analyses and insurance fraud. 

Other Norwegian companies and public bodies also participate in the project, which is called Big Insight.

Customers and data protection

The Norwegian Data Protection Agency has gran- ted Gjensidige a licence to process personal data, and laws and regulations regulate our collection, storage and use of such data. A group policy and instructions provide detailed guidelines on the processing of personal data.

Gjensidige’s employees are bound by a statutory duty of secrecy about all matters relating to our customers. Data protection training is mandatory for all new employees and is also a part of the introductory programme. Access to personal custo- mer data shall only be granted to employees who need it in the course of their work. The Company shall not obtain other personal data than what it needs to serve the individual customer.

Personal data shall only be used and stored for as long as this is necessary, and they shall be deleted immediately when they are no longer needed, unless special exemptions are authorised by law.

The Senior Group Management has overriding responsibility for the processing of personal data and internal control relating thereto. Other mana- gers are responsible for ensuring that employees who have access to personal data have the competence and other qualifications required to be able to comply with the regulations and protect the customer’s personal data.

The data protection officers have an independent role and are in contact with the Norwegian Data Protection Agency and with customers and employees who have enquiries about personal data. They also have an internal control function.

Customers can request access to the information stored about them at any time, and they can demand that incorrect information be corrected. The request for access may be rejected in special cases following a concrete assessment, for example in connection with the investigation of insurance fraud.

Our privacy statement is available at gjensidige.no. It describes how we handle personal data.

The requirements for information security are revi- sed at least once a year. Risk assessments relating to personal data shall be carried out on a regular basis, as part of the Company’s ordinary internal control process, and in connection with any change that can affect security.

 

Notification of matters warranting criticism

Employees are encouraged to report matters warranting criticism and matters they perceive as ethically dubious. Everyone has a duty to report cri- minal matters, or if life or health is at risk. A poster with instructions on procedures for whistleblowing is easily accessible on our intranet site.

Whistleblowing is facilitated through two electronic mailboxes:

  • An internal mailbox for reporting ethics-related matters
  • An external mailbox for reporting irregularities and malpractices

Notifications to the internal mailbox are dealt with by the Company’s HR department based on clear procedures. Relevant matters are reported to the Group’s risk committee and the Board.

Whistleblowers are protected by Norwegian law and the Company’s internal regulations, and employees who report such matters shall not be subjected to reprisals.

Notifications to the external mailbox are in principle anonymous, unless the whistleblower chooses to provide his/her name. Employees may submit notifications to this mailbox anonymously, as may customers, suppliers and other external stakehol- ders.

Notifications of irregularities or malpractices are dealt with by Gjensidige’s Internal Investigation Unit. The department carries out a preliminary investigation or assessment based on the content of the notification.

If the investigations uncover matters that warrant criticism, HR will take over the case and ensure that it is dealt with. The CEO will decide whether to report employees to the police.

Ethical and customer-friendly business operations

Gjensidige shall have a corporate culture where each individual employee exercises good judge- ment and is able to handle difficult situations that may arise. Our value creation shall take place in accordance with our ethical guidelines. They are set out in a number of policy documents that are managed by the EVP of Group Staff and General Services.

Our code of ethics describes our values and under- lines that all our activities must stand up to public scrutiny. Together with other documents, the code of ethics describes what is acceptable conduct and requires all employees to behave in a respectful, considerate and generally polite manner in relation to colleagues, competitors, customers and others.

The risk of criminal offences and violations of our code of ethics is monitored as part of our internal control system. The Board carries out an annual review of our most important risk areas and internal control procedures. Risk management and internal control are described in more detail on page 68 and in note 3.

Zero tolerance for corruption

Denmark, Sweden and Norway are all among the six countries in the world with the lowest perceived levels of corruption, according to Transparency International. In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, cor- ruption is perceived as a bigger problem, according to the same ranking.

For Gjensidige, the risk of corruption will largely be related to the Company’s sale of insurance and investment advice to the private and public sector, entering into agreements and the procurement of goods and services.

Our definition of corruption follows the definition used in Norwegian law: abusing one’s position to obtain an advantage for the company, oneself or others. The work on combating corruption requires clearly defined rules and active enforcement of the rules.

