GrECo Christmas Charity

For many years we have been refraining from giving Christmas presents to our clients and partners and instead are supporting projects within our GrECo Foundation.

The GrECo Foundation supports socially disadvantaged children and young people in various learning projects, such as supplying study materials, afternoon care, workshops and excursions in 17 countries.

The team of GrECo wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

SOS Kinderdorf Rat auf Draht

GrECo Foundation supports SOS-Kinderdorf/Rat auf Draht. This project is very close to the heart of the GrECo Foundation. In difficult times, it is children and young people who are in most need of support and a sympathetic ear. We are happy to contribute again this year.

SOS Kinderdorf

Earthquake in Turkey | Floods in Slovenia

Following the devastating earthquake in Turkey and the catastrophic floods in Slovenia, GrECo Foundation decided to donate money to provide shelter, food, and medical supplies to those in need.

Licht ins Dunkel

Licht ins Dunkel is a nationwide traditional Christmas charity in Austria that helps children and young people in need. We have supported these activities for many years.

Ö3 Wundertüte

National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel

The  National Park is a national park in eastern Austria. protects parts of the westernmost lake of the Eurasian Steppe. The GECo Foundation supported the training of Junior Rangers.

Franz Hilf!

Franz Hilf – Franciscans for People in Need is an internationally active Franciscan aid organisation based in Vienna. This year we supported their charity concert for Ukrainian refugees.

Support for Ukraine

Rotes Kreuz DigiDaZ

The project DigiDaZ is an online language support programme for children with little knowledge of German. The GrECo Foundation donated funds for additional trainers as well as infrastructure.

Lernhaus KURIER Aid Austria

KURIER Aid Austria’s learning centre has been helping disadvantaged children and young people since 2011, providing them with free learning support. In 2023 we supported this project.

Support for Ukraine

Jugend eine Welt –  Don Bosco Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit

The GrECo Foundation supported a project in Albania. A day and youth centre provides children and young people with a place of refuge. They receive the support they need to achieve an educational qualification and find meaningful leisure activities.

Caritas prework Wood and digital studio

In the job training project, young people who have not yet made the step into apprenticeship training and thus the labour market find their first job. The work training programme supports young people in gaining positive access to training and work.

Reverse Advent Calendar

Every year, our colleagues donate generously towards our Christmas project. This year we are collecting health and beauty products for the women and children at Haus Immanuel in Vienna.

Gabriele Andratschke

Head of Group Human Resources

T +43 664 962 39 18

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GrECo Christmas Charity

For many years we have been refraining from giving Christmas presents to our clients and partners and instead are supporting projects within our GrECo Foundation.

Read More …

ESG Rating and its Effects on Financing: Interview With Karin Lenhard

“At Erste Group, we have an ESG Office, a dedicated unit focused on sustainability. We are situated within the strategy department, and our main responsibility is to implement the entire regulatory framework of the EU Green Deal within the bank. ” – interview with Karin Lenhard from Erste Group.

In a recent interview with Karin Lenhard from Erste Group, Andreas Forster, Practice Leader Financial Institutions in Austria, gained valuable insights into the world of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) ratings and its profound impact on the finance industry. The interview shed light on various aspects, from the role of Erste Group’s ESG Office to the challenges of balancing environmental and social responsibilities.

Erste Group, a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, has set ambitious group goals, including achieving a “Net Zero” financing portfolio by 2050 and ensuring that at least 25% of new corporate client business qualifies as “Green Investment” by 2026. Green Investments go beyond mere environmental criteria; they signify that the economic activity significantly contributes to the ESG Taxonomy.

Forster: Let’s start by discussing your role at Erste Group.

Lenhard: At Erste Group, we have an ESG Office, a dedicated unit focused on sustainability. We are situated within the strategy department, and our main responsibility is to implement the entire regulatory framework of the EU Green Deal within the bank. This includes ESG in risk management, ESG in the business, and the development of group-wide sustainability strategies that apply to all our locations, from Dornbirn to Bucharest. The goal is to develop strategies that are suitable for the entire group.

ESG, Net Zero and green investments: short and longer term goals

Forster: What are the goals for Erste Group regarding ESG?

