“After All, We Cannot Afford to Wait for Better Times”

Sabine Schellander, Co-Head of Sustainability at GREINER, describes why Greiner is sticking to a sustainable transformation process to create a circular company.

For plastics and foam solutions provider Greiner, sustainability is a matter for the boss. CEO and in-house “Sustainability Ambassador No. 1” Axel Kühner stands behind the topic with conviction, and also acts as chair for the company’s own sustainability council. Co-Head of Sustainability, Sabine Schellander reports on how this helps to raise awareness among the group’s almost 12,000 employees, as well as what measures Greiner has already taken, and why cooperation is necessary both top-down and bottom-up for a functioning sustainability strategy.

Why we introduced our own recycling plant: reduction of risks and dependencies through sustainability measures

In 2022, Greiner acquired a Serbian PET recycling company, now named Greiner Recycling d.o.o., to underscore our commitment to using recycled materials in our packaging in the form of PET flakes. We firmly believe that by entering the recyclables business in addition to our plastics packaging production business, we will be able to expand our own recycling know-how.  For the first time ever some of our recycled materials are coming from our own company and are no longer having to be purchased externally.  This helps us to reduce dependencies, which is beneficial for us: The demand for recycled plastics is currently very high and so recyclates are much more expensive on the market than new material. Additionally, we do have the possibility to gain knowledge and competence.

For several months now, Greiner Recycling’s PET flakes have been being used successfully at our site in Slušovice, Czech Republic and, more recently, our site in Wartberg has also benefited from our move into recycling.  But, for the plant to be able to serve Greiner Packaging’s production as well as customers throughout Europe in the future, we plan to greatly expand the capacities at the recycling plant – stay tuned!

We are all in the same boat – innovations only really work if everyone plays along

Worldwide, the recycling infrastructure is still developed in very different ways, which poses great challenges for internationally active companies like Greiner. In Austria, for example, technological change is still needed in recycling sorting plants – but this requires high investments. Without financial incentives, we will not succeed in making recycling more attractive. By way of comparison: In Austria, there are many subsidies for the changeover to renewable energies –but when it comes to recycling, subsidies for companies are still meagre. Yet, to make a fully functioning circular economy, a financial incentive is essential to encourage the sorting companies to invest in the changes required to overcome the technical challenges we face. In addition, the use of recyclates is also limited by legal regulations, particularly in the case of plastics for medical products and food packaging where there are justifiably high requirements for purity and product safety. It is therefore even more important that sorting plants are further developed.

A change in thinking is also necessary: the higher the recycled content in a product, the more likely a different shade of colour will occur. The benefit is there, but acceptance must also be created for e.g. colour deviations (no pure white).

Creating space for ideas and innovations

We always desire ideas and input from employees on topics such as the conversion of production processes or energy transformation, but Greiner Innoventures, our innovation hub, also invests in technologies outside of Greiner’s core business. When the start-up spirit and the competencies of a globally active group of companies are combined, both worlds can benefit enormously from each other. Greiner Innoventures has proven itself as a mediator between these two worlds. In the future, our innovation hub will focus even more on circular business models and the related issues of our divisional companies and customers. During this strategic realignment, the focus will therefore be on identifying and further developing innovative solutions within the core business. In this way, we want to further expand our pioneering role in the circular economy field.

One such example is, earlier this year we acquired the start-up Zeroplast, which is developing alternatives to thermoplastics from sustainable fibres. It is not yet clear to what extent this can have an impact on common product properties or whether this alternative can replace existing products 1:1 in the future, as the products are not yet ready for serial production. However, the long-term goal is to bring the bio-based (and thus particularly sustainable plastics for the serial injection moulding industry), onto the market. Nevertheless, there is already great interest on the customer side, and we are already in strong initial talks with a manufacturer of cosmetic products.

Financial and personal responsibility

Greiner has taken out a sustainable promissory note, which includes three ESG targets that, if achieved, will reduce the interest burden of the note for Greiner. These targets by 2030 include a 100 percent share of renewable electricity; EcoVadis ratings for 99 percent of our suppliers with volumes over 500,000 euros; and management positions filled by at least 40 percent women. If the targets are (not) achieved, adjustments will be made to the interest margin.

However, to achieve our planned goals and underpin our financial commitment, a special heartfelt concern of ours is to anchor a corresponding awareness amongst our company’s employees. A significant part of this is to show employees how they can make important contributions to the future.  For example, we have launched a global internal training programme called the Sustainabilty Ambassador Programme. This programme helps our employees to better understand the climate crisis and encourages them to question the way our company currently works. We also have a large internal sustainability conference once a year. Most recently, we had over 500 participants from across all divisions from all over the world.

