adesso Blog

Today, sustainability is more than just a buzzword. It has become an important factor across all sectors and fields of business. In the insurance industry in particular, sustainable products and processes are now essential to meet environmental regulations, financial requirements and the needs of society. One of the main drivers of sustainability is the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) passed by the European Parliament, which is a prime example of the increasing influence of regulation on companies. This new directive applies to almost all insurance companies, more specifically to those that meet two of the following three criteria: more than €20 million in total assets, more than €40 million in turnover and more than 250 employees. CSRD requires that companies provide detailed and transparent information on aspects of sustainability in their annual reports. This includes information on environmental impact, social issues, employee rights, diversity, anti-corruption and other ESG indicators. The goal of these guidelines is to make the market more transparent and provide investors, customers and other stakeholders with more information about the sustainability practices of companies.

Sustainability is not just discussed at adesso; it is actively practised. In the Line of Business Insurance, we also see the need to step up our efforts in the area of sustainability and provide our customers with the best possible support in meeting the challenges outlined above. In addition to this, we also entered into a partnership with the German Sustainability Network (GSN) in 2020 in order to more effectively assist our customers in the area of sustainability. To give a little background, GSN is an industry initiative that offers the insurance industry and related stakeholders a platform to discuss issues in and around sustainability along with the accompanying solutions to them.

Its work focuses on three core areas: discuss, define and develop. The 3 D’s make it possible to gain a holistic view of sustainability issues along the entire value chain of the insurance industry. Employees from different departments and fields are involved in efforts to promote new ways of thinking and acting – also within the company.


GSN’s event formats include focus sessions, webinars, workshops and conferences. They create a space for regular discussion, for sharing ideas and for networking.


GSN is constantly expanding its knowledge base through surveys, basic courses and research projects. Specific topics and issues are addressed in order to create a greater awareness for sustainability and continuously expand the network’s expertise in this area.


Working groups and discussion forums provide a space to explore specific issues in greater depth. Project work is done alongside this process to foster new ideas to solve practical problems.

Within these structures, the core areas in focus play a key role. There are 11 focus groups at GSN, Investment, Product Development and HR being three of them. As a partner of the ‘IT’ focus group, adesso firmly believes that IT, when properly deployed, can foster sustainability at the company and play a critical role in almost every department. Last year, we teamed up with GSN to implement and actively shape a number of initiatives, which once again underscores our strong commitment to sustainability.

‘Sustainable Software Engineering’ working group

The insurance industry is facing growing challenges in the area of sustainability today. However, this also represents a great chance for insurers to burnish their reputation on the market. In our ‘Sustainable Software Engineering’ working group, we have taken up the topic of sustainable software development and the process surrounding it. The touchpoints at which the carbon footprint can be actively managed or positively influenced were discussed at a total of seven meetings. One step in the development process outlined in the diagram below was addressed and explored at each meeting.

The aim of the interdisciplinary group of experts from various German insurance companies was to share experiences and discuss the effects of and possibilities with regards to sustainable practices along the software development process. The question of ‘what are the primary tools to improve sustainability?’ took centre stage here.

The results produced by the working group include findings on how to reduce energy consumption in development environments, minimise the environmental impact through optimised server usage and adopt efficient test procedures. Recommendations for action targeted at insurance companies can be derived from these results. In turn, the recommendations stress the importance of taking a holistic approach to incorporating sustainability into a company’s IT strategy. Environmental factors, social responsibility and long-term value creation were all taken on board.

The detailed results of the working group are currently being prepared and will be published in an article produced in collaboration with GSN. I will present the results and recommendations for action and describe the core topics in greater detail below.

Focus session

Regular focus sessions at which the relevant focus groups meet and get new ideas from presentations given by people from outside the network are also held, in addition to the working group. Our most recent focus session on ‘Sustainable Software Engineering’ back in October included the following presentations:

  • Sustainability development at the company
  • How to raise the employee awareness for sustainability
  • Blue Angel for energy-efficient data centre operation and resource- and energy-efficient software products

At these sessions, current trends and topics relating to sustainability in IT are brought up for debate, which generates new ideas that can be further explored and fleshed out by another working group, for example.

Internal brainstorming sessions

Regular meetings are held with adesso and the GSN contacts to plan and organise these joint activities and exchange information on the latest topics of interest. We also meet on site for advanced planning and brainstorming sessions.

GSN Summit Berlin

The GSN Summit is a two-day conference hosted and organised by GSN. Current trends and topics from across all focus areas are addressed and discussed here. There are internal panel discussions and other opportunities available to meet and share ideas, in addition to a number of really exciting guest lectures. There is also plenty of time for networking.

adesso’s partnership with GSN allows it to gain new insights, share ideas and jointly explore new ways to promote sustainability in the insurance industry. This is an important step in the right direction as we seek to create a sustainable future for the industry. We look forward to continuing our partnership and to the next lively working group, which will kick off the new year of our collaboration in January 2024. Please contact me if you are also interested in taking a closer look at the sustainability of IT systems at your company or discussing solutions for the future together with the GSN network.

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Would you like to find out more about exciting topics from the world of adesso? Then take a look at our previous blog posts.

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Picture Svenja Schröder

Author Svenja Schröder

Svenja Schröder joined adesso in January 2021 as a consultant in the Line of Business Insurance. Before that, she gained a lot of experience in the field of InsurTechs and ecosystems in the insurance industry as a working student during her Master's degree in Risk and Insurance Management. She is also involved in the topics of environmental protection and sustainability.

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