Lenhard: As a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, our primary aim is to achieve a “Net Zero” financing portfolio by 2050. By 2026, we aim to ensure that at least 25% of our new business within the corporate client portfolio qualifies as “Green Investment.” It’s important to note that “Green Investment” differs from the “Green Asset Ratio” in that it stipulates that the economic activity makes a significant contribution to the taxonomy. In practice, we often face challenges due to the limited availability of data. We must verify taxonomy compliance. A substantial amount of the criteria can typically be met because they are relatively clear regarding climate protection, climate change adaptation, and CO2 values based on specific economic activities. However, the “do not cause significant harm” aspect is more complex because it implies that the activity should meet one taxonomy goal without significantly harming others. There are currently limited quantitative assessment mechanisms for factors such as biodiversity, recycling, waste management, and so forth.

The third step is the “Minimum Social Safeguard,” which includes minimum social standards and addresses issues related to labour rights and human rights, among other things. Interpretation in this regard is somewhat ambiguous, and for a bank, conducting precise evaluations can be challenging, particularly in the context of avoiding greenwashing. Therefore, we define “Green Investments” as those that, at a minimum, make a significant contribution to a taxonomy goal, whether it’s CO2 reduction or high energy efficiency. The “do not cause significant harm” and “Minimum Social Safeguard” aspects are evaluated at a high level due to the limited data available. As a result, our goal is to have a minimum percentage of “Green Investments” within our portfolios. For commercial clients, our target is 25% by 2026, and for private clients in the mortgage financing portfolio, our goal is to achieve 15% by 2027.

The art of persuasion: convincing clients to reduce their CO2 emissions

Forster: We are particularly interested in how you approach your customers and what impact this has on financing. How do you motivate customers to provide relevant information, and have these efforts already had an impact on financing decisions? Can you outline your roadmap for this?

Lenhard: Yes, we’ve already seen impacts. We are committing to achieving “Net Zero” for our Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 2050 at the latest. A significant portion of Scope 3 emissions pertains to emissions financed. We calculate how many tonnes of CO2 are associated with our financing portfolio. We assess which economic activities we’ve financed and how many tonnes of CO2 are linked to them. This is always in terms of the CO2 equivalent, as it concerns greenhouse gases. We aim to quantify how many tonnes of CO2 can be attributed to a particular customer or transaction and then reduce this figure, depending on the economic activity. In our real estate portfolio, for instance, we need to develop a pathway that takes us to “Net Zero” by 2050. The same approach is taken for industries like steel, cement, oil and gas, heating systems in the energy sector, and so on. We need different strategies to ensure we become carbon neutral.

Forster: Especially in challenging sectors like oil, gas, and cement, how do you engage with customers in those cases?

Lenhard: Communication is key. The easiest solution would be to divest from customers in portfolios related to these sectors. While it might be beneficial for us, it doesn’t change the emissions produced by these businesses –  they will continue to exist. Hence, we strive to engage in dialogue with them and apply pressure, urging them to develop a decarbonization pathway. This means they should make maximum efforts to reduce their own CO2 footprint, which automatically decreases the tonnes of CO2 we finance. From a regulatory standpoint in financing applications, we’re obliged to include ESG factors. We assess whether customers and their economic activities pose climate or environmental risks and whether they have taken measures to mitigate those risks. This already affects conditions and is noticeable due to interest rate market developments. It’s integrated into the overall customer rating. Having a customer with higher risk, for example a ski lift operator, may negatively impact the terms. Eventually, we might question whether we can finance them at all.

Sweetening the pot: rewards for those taking positive action

Forster: So, ESG ratings are already factoring into conditions. Is this noticeable, particularly considering rising interest rates?

Lenhard: Yes, it’s noticeable. We’ve adopted a path of “green incentivisation”. This means that customers who choose to engage in activities compliant with the taxonomy or aim to reduce their CO2 footprint receive more favourable terms. In other words, they are rewarded for positive climate transformation behaviour.

Lightening the data entry load

Forster:  Let’s look at tools and reports, ESG data is in demand across multiple sectors. How can this data be integrated to streamline the process and prevent customers from repeatedly entering the same information?