Greiner’s sustainable transformation process

  • Internal training programme “Sustainabilty Ambassador Programme“: The aim of the Sustainabilty Ambassador Programme is to create a company-wide sustainability culture to enable the transition to a climate-neutral and circular company. To achieve this, it takes every single Greiner employee.
  • Internal training and communication measures
  • Apprentice and plastics workshops with a sustainability component
  • Sustainability podcast “Greiner Talks”: with top-class guests such as renowned behavioural scientist Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace.
  • Sustainability Council

About Sabine Schellander
Sabine Schellander, Co-Head of Sustainability at Greiner AG, is a leading expert in the implementation of sustainable practices in companies with nearly 14 years of experience. With a background in landscape design and planning, she holds a degree (Diplom Ingenieurin) in natural sciences from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna, where she focused on physics and materials science. In addition to her professional activities, she successfully completed a second degree in “Social Innovation” at Danube University Krems.

About Greiner AG
Based in Kremsmünster, Austria, Greiner is a world-leading plastics and foam solutions company. With the three operating divisions Greiner Packaging, NEVEON and Greiner Bio-One, the company is at home in all manner of industrial sectors. Established in 1868, the Group is now one of the leading foam producers and plastics processors for the packaging, furniture, sports and automotive industries as well as medical technology and the pharmaceutical sector. In fiscal 2022, Greiner generated a turnover of EUR 2.33 billion and had over 11,600 employees at 120 locations in 34 countries.

Sabine Schellander

Co-Head of Sustainability, Greiner AG

Krystle Lippert

Krystle Lippert

Strategic Sales Manager GrECo International AG

T +43 664 962 40 37

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The Challenge of the Climate Crisis

New ways to better manage the natural disasters and climate risks of today and tomorrow.

The analysis of natural disasters and climate risks is a new challenge for many companies. Be it for adapting to a changing risk landscape due to climate change or the regulatory required disclosure of climate risks such as the Taskforce for Climate Financial Disclosure (TCFD) or the new EU taxonomy. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions offers insights into how it uses its own long-standing expertise in the field of natural catastrophes to provide sustainable support to companies for regulatory requests as well as in setting up a holistic climate risk strategy.

From obligation to profit

The disclosure of climate risks is still often seen as a must, as this is required by the regulator. However, such analysis also brings great advantages for the company. For example, locations can be identified that are already exposed in today’s climate and, above all, those that will become so in the future because of ongoing climate changes. With targeted investments in protective measures, e.g. against flood events, or a revision of disaster management, future business interruptions, damage to the site, or accidents can be reduced. These types of analyses also form a valid basis for a company’s long-term climate strategy. With the best available data on future risks and the possible development of damages and insurance premiums, investment decisions can be made more effectively, for example when acquiring or constructing new sites or near-natural construction methods, e.g. investments in green areas or solar energy.

A risk analysis supported by experts

The Solutions & Risk Data Services of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions enables the analysis of natural disasters and climate risks. Various tools and services are available such as Sustainability Compass, the interactive online tool; high-resolution flood analyses e.g. FLOAT; or the recommendations by risk engineers for the reduction of today’s and tomorrow’s climate risks .  The Climate Risk Scores developed by Swiss Re provide insight into the changing landscape of weather-related climate risks and form the basis of risk analysis. They show the impact of future climate risks by combining science-based data, those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with Swiss Re’s natural hazard risk maps, such as flood and storm surge zones. Natural hazards such as droughts, heat stress, floods or heavy precipitation are covered for three different IPCC climate scenarios in five-year intervals from 2025 to the end of the century.

Companies can analyse their climate risks with the help of the aforementioned Sustainability Compass. The tool creates a digital representation of the company’s locations including their assets and calculates the exposure to natural hazards in the current and future climate. The tool also takes into account the natural risks to biodiversity and ecosystem services, and provides information on the availability of groundwater, soil fertility, and eight other natural parameters. To make the findings of Sustainability Compass easier to understand and implement, experts can be consulted to produce tailored analyses – including recommendations for reducing climate and natural hazard risks.

How companies address climate risks

More and more companies are gaining experience in analysing and reporting climate risks. Typical questions and requirements for solutions that concern company executives are:

Best available data for climate risk reporting.