Gjensidige’s internal regulations state that the Company has zero tolerance for corruption and anything resembling corruption. The regulations consist of instructions and a group policy adopted by the Board. Group policies on ethical rules and a specification of ethical guidelines relating to hospitality activities, plus guidelines on welfare measures, seminars and gifts are also relevant in this context.

It follows from this that our employees are not allowed to offer or receive bribes or facilitation payments. The same applies to gifts that can be regarded as improper. The rules apply to managers and employees at all levels of the Company, also in countries that are not covered by Norwegian law. Special rules have been stipulated for employees with responsibility for relations with customers and suppliers.

Other measures that, together with the regula- tions, make up our anti-corruption programme include:

  • Risk assessments
  • Internal control
  • The anti-corruption handbook
  • Whistleblowing procedures
  • Procedures for handling nonconformities and violations
  • Dilemma training
  • E-learning

The programme gives a detailed description of what is meant by corruption, examples of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and assignments intended to contribute to reflection on difficult situations.

It is not permitted to accept gifts worth more than NOK 500. Regardless of the gift’s value, it must not be accepted if it means that the employee’s partiality or independence can be placed in doubt.
All gifts and hospitality activities must be registered in the Company’s gift and hospitality register.

All managers are responsible for establishing procedures and processes in their area of responsi- bility in order to prevent and uncover irregularities and fraudulent acts, including corruption. Our Internal Investigation Unit is tasked with uncovering corruption and it is responsible for investigating concrete cases where improper conduct is suspe- cted. The unit shall also contribute to establishing and developing procedures and processes that can prevent and uncover such matters.

The rules are available at gjensidige.no, on the intranet and in e-learning courses, and managers shall contribute to ensuring that employees are aware of the rules. The purpose is to prevent and help to put a stop to activities that can entail a breach of the regulations at an early stage.

All new employees in the Group participate in an introductory course at which ethics and corruption are on the agenda.

Gjensidige does not make donations to politicians, political parties or organisations with a mainly political agenda.

Money laundering and financing of terrorism

In the field of insurance, Gjensidige is required to take a risk-based approach to money laundering and financing of terrorism. That means that we carry out a risk assessment in connection with the sale of insurance to new and existing customers, and the payment of claims. The risk assessment
is comprehensive and is based on characteristics of the customer, the customer relationship, the product, the transaction and other matters of relevance.

The risk assessment may result in more extensive customer due diligence measures. Customer service staff are subject to clear guidelines for when such measures shall be initiated, and how to handle such a situation.

If such measures fail to clarify the situation, the Company will carry out more detailed investigations in order to clarify whether the transaction can be carried out. The investigations are carried out by the Company’s Investigation department, which comprises employees who have previously worked in the police and have expertise in and experience of investigations.

In cases where there is a sufficiently strong suspicion of money laundering or financing of terrorism, Gjensidige will report the matter to the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim).

If money laundering or financing of terrorism can be substantiated, the Company will refrain from taking out insurance or settling claims, to the extent that such sanctions are permitted by law.

A solid defence against money laundering is not only necessary because of official instructions.
In the insurance business, money laundering often goes hand in hand with insurance fraud. At Gjensidige, we look at the fight against Money laundering as a natural part of good risk selection, based on the principle ‘know your customers’.

The work to combat money laundering is prioritised at corporate management level. Internal regulations and risk analyses are managed by an executive vice president. Risk analyses are presented to the Senior Group Management once a year. The importance of combating money laundering is clearly communicated at all levels.

The money laundering regulations for banking and investment services deviate slightly from the insurance industry. Separate money laundering instructions have been established for Gjensidige Bank, as well as clear procedures for uncovering and dealing with suspected money laundering. An anti-money laundering officer has been appointed, who follows up cases that the customer service staff cannot resolve themselves.

Employees who have contact with customers undergo thorough training in money laundering regulations and procedures. This applies in all parts of the Group.

Underwriting-policy

Good risk selection is decisive for financial strength and profitability. Gjensidige’s underwriting policy is intended to provide the Company with an overview and control of its risk exposure. It is also intended to ensure that the Company complies with applicable laws and regulations, and that it acts in a way that is generally perceived as fair and reasonable, and that is in line with Gjensidige’s guidelines for ethical business operations.