Lenhard: When it comes to financing, each bank typically employs its own questionnaire, which may share some similarities but often varies in structure. In response to this, we collaborated with OeKB (Austrian Control Bank) last year to develop the ESG Data Hub. OeKB provides companies with a platform to upload their data for free. This service is available for companies of all sizes, but it’s especially relevant for larger corporations. Smaller and medium-sized enterprises, partly due to their size fall outside regulatory requirements, and so have not been a primary focus. They may be relieved about this, given the bureaucratic effort required, however, many of them are part of the supply chain for larger enterprises. If they don’t start working on their data, they risk losing significant contracts, potentially leading to an unsustainable business model or requiring them to relocate their business.

With the ESG Data Hub, we now have a standardised questionnaire. Business owners, depending on their size, can answer around 20, 40, or 120-140 questions at no cost. Customers have control over who they share their data with, in compliance with GDPR regulations. This data can be shared with us, the Erste Group, or any other party they choose. It’s important to note that all banks use the same questionnaire. To allow for benchmarking, companies can also share this information with their business partners, such as their auditors, tax consultants, or financial advisors. They can see how they rank in terms of ESG sustainability within their industry and size category. This offers insight into whether they are leading the way, in the middle, or need improvement.

The delicate ESG balancing act

Forster: How does this balance between E (Environmental), S (Social), and G (Governance) reflect within the bank? Could you provide insights into how each of these aspects is managed within the institution?

Lenhard: We talked a lot about E already. Alongside that, we have colleagues in Social Banking who are responsible for the S, focusing on initiatives like the second savings bank and various social projects. For instance, we run a group-wide project called “affordable housing,” aimed at providing affordable housing for the socially vulnerable. This initiative is mainly driven by Ceska Sporitelna and addresses the significant need for affordable social housing in Eastern Europe. Social aspects are also integrated into our workforce and managed within our HR department. This encompasses areas such as diversity and gender, workplace agreements, and whistleblower policies. We also consider factors like the number of employees with special needs, those with migrant backgrounds, or belonging to ethnic minorities.

The G in ESG stands for Governance, which involves regulatory compliance, competition law, antitrust regulations, compliance matters, and embargoes. We have established a robust framework for all three aspects.

In our financing process for larger clients, we assess ESG ratings. This involves evaluating how the E, S, and G components are separated and scrutinized by the major rating agencies. Essentially, we examine whether there have been incidents or issues in the past related to any of these three categories. If there were such incidents, we consider their severity, how long ago they occurred, and the reputation aspect. We also consider whether we want to be associated with a client who has had such incidents.

Forster: There’s a delicate balance between the environmental (E) and social (S) aspects of ESG, and a sense of social responsibility comes into play. How do you weigh these factors against each other?

Lenhard: Achieving environmental goals without considering the social aspects is not a viable approach. It simply doesn’t work that way. If we were to prioritise the climate, the best course of action might be to close a company like OMV. However, we must also consider the implications for all the employees and individuals who depend on such companies for their livelihoods. The transition to more sustainable practices must be orderly, inclusive, and considerate of everyone involved. But it should also be ambitious and implemented as quickly as possible. This is where the challenge lies.

The knock-on effects of high risk industries on internal ESG reporting

Forster: Is there a connection between internal ESG reporting and higher risk industries? How does the bank address this aspect?

Lenhard: Yes, we are already required to disclose this information as part of our Pillar 3 reporting obligations. It involves identifying which CO2-intensive sectors we have financed, as they are subject to transition risks. Activities that are highly CO2-intensive are at risk of being affected by future regulatory changes that could potentially prohibit their operation in their current form. Considering the long-term nature of some loans, this presents a certain level of probability where we must take corrective action. Therefore, when assessing new business, I will simply refrain from providing financing to clients who lack decarbonization plans. This is due to the increased risk associated with such clients.

On the other hand, I must explore how to mitigate this risk and reduce our carbon footprint. This often requires engaging with our clients to encourage them to transform their business models not only for new ventures but also to address climate change within their existing operations. This approach applies to various sectors. In Austria, we have some excellent examples in the steel and cement industries, with large companies already taking measures. However, some industries are nearing their limits and cannot further reduce emissions. For this reason, we made the decision to discontinue new coal financing. Coal financing carries a transition risk. Existing customers must present a plan by 2025 for their exit from the coal segment. Otherwise, measures will be enforced by 2030 to discontinue their financing with us.