  • Support to fill knowledge gaps regarding the current company risk profile and to make newly emerging or intensifying climate risks visible.
  • Provide data to conduct a climate risk and vulnerability analysis according to EU taxonomy.

Quantification of the financial impacts of physical climate risks.

  • Insight into the current expected annual losses and their development based on different SSP climate scenarios (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways)
  • Overview of options for risk mitigation measures

Insights for informed decision making.

  • Data for informed prioritisation of investments
  • Linking risk and sustainability teams on a data/tool basis

The experience and positive feedback from analysed companies confirm the success of these new ways of sustainable risk management for natural disasters and climate risks by Swiss Re and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions: “By assessing the climate risk portfolio for our risk vulnerability analysis, we have gained interesting insights into our climate risks and also valuable knowledge for defining measures for different locations.”, Frequentis.

Annemarie Büttner

Lead Climate Risk Solutions

Neil Aellen

Climate Risk Specialist

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What Is in a Standard Commercial Crime Policy? Contractual Requirement For Insurance

Do traditional Crime policies actually cover the risk that is understood under the contract? What are the risks for a client in buying off the shelf policies to meet the contractual requirements?

When speaking to our clients (contractors) who are working with organizations from countries such as USA, UK and Germany we are seeing more and more requests within the contract for Crime Insurance alongside the usual Professional Indemnity and General Third Party Liability insurances. Do traditional Crime policies actually cover the risk that is understood under the contract? What are the risks for a client in buying off the shelf policies to meet the contractual requirements?

What cover is implied by the contract?

Whilst the wording of the contract clauses is usually broad in its intent, we can infer that that the main purpose of the requirement is that if a member of staff of the contractor steals from the main organization then the organization will expect the contractor’s insurance to pay for the damage to the organization. It seems to be a pretty clear requirement and not particularly onerous, but how can it be covered?

What is in a Standard Commercial Crime Policy?

Traditionally a crime policy is for the protection of a client’s own assets, they are specifically set up to protect against a direct financial loss to the client due to the actions of both their employees and third parties. The cover can be broad in terms of protection of the client’s own assets (direct financial loss) but when it comes to actions against a third party then it becomes a more difficult proposition.
 
Typically Direct Financial Loss is not defined within the policy, but is an understood legal term for the loss of a clients own cash, securities and tangible property. So, in the case of an employee stealing from a client then we are in an area which is not covered under the main clauses of the policy.

What options are available?

In older crime policies there is no cover as required under the contract so they are not really useful, unless the client has large assets or holds large amounts of cash. In this case we need to ensure the cover is fit for purpose and not just a box ticking exercise as crime is a very expensive insurance in comparison to the other covers typically requested.
 
In more modern Crime polices there will usually be an optional extension for liability to a client. This will provide the cover needed under the contract but must be requested and checked to ensure it has no exclusionary language for territory or actions of the client. This extension will also typically exclude any actions which are in collusion with the organization’s staff which could lead to insurers trying to pass on the liability to the organization which could cause embarrassment for the client.
 
A neat way of creating the cover is to add the liability to the Professional Liability through a Dishonesty of Employees Extension. This is a clause designed to bridge the gap between the PI and Crime policies for the acts described above due to the Crime being designed to cover Direct Financial Loss (being akin to a property policy really) and not for legal liability. The clause gives cover to –
 
indemnify the Assured against all sums which the Assured shall become legally liable to pay as a result of any Claim or Claims made against the Assured during the Period of Insurance brought about or contributed to by any dishonest, fraudulent, criminal or malicious act or omission of any employee of the Assured.’
 
This would fit the presumption of the contract, albeit not providing the cover for the client’s own assets.
 

What difference does it make as to which is chosen?

Generally the main difference is that the cover given in the Professional Indemnity is a better fit for the client as it covers the implied contractual requirement most closely. The Crime work around does give good cover but does leave it more open to disputes where there is collusion.
 
The costs associated with the two options mean that where the crime can be incorporated into the Professional Indemnity these will be reduced significantly. Crime cover is typically the most expensive per million out of the standard contractual insurances, sometimes adding half the cost in total. Professional indemnity insurers will seek to charge for the extension, but not to the same level as a full crime policy. It is also usual for the crime deductible (franchise) to be higher than the Professional Indemnity as well.

Are there any other reasons for Crime Insurance being requested?

Sometimes the Crime cover is requested as a fall back in case a large fraud at the contractor causes them to cease trading. Contractors in the main are smaller than the organizations that they are working with and so have more exposure to shocks such as large internal frauds. In the case of a loss of $ 1.000.000 a lot of contractors would find it difficult to continue to pay wages, costs and taxes which could lead to a failure of the contract as people leave and / or the company is forced into receivership. The clause is thus to protect the organization from shocks to the contractor in this case.
 