The underwriting policy explicitly states that the Company shall not enter into insurance contracts that form the basis for the payment of claims or other benefits to states or geographical areas subject to sanctions adopted by the UN or the EU.

Procurements and suppliers

We make equally strict ethical demands of our sup- pliers as of ourselves. Procurements over a certain size must be quality-approved by the Corporate Procurement department. Most purchasing agreements are the result of competitive tendering carried out in accordance with adopted guidelines. All our suppliers must sign a self-declaration on corporate social responsibility.

Companies that provide services in connection with claims payments for damaged buildings in Norway must be certified in Startbank. Startbank is a register of suppliers that is used by purchasers in the fields of building, construction, public admi- nistration, insurance and real estate. This ensures that qualified suppliers are law-abiding and that competition takes place on equal terms.

All material procurements are ordered electroni- cally. As far as possible, all suppliers shall use ele- ctronic invoicing. Documents relating to invitations to tender, negotiations and agreements are stored electronically. Competitive tender procedures are carried out with the help of online portals.

The use of electronic tools ensures that all processes are documented and verifiable, and this prevents irregularities.

The environment and climate

Gjensidige’s activities do not pollute the natural environment to any great extent. Our CSR policy states that the we shall have as little negative impact on the environment and climate as possible.

In order to ensure that we impact the environment as little as possible, all our 11 Norwegian offices that have more than 30 employees are certified Eco-Lighthouses. Eco-Lighthouse is a national environmental certification scheme run by the Eco-Lighthouse Foundation. The foundation was established by key organisations in the private and public sector.

The offices that are certified Eco-Lighthouses use an environmental management system for the handling and reduction of materials consumption, waste, energy consumption and transport.

An annual environmental report is prepared for all these offices that documents the status of implemented environmental measures and action plans for the coming year. Among other things, the report covers waste handling, energy consumption, procurements, paper consumption, transport and climate accounts.

The offices must be recertified every three years. It is an extensive process that is carried out by an external adviser certified by the Eco-Lighthouse Foundation.

Annual reporting and regular recertification ensure that our offices live up to the highest standards for environmentally friendly operations.

At our Copenhagen office, systems and procedures for handling and sorting waste are approved by the City of Copenhagen’s environmental authorities.

As a knowledge-based company, our direct emissi- ons are largely related to the running of offices and to travel and transport.

We work systematically to reduce our impact on the natural environment by limiting our consump- tion of energy and the generation of various types of waste, such as paper, office supplies, electrical appliances and household waste.

The environmental measures focus on energy effici- ency, reduced travel through increased use of video conferences, and responsible waste management with extensive use of separation at source.

The Group’s energy consumption in 2016 was 12,000 MWh. Most of our energy consumption is related to lighting, heating and computers. The energy carriers are electricity, which in Norway is almost exclusively based on hydropower; district heating, which is largely based on waste incinera- tion; and fuel oil.

The consumption breaks down as follows:

  • Electricity: 8,387 MWh
  • District heating: 1,811 MWh
  • Fuel oil: 95 MWh

Approximately 63 per cent of the electricity was consumed in Norway.

In the course of the year we reduced the energy consumption at our head office by a considerable amount by optimizing ventilation, cooling and heating. The energy consumption in our Baltic offices increased due to an acquisition.

We have established a company car policy that entails that CO2 emissions from company cars cannot exceed 130 grams per kilometre. At our head office, we have three electric cars that employees can use in connection with meetings and private errands, so that we reduce the use of taxis and private cars.

We help our employees to be environmentally friendly, both in the performance of their duties, as employees in general and in their spare time, among other things through information published on our intranet site. The information includes tips on how to reduce the production of waste and how to recycle, how to achieve maximum energy savings and how to reduce the use of polluting transport and travel.

The assets we insure, such as cars, buildings and companies, will cause pollution to a varying extent. Sensible risk-pricing will usually have a favourable environmental profile, in the sense that large objects that are demanding in terms of resources have a hig- her insurance premium than less demanding objects.