Karin Lenhard

ESG Expert
Erste Group

Andreas Forster

Practice Leader Financial Institutions GrECo Austria

T +43 664 838 96 96

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My Motivation Is to Find and Develop New Talents: Interview With Vladimír John

“My motivation is to find and develop new talents, create excellent teams and implement new ways of doing things, being the trendsetter in risk management and consultancy to help the customers protect and mitigate business risk and continuity. ” – interview with Vladimír John, our new Head of strategic partnership & business development in the Czech Republic.

Could you tell us a bit more about your new position at GrECo? What will be the main area of your focus?

John: My role is rather strategic, I am responsible for the future development of the company in terms of quality, effectiveness and speed of services provided to our customers and partners. I am directly responsible for the RIT department including strategic partnerships with insurers and on top of that also for the development of the service model and products for Erste group in Czech Republic. It is a mix of important and related issues and I am to use all of my 19 years of experience in the insurance industry to help Radovan and Petr with the post-merging process and new strategy implementation. I am grateful to both and GrECo’s top management for such a big trust.

What made you choose to become a part of the GrECo in the first place?

John: GrECo has been always one of the most traditional and respected companies in the local as well as the international market. My first personal experience was connected with Mr. Voharcik many years ago. From 2004 till 2011 I respected GrECo as a serious competitor while I was working for another broker company. Between 2012 and 2023 we cooperated as partners due to my GENERALI and UNIQA roles. In 2022 I realized the changes in TOP management and new focus and strategy roles including Czechia and Slovakia, I was in a good relationship with Jonathan Höh, and we met in Vienna with Georg Winter and Ante Banovac and it supported my good feelings about GrECo. The appointment of Radovan Škultéty as country manager was a strong signal that the company has a high ambition. Once we started the discussions about possible cooperation, I felt very comfortable and I had a good impression from every meeting. In choosing the future employer, there are crucial following key elements for my consideration:

  • strong vision and leaders
  • company culture reflecting traditional values
  • personal trust&empowerment
  • International approach and cooperation

From this perspective, GrECo was logically the no. 1 choice.

Which challenges do you expect in your new role?

John: I see more challenges, anyway my ambition is to be a good colleague and a team member. It goes hand in hand with the new setup and strategy implementation. So leadership skills will be necessary to convince all colleagues about changes. We have to be very clear and transparent in our explanation of challenges, opportunities and expected outcomes. I say when people will not buy it we can do whatever but no results will come. It is our company and our joint future and I strongly believe in our future success. Without people acting as one team we will not succeed. Besides this, I consider the biggest challenge new business issues, and strategic cooperation with Erste both in a relation.

What do you like about the insurance and risk management industry, and what keeps you motivated?

John: In my opinion, for success, it is necessary to have a mix of passion and madness. Especially in Czech Republic insurance industry is not the most popular domain. On the other hand, new generations, new mindsets, new energy and new skills are permanently disrupting traditional business models and companies and I am happy about it. My motivation is to find and develop new talents, create excellent teams and implement new ways of doing things, being the trendsetter in risk management and consultancy to help the customers protect and mitigate business risk and continuity. I never thought that at the current age of 42, I would belong to insurance seniors, anyway next year I will celebrate 20 years in the insurance industry and It will be a pleasure to do it in GrECo’s jersey and with GrECo colleagues.

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself outside of work? How do you like to spend your free time?

John: I am a father, sportsman, traveller and student in one. I enjoy the family time with my fast-growing teenagers, Maxmilian (14) and Sofie (11) especially snorkelling in the sea and skiing in the Alps. I like tennis, football, cycling, hiking and still playing the floorball league so it requires regular training and gym also. Travelling is one of my biggest passions, ideally in my job and on vacation with family. I used to travel around European countries but I have also visited some exotic ones like UAE, Oman etc. During my university study, I lived a few months in the UK and I am still in love with England and Scotland due to its history, traditions and landscape. Since 2022 I have been studying for an MBA programme focussed on executive leadership, and my goal is to graduate in 2024. So despite my natural laziness, I have to read books, learn and write my dissertation so it is a bit challenging to balance everything but so far so good. I believe in permanent education and development to be able to adapt to a changing world.

Vladimír John

Head of strategic partnership & business development

T +420778496971

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I Like the Opportunity to Help Businesses Protect Themselves From Unforeseen Risks: Interview With Irma Ibrahimpasic-Hadzic

” Effective market development often requires a deep understanding of the region’s specific dynamics and the ability to tailor strategies accordingly “interview with Irma Ibrahimpasic-Hadzic, our new Group Market Developer.

