Responding department: Group Communications and Corporate Responsibility
Does your company have a publicly available commitment to respect human rights?
A reference to the company’s human rights commitment within another corporate policy (e.g. Code of Conduct or Sustainability Policy)
How are human rights governed in your company?
A number of departments have lead responsibility for human rights topics in their respective areas (e.g. Human Resources, Procurement, ESG Office).
For involved departments and processes, see next question.
Regarding the governance of human rights issues, the same governance applies as to ESG topics in general. For details, please see in our Sustainability Report 2015 on page 28.
How are human rights managed within your company?
Allianz recognizes the importance of human rights. We have been a participant in the UN Global Compact (UNGC) since 2002 and communicate on the progress we make in implementing the Ten Principles every year.
We are committed to respecting human rights in our various roles - as an insurer and investor, an employer, a company as well as a corporate citizen. For these dimensions we have different processes in place. However, we and the rest of the industry are continuously learning about this important topic, and we will keep on working on ways to incorporate it into our business.
Integrating human rights into core business
As corporate insurer and investor, we have developed a human rights due diligence process as part of our overall ESG approach, which is integrated into the broader risk management approach to ensure consistent and rigorous implementation. For our due diligence we use a combination of a sector- and country approach. Allianz has developed thirteen ESG guidelines for sensitive business sectors, which include sector-specific human rights aspects, for example child labor in the manufacturing sector or forced labor in the mining sector. Thus, relevant human rights aspects are checked as part of the overall risk assessment for any insurance and alternative investment transaction in the respective sector.
In addition, Allianz has developed a watch list for sensitive countries where systematic human rights violations occur. For any business in those countries, a general human rights guideline is being applied.
When a human rights risk is identified by an underwriter or investment manager in their assessment (sensitive business guidelines) a mandatory referral process starts for further due diligence by ESG experts and the involvement of central units such as the risk and communication departments. Where an issue is detected and the (re)insurer has leverage (in a lead position or with good contact with the client/broker/ investee company), engagement is encouraged to address and mitigate the human rights risk.
If no mitigation measures exist or if leverage cannot be increased, the risk might be unacceptable. Factors which may influence this decision include the severity of the human rights violation, the significance of the business relationship as well as own values.
Respecting human rights as an employer
As an employer we respect international human rights standards for our own workforce. We apply the Universal Declaration of Human Rights throughout our worldwide operations. We are a participant in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and have integrated its ten principles into our globally-binding Code of Conduct. We also respect the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. To support employee rights, we were one of the first companies to create pan-European worker participation standards and establish a European SE Works Council under the legislation for Societas Europaea (SE) companies.
We are also a signatory to the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Rights and Principles at Work, including the ILO declaration on the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. In countries where local law prohibits formalized unions and works councils, we respect local law but do not obstruct parallel means of association and bargaining, and we strive to act in the spirit of the UNGC principles.
Respecting human rights in our operations
As a company, we respect and apply international human rights standards for the workforce of our suppliers and promote sustainability standards in our supply chain. Our Global Sourcing and Procurement department works with current and potential suppliers. In practice, this means ensuring that all suppliers abide by the environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards outlined in the Allianz Code of Conduct and our Purchasing Principles. Both the Code and the Principles are aligned with International Labor Organization (ILO) standards and the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, which cover human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption.
Priority human rights issues: What are some of the priority human rights issues for your company?
- Workplace diversity / non-discrimination
- Freedom of association and trade union rights
- Displacement and community relocation
- Freedom of expression and/or right to privacy / digital rights
- Operations in conflict zones
- Children (including child labour)
- Indigenous peoples
Please see our ESG Integration Framework page 16 and 27.
For “data privacy”, please see our Sustainability Report page 49.
How are human rights commitments and information about how the company addresses its human rights impacts communicated, internally and externally?
What provisions does your company have in place to ensure that grievances from workers and affected communities or individuals are heard, and can you provide examples of remedies provided?
Please note, that we have no direct relations with impacted communities as we provide an indirect service as a financial services provider.
All employees have access to local or Group-wide whistleblowing channels to raise concerns anonymously (unless local legal restrictions apply). A Whistleblowing Guideline provides technical guidance to ensure incoming reports are treated appropriately. Whistleblowing is part of our annual ‘SpeakUp’ campaign, International Fraud Awareness Week and International Anti-Corruption Day.
Which external and collaborative human rights initiatives does your company participate in, and what is the nature of your involvement?
We are members of:
• Transparency International
• UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI)
• United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)
• United Nations Global Compact
• UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
Which are the key one, two or three elements of your approach to human rights that been developed or amended since June 2011? Please indicate if these actions were in response to the UN Guiding Principles.
Development of our ESG guidelines (including a specific one for Human Rights) as well as the underlying ESG processes and approach.