It is therefore important to understand what the contract is seeking as there can be major reasons for a full Crime policy, but in the main the organization is seeking to protect itself from theft by staff of the contractor having access to their systems / premises.

Conclusion

The main takeaway is that we need to understand what is being sought by the organization in the contract. If it is merely to ensure they are protected from theft when giving access or through products bought (software for example) then we can look to provide cover which does this through a Professional Indemnity policy. If it is more for a catastrophic loss and inability to trade then we probably still need the Crime insurance as well.
 
It has been more and more standard in Professional Indemnity for Tech firms to include the Dishonesty Extension due to these requirements so a strong Tech Professional Indemnity policy tends to be sufficient for Tech contracts. For other professions it is more optional, but still usually available on the market.
 
I would note that the most common claims we see from Central and Eastern Europe are crime claims so it is always important to cover this area when a company gains critical mass, but for small entities needing insurance for contractual purposes then these work arounds can save money.

Brian Alexander

Group Practice Leader Financial Institutions

T +43 664 962 39 17

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Smart Risk Management – Fast, Precise, Safe?

Does smart risk management provide more transparency and security? Where will AI be applied successfully in the future? How valid are the results or is the crux in the detail?

Can the interaction of “man and machine” positively influence the ability to plan and avoid or reduce future risk potentials? Will artificial intelligence revolutionise the risk manager’s toolbox?
 
In recent months, with its text-based dialogue system, Chatbot ChatGPT, Open AI has written a new chapter in the history of the “mass-market” use of artificial intelligence (AI). For many companies, however, AI has long been one of their key success factors. Digital twins, simulations or intelligent machines help to accelerate innovations, optimise quality management and production processes, or improve the efficiency and service life of entire plants.
 
However, does smart risk management provide more transparency and security? Where will AI be applied successfully in the future? How valid are the results or is the crux in the detail? These are just some of the questions risk managers should be asking themselves now.
 

Five reasons for the symbiosis of risk manager and AI

  • AI is used to enable the accurate analysis and assessment of existing risks. AI systems can identify complex data patterns and relationships in risk assessment. For example, an AI system can be used to determine systematic risks by using pattern recognition tools and machine learning. This better identifies the likelihood of events that increase risk.

    In practice: AI-based supply chain management can detect risk events for suppliers and predict future supply chain outcomes by monitoring a variety of data sources.
  • AI helps make risk management processes more efficient by providing automated alerts, predicted warnings and automated decisions.

    In practice: By using AI, predictive maintenance of systems and structures, such as machines and buildings, can be carried out even before a problem occurs. This prevents or minimises disruptions or downtime.
  • AI can monitor the effectiveness of existing risk management processes by performing risk and cost analyses to determine the most appropriate risk mitigation measures.

    In practice: Specifically in finance, e.g. credit risks, large amounts of data about customers’ payment behaviour, their financial situation, historical lending practices and other factors can be analysed to optimise the lending process or identify deviations.
  • AI can identify and predict potential risks by using machine learning to forecast future risk areas.

    In practice: Dynamic risk modelling of climate risks can support strategic decisions – e.g. for site selection for the construction/acquisition of new key sites.
  • Finally, AI helps monitor potential risks by continuously looking for potential risks in the environment or triggering alerts when they are detected.

    In practice: AI can process and analyse data about the activities of employees in high-risk environments. This can be particularly useful to improve safety in  environments where dangerous or fatal accidents are imminent. AI algorithms can evaluate behavioural patterns that are detected prior to accidents. This can be used to run predictive scenarios that improve safety procedures and prevent incidents.

Data quality is key

While AI systems can recognise and process complex data patterns, their results are only fully comprehensible and valid if they can be traced back to a high-quality, correct, and meaningful database.
 
Verification of AI will be the future challenge for the risk manager, as AI systems can also make very complex and opaque decisions. The following six points should definitely be considered to verify and correctly interpret AI data:

  • Checking data quality: AI systems are only as good as the data on which they are trained. It is important to ensure that the data used to build the AI models is of a high quality and free from bias or manipulation.
  • Review the training processes: It is important to understand how AI models were trained and what parameters were used. This helps to ensure the integrity of the models.
  • Testing AI models: testing on different datasets can confirm the accuracy and predictive power of the model.
  • Using clarification methods: When AI models are opaque, clarification methods, such as decision trees, can be used to visualise and understand the models’ decisions.
  • Verify the results: The results of AI models should be regularly reviewed to ensure that the models continue to work correctly and factor in changes in business processes or data.
  • Review by independent experts: Finally, it may be useful to have the use of AI models reviewed by independent experts to confirm their accuracy and integrity

Conclusion

For risk managers, AI systems have become an important tool in their toolbox to support effective, efficient risk management. It enables them to act faster and more accurately, to identify and assess risks before they develop into a potential threat.

