Eco-centric insurers can cut costs

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1 June 2009
Catherine Stagg-Macey

Our data is now in on greening IT in the insurer and the results will probably not surprise you. For more than half the respondents, green initiatives still poses some question mark and initiatives vary tremendously by company.Mostly, they appear ad-hoc and occur in small pockets in the organisation.

In this time a recession, one might ask why this topic is on anyone’s agenda. The point is that having eco-centric policies make financial sense. Especially in a turbulent economy, an insurance company doesn't need to see the building of a green organization as counter to its mission of financial responsibility; rather, it is part of that mission.

Celent believes that it’s a convergence of several factors that will ensure interest in this topic in the coming months:

  • Increased customer awareness:– customers are becoming more aware at a local level (composting, recycling, food miles) of the impact of climate change, and this is changing their own perceptions. Customers are also employees of the insurance company, and so overtime, these increased expectations shift to companies they work at and from whom they buy.
  • Energy costs on the rise – watching the price of a barrel of oil is becoming a hobby… The sharp increases last year brought into focus our reliance on this fossil fuel, for both consumers and businesses.
  • Recession pressures have seen a real focus on reducing costs in the business. Initiatives such as reducing paper, reducing a data center's carbon footprint through more modern, energy-efficient systems helps the environment and also saves money. Allowing more remote work to reduce commuting has a positive impact on the environment but also can increase morale.
  • Regulatory scrutiny – Governments are going to become increasingly focused on controlling water usage, carbon emissions as they strive to meet their national and electoral commitments to the environment.

So as all these factors converge, we believe we will see an increasing effort in the insurer to have clearer eco-centric policies across the organisation. These will impact both supply and demand of technology, and also show the role that technology can play in getting the organisation to be smarter about how they work – think shared services, remote labour force as examples.

For more detail, see our report published next month.

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Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America