Could you tell us a bit more about your new position at GrECo? What will be the main area of your focus?

Ibrahimpasic-Hadzic: Since September 1st, I have been responsible for Group Market Development in the SEE Region at the GrECo Group.

As a Market Developer, I will be identifying growth opportunities, developing market strategies, and expanding the company’s presence in the South-Eastern European region. This includes market research, partnership development, and strategic planning to drive business growth in the insurance and risk management sector.

What made you choose to become a part of the GrECo in the first place?

Ibrahimpasic-Hadzic: I had already established a strong relationship with GrECo, having worked for various international insurance companies in recent years. During this time, I gained very positive experiences both in terms of client relationships and interactions with company employees. Through this experience I also learned about GrECo’s strong presence in the insurance and risk management sector, its commitment to client satisfaction, and its innovative approach to addressing clients’ needs.

Which challenges do you expect in your new role?

Ibrahimpasic-Hadzic: I expect challenges in navigating regulatory differences across the SEE region, competition in the insurance market, adapting to evolving client needs and staying updated on industry trends and emerging risks. Effective market development often requires a deep understanding of the region’s specific dynamics and the ability to tailor strategies accordingly. However, I am confident that together with the respective teams we will rise to these challenges successfully.

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself outside of work? How do you like to spend your free time?

Ibrahimpasic-Hadzic: Given the opportunity, I like to travel because it gives me the opportunity to learn about other cultures and people. I also like to engage in outdoor sports activities and spend time with my family.

What do you like about the insurance and risk management industry, and what keeps you motivated?

Ibrahimpasic-Hadzic: I like the opportunity to help businesses protect themselves from unforeseen risks and contribute to financial stability. Our work involves problem-solving, analytical thinking, and continuous learning, which I find intellectually stimulating and motivating.

Mag.iur. Irma Ibrahimpasic-Hadzic 

Group Market Developer

T +43 664  888 44 790

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Spotlight on Bulgaria: 25 Years GrECo Bulgaria

Today, GrECo Bulgaria is one of the fastest-growing risk advisors and insurance brokers in the country and enjoys a strong presence in the market.

2023 will mark GrECo Bulgaria’s 25th anniversary. When GrECo Bulgaria was founded in 1998, it was hard to find a footing in the market. Yet, since redefining the corporate priorities in 2015, they have been focusing on different and more modern ways of insurance.

Today, GrECo Bulgaria is one of the fastest-growing risk advisors and insurance brokers in the country and enjoys a strong presence in the market. Following only two rules -“matter of trust” and ” business made by people
for people” – GrECo Bulgaria has managed to ascend to the top 10 brokers in Bulgaria, competing not only with local providers who sell individual insurance but also with the competitors on a global level.

GrECo Bulgaria’s office is in the capital city of Sofia, where most of its clients are located. But the colleagues
are flexible and over the past few years they have travelled over 300,000 km just to be close to their clients.
The main focus of their specialized activities is on Financial Institutions, Agriculture, Transportation and Logistics, Property, Aviation as well as Health & Benefits.

Facts & Figures – Bulgarian Insurance Market

In 2022, inflation was a major setback, which GrECo Bulgaria successfully circumnavigated, working hand in hand with the clients. In doing so, they helped them overcome the difficulties they experienced throughout the year. As a matter of principle, the colleagues do not shirk from difficulties and are always ready to help and guide their clients through tough periods, just like the current situation that has been exacerbated by the military conflict in Ukraine.

The Bulgarian non-life insurance market was dominated by car insurance and property insurance, with a share
of 88.4% registered in 2022. The brokerage market has grown by 12% in 2022.

GrECo Bulgaria managed to place over 28 million EUR premium from a total of 330 clients and over 1,100 policies in 2022.

What our clients say:


For over 85 years, GfK has been supporting its clients in business-critical decision-making processes concerning consumers, markets, brands, and media. GfK’s reliable data and insights, together with advanced AI capabilities, have revolutionised access to real- time, actionable recommendations that drive marketing, sales, and organisational effectiveness of GfK clients and partners.