Furthermore, they must be able to understand and interpret the results of the AI systems to ensure that the results are comprehensible.
 
The insurance industry – and especially reinsurers with their R&D activities – is one of the industries that relies on AI and has recognised its enormous potential: AI-powered data analytics enables insurers and their clients to develop a much deeper understanding of risks so that they can be more effectively mitigated or covered to some extent by new insurance solutions, whether in natural catastrophes, healthcare or financial, ESG or geopolitical risks.

Michael Brunner

Johannes Vogl

General Manager GrECo Risk Engineering

T +43 5 04 04 – 160

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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

Our AI Can Predict Risks

Supply chain failures, sustainability, data analytics & AI: Lisa Smith, co-founder and CEO of Prewave, an AI-based supply chain intelligence platform, in conversation with Krystle Lippert, Strategic Sales Manager at GrECo.

Lippert: You founded Prewave back in 2017 based on a prototype you developed as part of your PhD thesis at the Vienna University of Technology. How did it come about that you were already thinking about topics back then that are more topical than ever today? I’m thinking specifically of supply chain failures, sustainability, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Smith: As part of my research at the Vienna University of Technology, I realised that supply chain management faces big challenges to remain aware of what is happening with all suppliers. Risks but also disruptions like fire, human rights violations, or environmental pollution often go unrecognised.

Working on technically complex projects like natural language processing has shown that there are a variety of digital data sources that can help us gain insights into what is happening globally. This gave me the idea to use the newly acquired data to detect risk events in the supply chain and make predictions about future outcomes. I worked on this for five years for my dissertation, until I finally founded the company Prewave with Harald Nitschinger.

Lippert: Your core technology, the Prewave Prediction Engine, allows you to detect risk events on a global scale, days and sometimes even weeks before they happen. Can you give us examples of how this has given your clients an advantage? Where does the data come from and how does your AI learn to distinguish and filter relevant information?

Smith: The core of our technology is our monitoring. By continuously monitoring a variety of data sources, we identify risk events that affect suppliers. Our AI is specifically designed to correctly understand and classify such events. For example, a strike can mean a work stoppage in English, but it can also mean a lightning strike among other things – and this is where our AI recognises when there is a relevant risk based on the context. Often, risks can also be predicted based on various indicators. In the case of insolvency, for example, there are very early signs that can be picked up on.

We also use our technology to scan complex supply chains in so-called Tier N monitoring. This allows us not only to identify risks in the deeper supply chain, but also to uncover dependencies. At the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, we were able to reveal the indirect dependencies of our clients’ suppliers and enable them to avoid systemic risks.

Currently, Prewave offers a comprehensive range of services that can be applied to different business areas. Our focus is on sustainability and ESG, with the aim of identifying disruptive and financial risks and helping our clients comply with legislation.

Using supplier lists provided by our clients, we can retrospectively assess the supplier base in real time, identify critical suppliers and determine where action needs to be taken. We have created a complete solution right the way up to reporting to BAFA, which will also be adapted for all future legislation. Our goal is to make our customers feel secure so they can focus on the success of their business. In other words, Prewave can provide risk mitigation solutions for businesses in any industry.

Lippert: What challenges or future innovations will shape supply chain management in the coming years and what role will AI play in this?

Smith: What is already apparent today is the trend towards more sustainability. Legislation such as the Supply Chain Duty of Care Act was ultimately born out of consumers’ need for fair and sustainable business practices. This wave will also travel further in the rest of the world, and the issue of sustainability will become more important. The strength of AI lies primarily in its ability to sift through huge amounts of data quickly, which is essential especially in the procurement and supply chain sector. For large corporations, which often have over 50,000 suppliers, monitoring without AI is simply unthinkable. Here, Prewave is determined and passionate about making tomorrow’s supply chains more transparent, resilient, and sustainable. This has been our mission since we were founded in 2017.