By their nature, losses have a negative impact on the environment, since resources are needed to repair the damage or replace the loss. The insurance premium is affected by the risk of loss, and, together with our loss prevention work, this contributes to fewer losses and less harm to the environment.

Gjensidige did not cause illegal emissions or receive fines or other sanctions relating to the environment in 2016.

Sustainable products

In cooperation with the Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF), the member organisation for car owners, we have developed an environmentally friendly car loan for hybrid, hydrogen and electric cars. The loan is distributed by NAF and furnished by Gjensidige Bank. 

We work continuously to increase the proportion of ‘paperless’ customers, meaning customers who choose to receive information from us through digital channels instead of on paper. With the exception of information that is required by law to be distributed on paper, paperless customers receive all documentation and other information by email, text messages or when they log into our web portal.

Digital customer communication improves the customer experience and contributes to reducing costs and paper consumption.

In 2016, the proportion increased from 60 to 65 per cent.

 

Climate change, trends and insurance

Global warming and climate change will affect our business, our customers and the society we are part of. The same applies to changes in technology, demographics and a number of other factors.

In the countries where we do business, climate change will most likely lead to increased precipita- tion and more frequent storms. This will increase the risk of both personal injuries and material damage. Weather data and claims incurred in the last 35 years indicate that this is already happening.

We have funded and contributed to several studies of how this will affect Norway, and how well-pre- pared Norwegian society is for a ‘wilder and wetter’ climate. Together with other major insurance companies in the Nordic region, we have funded the development of the climate tool ‘VisAdapt’, which can help home owners and house builders in the Nordic countries to adapt to the climate in the best possible way.

Risk relating to such factors is largely addressed as part of ordinary underwriting operations and tariff setting. Examples of environmental and clima-
te-related trends are the increase in the number of electric and hybrid cars, and the increase in the extent of damage to buildings due to more extreme weather. We also see an increased risk of higher prevalence of diseases, especially insect-borne diseases.

We continuously assess whether prices, terms and conditions and compensation rules need to be adapted as a consequence of these trends.

Every year, Gjensidige conducts an emerging risk analysis in order to identify risk relating to pheno- mena and trends that may represent new risk or changed risk. The analysis is intended to describe risks that can be significant, but that cannot be quantified with the help of experience-based met- hods. We therefore use modelling tools to describe possible outcome scenarios. One example of this is climate change, where we have quantified possible costs under different scenarios.

The emission of greenhouse gases from our ope- rations is extremely modest. We work continuously to further reduce our emissions, and we report our emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

The use of electricity and district heating does not cause greenhouse gas emissions, which must therefore be calculated on the basis of an assumed energy mix. The production of hydropower does not cause emissions either. We have calculated that our operations in 2016 caused emissions of 2,164 tonnes of CO2 equivalents (scope 1 and 2), compared with 2,579 tonnes the year before. The reduction in reported emissions is largely due to less use of heating oil and fewer emissions from company cars.

Social commitment

Gjensidige and the Company’s employees support and are engaged in various social causes both locally and nationally. The purpose is to make a positive contribution in the communities where we do business, and to underpin our social mission, which is to contribute to a safer society.

In Oslo, Gjensidige cooperates with the Church City Mission on creating a better and safer environ- ment in the city centre, where the Company’s head office is located. On Gjensidige’s part, this cooperation involves a financial contribution to the Church City Mission and participation by our employees. In 2016, employees from several offices all over the country contributed to the Church City Mission’s knitting campaign, which is organised before Christmas every year to get people involved and raise money for a Christmas celebration for disadvantaged people.

Employees also participate in various activities under the auspices of the Church City Mission, including homework help and chess courses for children.

In 2016, the Company donated NOK 1 million as a Christmas gift to the Red Cross in support of the organisation’s refugee work in Syria. The Company’s employees decided which cause would receive the gift through a vote.

In Denmark, Gjensidige supports the Christmas Seal Homes foundation (Julemærkehjemmene), which helps around 750 children every year who are victims of bullying or isolation.

In Lithuania, we cooperate with the aid organisa- tion Food Bank, which distributes food to the poor.

