Reducing energy consumption
Total reduction of energy intensity per employee since 2013
In parallel with our switch to using renewable power, we have made continuous efforts to lower the actual amount of energy consumed per employee, ie to reduce our energy intensity. In the first phase of our Greenhouse Neutral Programme, we set ourselves a 20% reduction target compared with 2003 levels, measured in kWh per employee. Through many small measures to improve energy efficiency and by concentrating back-office tasks in fewer and more energy-efficient buildings, we actually achieved a reduction of 46.5% by 2013.
For the second phase of our Greenhouse Neutral Programme (base year 2013), our commitment is to continuously reduce energy intensity by 2% per year. As a matter of fact, our energy intensity was 18.5% lower at the end of 2016 than in 2013. Partly, we achieved this by decommissioning existing office buildings and moving into more energy-efficient ones.
We have also continued our efforts to create more flexible and modern office environments that offer our employees optimal working conditions while, at the same time, using space and resources more effectively. The spread of digital communication and devices makes it possible to work seamlessly across different locations and devices, creating the foundation for a more flexible and informal workplace set-up that encourages team work. At Swiss Re Next project, for example, this open workplace concept is a key feature (for details, see Swiss Re Next). Although further reducing our environmental footprint is not the primary driver of these efforts, their potential to lower the energy intensity of our locations is nevertheless substantial.