Krystle Lippert

Krystle Lippert

Strategic Sales Manager GrECo International AG

T +43 664 962 40 37

Ante Banovac, GrECo Head of Group Sales & Market Coordination

Lisa Smith

Geschäftsführerin Prewave

T +43 1 30 50 743

Lisa Smith is co-founder and CEO of Prewave, a global AI-based supply chain intelligence platform. She received her PhD in Business Informatics from the Vienna University of Technology in 2017. Her research led to the spin-off Prewave, which she founded together with Harald Nitschinger in 2017. Their mission is to make tomorrow’s supply chains more transparent, resilient and sustainable.

Prewave

Prewave is ushering in a new era of transparency, resilience and sustainability. With the goal of improving supply chains, Prewave uses publicly available data from local news, social media and other databases to uncover indirect suppliers to identify and highlight risks. Prewave’s AI algorithm analyses sources in more than 50 languages and over 140 risk categories to ensure that no disruption goes unnoticed. Prewave covers the complete supply chain risk lifecycle, enabling companies to easily and efficiently implement the requirements of legislation such as the Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act.

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Saying Goodbye to Long-Term Policies and Embracing On-Demand Insurance

 As customers’ requirements grow and they gain a better understanding of this type of coverage, the popularity of on-demand insurance is destined to grow.

The traditional length of an insurance period is changing as customers’ needs and demands are starting to focus on not only more flexible and accessible insurance policies but also ones that last for a shorter period. , The days of long-term, one-to-ten-year insurance policies are waning as so called on-demand insurance policies  offer policyholders the full flexibility of turning their coverage on and off, activating the insurance policy only when needed and wanted, and paying for it accordingly. The duration flexibility of on-demand insurance allows for something as small as hourly insurance, making it difficult for insurers to estimate the duration of the contract.  Not only that, buying on-and-off insurance also leads to micro-durations and small premium amounts.

In general, consumers opt to buy on-demand insurance at a particular moment when that insurance is needed and only for the duration it is required for. It is connected to specific and higher risks because of a certain activity or type of ownership.

On-demand vs. micro-insurances: knowing the difference

As the main specifics of on-demand insurance are low premiums and a short duration it can often be connected to micro-insurances. However, there is quite a significant difference between the two. Where on-demand insurance addresses the needs of a highly digital and active population always in search of individualization, micro-insurances are focused on low-income segments where the premium payment is preferably done in installments.
As an example, take a customer who works in the gig economy. This person usually uses their vehicle for both personal and business purposes. The major problem here is that the customer’s insurance policy needs are different depending on when and how they are using their vehicle.  This means that the customer needs to purchase two insurance policies, driving his insurance costs sky high. The same problem occurs for people who rent their homes on Airbnb. Their normal household policy does not cover damages that occur when the property is used on a commercial basis. This forces them to buy two insurance policies, increasing their costs due to very expensive insurance premiums.

Why does this happen? Well, in both mentioned cases insurance policies are being sold on a yearly basis. Hence, even in the case of the person who is renting out their flat or house for only 20 days a year, they still have to pay for insurance for the whole year. On-demand insurance provides the perfect solution to the problem as it enables the customer to purchase insurance coverage only for the time it is needed. It satisfies the high requirements customers have when purchasing insurance: It can be purchased whenever and wherever you want; it is fully digital; it allows you to pay for the policy only when you need it; the policy conclusion is quick and easy; and the pricing is variable, and the terms are fixed.

These days, the usage and popularity of on-demand insurance is limited: according to KPMG, it makes up less than 1% of the global market. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t dismiss it out of hand.  As customers’ requirements grow and they gain a better understanding of this type of coverage, the popularity of on-demand insurance is destined to grow.


Sources:
https://www.tcs.com/content/dam/global-tcs/en/pdfs/insights/whitepapers/rise-of-on-demand-insurance.pdf
 
https://www.the-digital-insurer.com/insurtech-insights/on-demand-insurance/
 
https://content.naic.org/cipr-topics/demand-insurance
 
https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-is-on-demand-insurance/
 
https://www.managementstudyguide.com/on-demand-insurance.htm
 
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41288-022-00265-7

 

Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

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Health & Benefits: A Fresh Approach to Employee Benefits

The new world order is bringing many existing workplace trends to the fore, while accelerating the adoption of flexible and agile working environments and raising concerns about the mental health of employees. 