Polia Green

HR Business Partner – Global Operations & GSC Bulgaria (MI, MM, MCI)
Human Resources Department | GfK | Bulgaria

Whenever when we required a specific service, additional clarification and follow-ups they were there for us! GrECo is a true partner who has our needs in mind and best interests at heart. They are great advisors whom we can count on for insights, current trends and possible solutions.


KPMG ITS is an exclusive IT service provider to the member firms of the KPMG network across the world. They deliver the full spectrum of IT services, including Project and Process Consulting, Cloud, Software Engineering, and DevOps.

Anita Asenova

Associate Manager | Payroll,
Compliance & Benefits, KPMG ITS

We first started working together with
GrECo during the Covid pandemic.
Together we succeeded in not only adapting
to the fast-moving changes but also anticipating them. GrECo specialists shared their knowledge and ideas on how to improve
the management of benefits and wellness
for our employees and provided us with
updated information about new risks and
insurance trends in Health & Benefits.

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The Focus on the Client Has Never Been Lost: Interview With Paul Spittau

“Despite the growth of the company, the focus on the client has never been lost and is still the center of attention”interview with Paul Spittau, our new Head of Group Carrier Relations & Insurance Mediation.

Could you tell us a bit more about your new position at GrECo? What will be the main area of your focus?

Spittau: Since 1st of June, I am responsible for Group Carrier Relations & Insurance Mediation at the GrECo Group.

On the side of Group Carrier Relations, I act as key person for relations with carriers for various issues, support and initiate the agreement of frame contracts to increase broking efficiency and generate added value for our clients. Another important role is to observe the market security in terms of carriers financial strenght, performance quality, etc..

In the area of Insurance mediation I have to ensure that GrECo’s broking strategy is delivered and always aligned to our core principle of acting in the best interests of our clients and in accordance with the legal framework for insurance intermediation.

Last, but not least, I am responsible for our GrECo Group’s own insurance.

What are some of the biggest challenges in your area of expertise?

Spittau: Challenging, but also very interesting, is the fact that you always have to be up to date on developments in respect of insurance mediation for 17 countries in order to always be able to react in time. As each country has its own legal requirements, it is also a challenge to implement insurance solutions on a group level.

What made you choose to become a part of the GrECo in the first place? 

Spittau: GrECo is a family-run independent Austrian company, that has made an amazingly successful development in the last decade.

Despite the growth of the company, the focus on the client has never been lost and is still the centre of attention.

This success story and the values-based corporate culture that is lived here have inspired me very much, and I am now very much looking forward to making my contribution to further successful development.

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself outside of work? How do you like to spend your free time?

Spittau: I love to travel and get to know new cultures and people around the world.

In my free time I like to do any kind of sports. Since I was 8 years old, I have been an enthusiastic ice hockey player, but you can also find me at the tennis court, at the golf course or hiking in the mountains.

Paul Spittau

Head of Group Carrier Relations & Insurance Mediation

T +43 664 537 17 42

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Cooperation Between GrECo Slovenia and Hervis

In the beginning of July 2023, we greet in our portfolio the company Hervis Slovenia and Croatia, one of a largest sports shop in Slovenia.

GrECo Slovenia and Allianz Partners have been writing a successful and unique story with the bike and e-bike insurance for over a year already. Our partner network includes more than ten big and recognizable specialized bike shops that achieve excellent sales results.
In the beginning of July 2023, we greet in our portfolio the company Hervis Slovenia and Croatia, one of a largest sports shop in Slovenia. They have a total of over 40 branches in both countries and  Hervis stores are known for a high-quality products, professional and motivated employees, and excellent sales and after-sales customer support.
They recognized the extraordinary potential and added value for the customer in our unique insurance solution, as casco insurance for bikes and e-bikes offers exceptional coverage such as classic theft (outdoors) and burglary, robbery and vandalism, damage to the bicycle in the event of falls and traffic accidents, additional coverage for e-battery, mobile assistance.
Visit the Hervis stores and check their quality and affordable offers. Ask them also about our casco insurance for bicycles and e-bikes.

Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

GrECo’s ESG Strategy: Rethinking Sustainability

GrECo’s sustainability strategy comprises a holistic and systematic approach, focusing on involving all stakeholders and raising awareness among employees.

