The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


IDENTIFY - MEASURE - MANAGE - CHANGE

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How the Talanx Group promotes compliance

Case study: How the Talanx Group promotes compliance


The Talanx Group is a multi-brand provider in the insurance and financial services sector, with 22,824 employees worldwide and over 40 subsidiaries and branch offices on five continents. Compliance and integrity guide the Talanx Group in its daily decisions  Tweet This!, protect the Group from misconduct and preserve its reputation.

This case study is based on the 2019 Sustainability Report by the Talanx Group published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

Layout 1Abstract

For the Talanx Group, it goes without saying that complying with the law is a prerequisite for sustained business success. This means that compliance is an integral part of all Group activities. In order to promote compliance the Talanx Group took action to:

  • implement a Group-wide Code of Conduct
  • establish a whistle-blowing system
  • provide compliance training

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report the Talanx Group identified a range of material issues, such as climate change, data protection and cybersecurity, responsibility to customers, employee recruitment and development. Among these, promoting compliance stands out as a key material issue for the Talanx Group.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups the Talanx Group engages with: 

Stakeholder Group
Employees
Customers
Business partners
Investors and analysts
NGOs
Academia
Associations
Media
Politics

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics the Talanx Group carried out an internal survey of internal stakeholders and an online survey of external ones, investigating a variety of potential material issues and ranking them for importance on a scale ranging from 1 (= not important) to 7 (= extremely important).

What actions were taken by the Talanx Group to promote compliance?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report the Talanx Group reports that it took the following actions for promoting compliance:

  • Implementing a Group-wide Code of Conduct
  • The Group-wide Code of Conduct is an effective tool for making the Talanx Group’s commitment to complying with existing laws transparent. It sets out key principles and rules applicable to employees at all levels of the Talanx Group. The Code serves to explain to employees the fundamental legal and ethical requirements which they have to abide by during their work for the various Group companies, and to provide further details of their duties in these areas. In addition, it expressly highlights the ban on money laundering and illegal financing and draws attention to the fact that the competent anti-money laundering officer and/or compliance officer must be informed of all suspected cases. The Code of Conduct applies throughout the Group and is available in a number of languages. Customers, employees and other interest groups can access it publicly on the Talanx Group’s The Code is supplemented by a set of more concrete Compliance Guidelines and by other information and explanatory documents, which are available on the Talanx Group’s intranet. The Compliance Guidelines provide detailed content guidance on the principles set out in the Code of Conduct, which have been discussed and adopted as binding by the Group’s companies in Germany and abroad.
  • Establishing a whistle-blowing system
  • The Talanx Group has established a whistle-blowing system that can be used to report certain significant breaches of the law. It can be accessed from anywhere in the world via the Talanx Group’s website and is currently available in German and six other languages commonly spoken within the Group. The whistle-blowing system can be used – fully anonymously, if desired – to provide information about a variety of issues, including fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty and corruption, incorrect bookkeeping or accounting, anti-competitive and antitrust offences, money laundering and terrorism financing, breaches of capital market regulations, sanctions and embargoes, and infringements of supervisory law and tax law provisions. Additionally, employees can report suspected breaches of the law or guidelines to their line manager or directly to the compliance officer responsible for the company in question within the Talanx Group or the division concerned.
  • Providing compliance training
  • The Talanx Group’s training plan is tailored to the needs of different groups and offers employees regular opportunities to refresh and expand their knowledge of and expertise in selected compliance topics. New employees are regularly familiarised with the compliance framework during induction events. In addition, regular classroom-based courses and web-based training (WBT) are provided on relevant compliance topics. Anti-corruption training ensures that gifts are dealt with correctly. Above and beyond this, the Chief Compliance Officer holds classroom training sessions for executives and selected specialists several times a year, in order to promote the Group’s compliance culture. This dialogue helps Group Compliance identify any needs in good time and develop customised training and consulting offerings to address them. A number of measures are also used to reinforce cooperation within the network of local compliance officers and, in addition to holding an international compliance managers’ meeting, the Talanx Group has established a regular virtual compliance meeting format known as ComplianceXchange, in which Group Compliance and local compliance officers develop and share best practice solutions together.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 206-1 Legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, and monopoly practices

2) Disclosure 307-1 Non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations

3) Disclosure 419-1 Non-compliance with laws and regulations in the social and economic area

 

Disclosure 206-1 Legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, and monopoly practices corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Compliance with laws and regulations

Disclosure 307-1 Non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Compliance with laws and regulations

Disclosure 419-1 Non-compliance with laws and regulations in the social and economic area corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Compliance with laws and regulations

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



 

FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by the Talanx Group, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to the Talanx Group: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.