In the war for talent, a robust yet evolving Health & Benefits programme has become a key requirement for employers to stand out and attract new team members, while retaining and motivating the existing workforce. HR & Benefit teams are facing many challenges. Here are a few:

  • 5 generations in the workforce create challenges for the HR community
  • War for talent includes recruitment, retention, and motivation
  • Personalisation of benefits
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Menopause
  • Enhanced parental and leave policies
  • Wellbeing (financial / mental / physical / social)
  • Absenteeism and presenteeism
  • Mobile workforce, global mobility, and expats
  • Flexible and agile working
  • Employee value proposition

Employee expectations are changing too, and, with further challenges in recruitment and retention of talent, employers – not just small domestic, but even smaller multinationals – are considering introducing more diverse benefits for their people, sometimes for the first time.
 
Employers are looking to work with specialist consultancies who understand their business, employee requirements and, even more importantly, act as their true partner to provide sustainable long-term Health & Benefits solutions.
 
With the global outlook of 2023, protecting the health and wellbeing of employees has never been more important for employers than right now. More widely, addressing ESG factors can help employers manage their environmental and social footprint and determine their business risks and opportunities, and the social element is the direct link to Health & Benefits. When looking more widely at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, good health and wellbeing is one of the 17 goals.  Our GrECo Health & Benefits team is already focussing on these important aspects in its conversations with clients.
 
Moving away from a “transactional” relationship to being seen as a partner, an extension to the HR team, our international specialist Health & Benefit Risk Managers work closely with HR & Benefit teams to support and advise on the current and future benefit strategies of the business.
 

Providing sustainable and tailored solutions

It is no longer just about insurance, it is about how an employer can successfully establish a robust, yet flexible Health & Benefits programme for the multigenerational and generational diverse workforce of today – and tomorrow.

We work with our clients to put in place:

  • Market-leading tailored Health & Benefits concepts which we compare to relevant labour and tax law options
  • Planning and support for in-house implementation and optimisation of existing systems
  • Support in the selection of partners through tender negotiations and comparisons, evaluations, etc., as well as support for tenders in line with public procurement law
  • Complete project management expertise to implement employee benefit schemes
  • Where needed, centralised multinational client coordination – centralising the benefits administration, compliance, governance, and stewardship
  • Local specialists, supported by group-wide international experts

 
If we look at the current geopolitical and global economic backdrop, we realise that despite our years of experience, we have never come across such high levels of uncertainty. Many questions remain unanswered, for example: When will the next pandemic hit? Or the next war? Will we face a global recession? Will the energy crisis worsen? In terms of Health & Benefits, the question is how can these programmes function and remain sustainable if and when we are confronted with the next challenge?
 
The new world order is bringing many existing workplace trends to the fore, while accelerating the adoption of flexible and agile working environments and raising concerns about the mental health of employees. 

What our clients say:

Gözen

GÖZEN HOLDING is a group of companies, active in the field of airlines, representation, surveillance, fuel, controlling, brokerage, security and training in the aviation industry. Based on its experience and know-how gained over 44 years, Gözen Holding has become a brand in the industry. Gözen Holding continues its successful activities in tourism and in the aviation sector with more than 3,500 employees. GrECo Turkey has been the trusted broker of Gözen Holding since 2014. It was GrECo’s extensive know-how in employee benefits and experience in claims handling that motivated Gözen Holding to work with GrECo.

Сет Bozyiğit
Board Member at Gözen Holding A.Ş

Additional insurances for employees have become a key competitive factor in both recruitment and employee retention. That’s why we need a partner who is very familiar with all these processes and who provides personal top-notch services and solutions that fully support our employees.

ЕСЕ Türkiye

The expert in shopping centres and multifunctional complexes was founded in October 2000 in Istanbul. ЕСЕ Türkiye is an affiliate company of the German ECE, the European market leader in the field of shopping centres with approximately 200 centres under management and activities in 13 countries. With more than 50 years of experience in Europe and 22 years of experience in Turkey, ЕСЕ invests in the future of the retail industry. GrECo Turkey has been the trusted broker of ECE Türkiye since 2014.
 

İrem Tür
Human Resources Director ЕСЕ Türkiye

Thanks to GrECo’s comprehensive services and solutions, we, as Human Resources, ensure a high degree of employee satisfaction.  This helps us focus on our core business.

GfK

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.

APS TRADING

Established in 1995, APS Advanced Printing Systems is a company with leading market positions, track record and history in the production of thermal printer mechanisms, controller boards and tailor-made thermal printing solutions. APS engineering, production, sales offices and representatives are strategically located across the globe in Europe, Asia and the United States. The company aims to provide highly reliable, innovative thermal printer solutions that meet needs of customers’ applications.
 