GrECo is a family-owned business that has been committed to sustainability for almost 100 years. We believe that being a family business provides us with the unique advantage of taking a long-term perspective on our efforts. Sustainability is not only a social obligation for us but also a strategic opportunity to create long-term value for our stakeholders. With this mindset, we have consistently pursued this issue in our operations and strive to continue to do so in the future. In 2022, we set ourselves the goal of rethinking our sustainability strategy by focusing on ESG aspects.

Involving all stakeholders

We aim to involve all relevant stakeholders in our ESG strategy development. At the same time, we want to ensure that sustainability is integrated into our corporate strategy and lived by all our employees to create a livable future for all of us. Our sustainability strategy will be continuously monitored, and as we take steps into the future, the success of its implementation will be reported, regularly reviewed and adjusted.

Project implementation and sustainability roadmap

Four focus areas were identified: Risks & Solutions, Environmental Performance, Social Responsibility, and Communications & Reporting. A responsible person was nominated for each area to elaborate on the subtopics and create a sustainability roadmap. This roadmap includes KPIs, personnel and financial efforts as well as a timeframe. The roadmap has already been approved by the Supervisory Board and will be implemented in 2023 and 2024.

Georg Winter

CEO GrECo Group

At GrECo, we’re committed
to making a positive impact
on sustainability by supporting
our clients on their risk
transformation journey with
a holistic approach
to risk management.

Materiality and Stakeholder Analysis

In the coming years, GrECo will conduct a materiality analysis and stakeholder analysis to prioritise the 13 identfied topics. The company will ensure that all stakeholder groups, such as clients, employees, shareholders, and suppliers, are included in the process.

Neubrand_Georg, GrECo Group Leadership Member

Georg Neubrand

CFO GrECo Group

Our ESG strategy will
help us to reduce our carbon
footprint and enhance our
reputation as a responsible
business through ambitious
targets and sustainable

Implementation and employee training

We, at GrECo, understand that our employees play a vital role in ensuring the success of the ESG strategy. As a risk specialist, we recognise the importance of raising awareness among our employees about ESG issues.
This ensures they are well-equipped to advise clients on the impact ESG-related developments will have on their risk landscape. Therefore, in addition to integrating ESG criteria into our own business policy and expanding services, GrECo will also provide training and sensitise its employees across all 17 countries on ESG matters. This approach ensures that the entire team is aligned with the company’s sustainability goals and well-equipped to effectively support clients in achieving their own sustainability targets.

Andratschke_Gabriele, Head of GrECo Group Human Resources

Gabriele Andratschke

Head of Group Human Resources

We will take our
commitment to social issues
to the next level and further
enhance our focus on diversity,
inclusion, and human rights.

A holistic and systematic approach to sustainability

GrECo’s sustainability strategy comprises a holistic and systematic approach, focusing on involving all stakeholders and raising awareness among employees. By embracing ESG principles, GrECo aims to continue its legacy of sustainability for the next hundred years.

Steininger Petra, GrECo Group Head of Communication

Petra Steininger

Head of Group Communications

Our ESG strategy will
successfully implement
transparency and
accountability through
governance and reporting
practices, gaining
even more trust and
confidence to strengthen
our reputation.

Gabriele Andratschke

Head of Group Human Resources

T +43 664 962 39 18

Petra Steininger

Head of Group Communications

T +43 664 548 55 58

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New Annual Report Publication

The year behind us was full of challenges. Despite a very challenging trading environment in 2022, we were able to boost revenues. GrECo International Holding AG increased its total consolidated revenues by 22.7% to 132.2 million EUR in 2022.

Take a look at how we approach challenges in the year behind us and read the Annual Report 2022, our annual publication. The Annual report focuses on different aspects of our company and highlights our risk-based approach. In this year’s edition of the Annual report, we highlighted our ESG goals and the importance of credit insurance, as well as introduced our colleagues from GrECo Bulgaria.

Petra Steininger

Head of Group Communications

T +43 664 548 55 58

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GrECo ESG Strategy: Unwaivering Commitment to Sustainability

At GrECo, we are passionate about making a positive impact on sustainability.

Sustainability is not just a trend, it’s our responsibility As a family business, GrECo takes a long-term view and
is committed to passing on its values and beliefs from generation to generation. That is how we, at GrECo, have
been living sustainability for almost 100 years. Naturally, we will continue to take this responsibility seriously
in the future. GrECo’s sustainability strategy mirrors this commitment perfectly.