In 2016, Gjensidige celebrated its 200th anni- versary. In that connection, all the Company’s employees were given an opportunity to spend one working day on a humanitarian cause in their local community. As many as 750 employees in Norway, Denmark and Sweden made use of the opportunity. Many organised bicycle rides for residents in nursing homes, provided language tuition to immigrants and helped out with activities for people who struggle for various reasons.

Others performed practical work for charitable organisations, and helped to create better local communities. The initiative was called ‘Good deeds’ and the feedback from both the employees who participated and those who in one way or another benefited from the good deeds was unequivocally positive. Because the initiative was so well received, we will enter into agreements with several of the organisations, so that our employees can contact them to perform voluntary work in 2017 as well.

Gjensidige’s social commitment must be seen in conjunction with the Gjensidige Foundation, our biggest owner. The Foundation makes substantial donations that are funded by the return on the capital that was freed up in connection with the stock exchange listing of Gjensidige Forsikring in 2010.

The Foundation aims to contribute to a safer society and is particularly concerned with preven- tive measures and activities for children and young people throughout Norway.

 

Contributing to a safer society

Gjensidige helps to finance the public welfare system by paying direct and indirect taxes and pay to employees. The Group’s payable tax expense for 2016 amounted to NOK 1,377 million. A large amount in value added tax comes in addition. 

Pay and employee benefits amounted to NOK 2,413 million.

Dialogue with authorities and the public

Through the industry organisation Finance Norway, we coordinate our dialogue with the authorities on matters concerning the financial industry. Finance Norway is also engaged in extensive work aimed at schools and the general public to provide infor- mation about personal finances, economics and statistics from the financial industry.

In addition to the formal contact with our custo- mers, we seek dialogue through social media and email newsletters, and various customer events.

Governing documents of relevance

Governing documents of particular relevance to the exercise of corporate social responsibility

  • CSR Guidelines

Procurements

Group Procurement Policy

Personvern
  • Instructions for the processing of personal data
  • Group policy for the processing of personal data
  • Instructions for employees’ processing of personal data

Corruption

  • Group policy for handling irregularities and malpractices, including corruption
  • Instructions for handling irregularities and malpractices, including corruption

Asset management

SRI – socially responsible investments, group policy

Money laundring

  • Risk analysis, money laundering
  • Anti-money laundering officer, job description

Complaints handling

  • Group policy – complaints handling
  • Instructions for the customer ombudsman’s complaints handling
  • Instructions for the companies’ complaints handling

Underwriting

  • Underwriting Policy

Ehics

  • Code of ethics for Gjensidige
  • Konkretisering av etiske retningslinjer for gave og relasjonsaktiviteter
  • Policy om forbudte konkurransebegrensninger
 

Key figures, CSR

Topic 201420152016
Value creation and resource use    
 Return on equity Per cent18.1 17.421.4
Dividend*  NOK million2,590  4,2003,400
 Distribution percentage * Per cent70.4  84,.73.0
 Tax NOK million833  1.,571,377
 Pay and employee benefits NOK million 2,263 2.,452,413
 Customer satisfaction (KTI group)  74.8 76.277.4
 Environment    
 Energy consumption MWh 8,060 11,13111,988
 CO2 emissions, Scope 1 and 2** Tonnes 3,043 2,5792,164
 Paperless customersPer cent576065
 Employees    
 Employees, proportion men/women***Per cent50/50  52/4853/47
 Managers, proportion men/women***Per cent 59/4163/3764/36
 Average pay full time employed women as
a percentage of average pay full time employed men, non-managers****
Per cent  88
 Average pay full time employed women as
a percentage of average pay full time employed men, managers****
Per cent  93
Average duration of parental leave, women*****Per cent  19
Average duration of parental leave, men*****Per cent  10
 Competence-raising per employee NOK17,500  17,50015,000
 Average retirement age**** Years63.5  64.463.2
Sickness absence*** Per cent4,.  4.13.9
 Socially responsible investments    
Number of excluded CompaniesNumber85 8085

* Based on the Board’s proposal for 2016.
** Not included distribution of excess capital
*** Emissions for 2014 deviates from reported emissions in the Annual report for 2014, when Norwegian only emissions were reported.
****      Norway, Denmark and Sweden
*****    Norway
******  Norwegian employees who have had parental  leave