Desislava Petrova
HR Manager APS TRADING OOD

GrECo helps us understand new trends and differences in the market and take the best decisions for our employees. Their knowledgeable, dedicated, and caring staff expertise has added key elements to extend and augment our efficiency in employee care.

Preslava Gencheva joins GrECo

Preslava Gencheva

Deputy Group Practice Leader Health & Benefits

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More Than Just an Insurance: Credit Insurance in Uncertain Times

At the beginning of the last quarter of 2022 some economic forecasts stated that the energy crisis, inflation, higher interest rates and the outlook for a recession could significantly boost the number of business bankruptcies.

Especially in these economically and politically challenging times, trade credit insurance is more than just an insurance. It is an important credit risk management tool for monitoring existing and future business partners` creditworthiness, their payment behaviour and for obtaining the detailed information companies need on business partners to help them making the “right credit decision”.  

In line with its specialisation strategy, GrECo focuses on the individual needs of different industries and provides clients with tailor-made trade credit solutions as well as a unique team of specialists, mainly based in Austria, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria. The partnership with km credit consulting team, additionally provides the GrECo Group with significant benefits for its international clientele.

The ugly face of war

The rapid recovery of the global economy in 2021 resulted in quite optimistic forecasts for 2022 – until 24th February2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, followed by EU and US sanctions significantly darkened the global economic outlook for 2022 at an early stage.
 
The war in Ukraine is not only a humanitarian catastrophe and a threat to Europe’s security, but also an economic disaster.  Considering Europe`s energy dependency on Russia, the immediate impact on energy markets and the financial sector quickly became apparent.

Reaction of the Trade Credit Insurers – the risk action   

In light of these economic and political developments and an unforeseeable future, the trade credit insurance market reacted quickly: no new or additional export credit limits for buyers in Russia, in Ukraine and in Belarus.
 
As the situation in Ukraine and Russia did not improve in 2022, further restrictions were expected, not only for the export business. The complexity of the imposed sanctions and the effect on trade flows posed an increased risk for both, the companies and the trade credit insurers. For the time being, the financial data of Russian companies are not to be disclosed due to an order by the Central Bank of Russia in addition. Credit assessment and monitoring a buyer`s creditworthiness is however the core business of any credit insurance. Given the current business climate, it was inevitable that insurers would pull out from Russian credit limits at the end of 2022.  

“Inflation Blues” and the need for higher credit limits

One of the economic consequences of the pandemic was a disruption of global supply chains.  Lifting the Covid restrictions lead to an exceptional surge in demand. At the same time, bottlenecks kept supply down. Due to that vulnerable business environment, the inflation initially began its rally in 2021.
 
To support the economic upswing, credit insurers were required to upgrade certain industry sectors and increase the coverage for many companies in line with increased prices.
 
The war in Ukraine fuelled inflation in 2022. The sanctions imposed on Russia, oil and gas, wheat as well as certain global commodities resulted in high price volatility, which, in turn, was often driven by the fear of possible supply shortages. Dealing with already very high inflation, high energy prices are still one of the most important factors to monitor for the global trade.
 
Europe`s energy dependency on Russian oil and gas highlighted the need for investment in green infrastructure projects to enhance resilience and help reduce the carbon footprint.
In its effort to fight inflation, the ECB initiated a turnaround by raising key interest rates for the first time in July 2022 by 0.5 percentage points. In various increases until December 2022 the overall hikes amounted to 2.5%. The key driver was the record inflation of 10.4% in October 2022, which remained at an equally high level in November and December 2022.
 
Thus, Trade Credit Insurers have been focussing on those companies which do not have the risk-bearing capacity to cope with multiple risks at the same time, including supply chain disruptions and transportation bottlenecks, higher costs of energy, raw materials and financing, etc. as indirect consequences of the global inflation surge in the uncertain economic environment.

Insolvencies on the rise, but do not panic!

At the beginning of the last quarter of 2022 some economic forecasts stated that the energy crisis, inflation, higher interest rates and the outlook for a recession could significantly boost the number of business bankruptcies. 
 
Some countries have therefore resumed temporary government support measures. Let`s hope that government support will be better targeted and limited this time. It could, however, also result in a delay of corporate bankruptcies, especially in some European countries.
 
Global business insolvencies were expected to increase by +10% in 2022 and +19% in 2023, similar to pre-Covid levels. These statements were made with the current economic challenges in mind. 
 

Lisbeth Lorenz

Group Practice Leader Credit & Political Risk

T +43 664 883 805 12

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