Our ESG strategy is an essential part of our corporate strategy. It reflects our vision, mission and values. Moreover, it highlights the importance of taking a forward-thinking sustainable approach.

Championing future-focused independence
for sustainability

We believe that taking a long-term view and considering the impact of our actions on future generations is crucial for sustainability. We are committed to promoting future-focused independence to ensure a sustainable future for all of us.

Tailored solutions for unique sustainability challenges

Customised solutions are crucial for sustainability. As each of our clients faces unique sustainability challenges, we are committed to providing tailored solutions to help them achieve their sustainability goals.

Building trust through accountability and transparency

Trust is a key value for sustainability. At GrECo, we promote accountability and transparency to build and maintain sustainable relationships and partnerships.

Promoting a positive workplace culture with empathy and respect

A positive workplace culture is essential for sustainability. At GrECo, we promote empathy and respect to create a work environment that is supportive and inclusive.

Key focus areas for a sustainable future

Our ESG strategy focuses on four key areas: Risks & Solutions, Environmental Performance, Social Responsibility, and Communications & Reporting. We have identified 13 topics to guide our efforts and create
a positive impact on the environment and society.

  • Integration of ESG into business policy and core processes
  • Establishment of ESG risk-thought leadership
  • Extension of services regarding transformational risks
  • Promotion of innovation for ESG solutions
  • Improvement of mobility management
  • Optimisation of operational ecology
  • Establishment of resource-friendly business processes
  • Development of a climate strategy
  • Creation of environmental management systems
  • Facilitation of a healthy working environment
  • Enforcement of employee equality
  • Promotion of people development
  • Funding of social responsibility

Risks & Solutions: Making a positive impact on sustainability

At GrECo, we are passionate about making a positive impact on sustainability. Our greatest leverage lies at the heart of our business: We understand the risks of our clients and provide tailored solutions to mitigate those risks.

Our goal is to advance sustainability by ensuring enduring and future-proof support for our clients on their risk transformation journey. That is why we have adopted a holistic approach to risk management, which helps organisations identify and address interrelated sustainability risks and opportunities. By integrating ESG criteria into business policies and expanding our services, we can become a game-changer. That way, we shall act as a multiplier for sustainability and make a significant positive impact. Join us in our mission to transform the future of sustainability!

Bachmann electronic GmbH

Headquartered in Feldkirch, Austria, Bachmann is a rapidly expanding organization with over 500 employees worldwide. They have been developing unique automation and system solutions for customers around the globe for more than 50 years. When it comes to automation in the energy, industry and maritime sectors, Bachmann is truly an expert. They excel at unique, tailor-made system and solutions, perfectly adapted
for the operating environment.

Bernhard Zangerl

CEO Bachmann electronic GmbH

As a leader in technology and the global
market for wind turbine automation,
we sign a 100% reliable partnership
to our customers. We value the same
close and trusting relationship with
GrECo, our long-standing partner
for proactive risk assessments and
tailor-made insurance services.

Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG

Saubermacher AG is an international waste management and recycling company based in Feldkirchen near Graz. The family owned company was founded in 1979 by Hans and Margret Roth and is a qualified partner for approx. 1,600 municipalities and around 42,000 companies. The company employs around 3,600 people in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia.

The company follows its vision of zero waste, i.e. processing waste in such a way that it can be kept in the cycle for as long as possible. For example, Saubermacher already achieves recycling rates of up to 95 percent for lithium-ion batteries and a recycling rate of around 86 percent for light packaging waste. As an important part of the circular economy, the company is also the leading producer of substitute fuels in Austria and additionally supports the industrynwith individual consulting services and waste intelligence on its way to more sustainability and CO2 neutrality. In GRESB’s (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) sustainability assessment, the environmental pioneer achieved an outstanding second place last year, and before that a sensational first place four times in a row.

Georg Ketzler

Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG

Saubermacher and GrECo are not
only connected by a long-standing
partnership, but also by a common
philosophy. As family businesses, we
both attach importance to creating
a sustainable future for the next
generations. With GrECo, we have
been continuously improving our risk
standard and promoting risk awareness
in our company for many years!

Gabriele Andratschke

Head of Group Human Resources

T +43 664 962 39 18

Petra Steininger

Head of Group Communications

T +43 664 548 55 58

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