Qorus Innovation in Insurance Awards 2023 - Winner

Digital Green Index and guidelines to create an "energy-efficient" digital channel.

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12/04/2023 Insurance Innovation

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How UnipolSai adopted an eco-friendly approach for the development of its digital channels, by creating culture and awareness about the digital pollution issue.

Innovation presentation

UnipolSai Assicurazioni S.p.A. is the insurance company of the Unipol Group. The company operates throughout Italy with the most widespread agency network, supporting over 10 million customers in their choices of protection, welfare, and quality of life, through a complete range of solutions for innovative and cutting-edge technological services. UnipolSai is the leading Italian insurance company in the non-life sector and the absolute leader in motor insurance.

In recent years it has been focusing on the innovation of its commercial offer with the opening of new sales channels, aiming at customer loyalty through the development of various digital channels.

The Opening New Ways 22-24 business plan characterized by the strategic guideline Data Driven Omnichannel Insurance sees the digital channel as one of the strengths on which focus to achieve the objectives, also in continuity with the previous plan. As a result, the use of the Group's digital channels is increased rapidly by all the stakeholders. In recent years, however, there has been an increasing awareness that digital channels are also the cause of pollution, causing considerable CO2 emissions.

In fact, according to the Global Carbon Project, in 2020 the Internet was the 4th country in the World for energy consumption. The causes are:

1) fossil fuels used to produce energy for data centers, servers, and back-ups;

2) the inefficient ways in which websites are technically created.

For this reason, UnipolSai has taken action to address the problem on the Group's public websites, also creating a corporate culture on ESG. Thanks to the collaboration with the Swiss company AvantGrade.com, UnipolSai has analyzed the consumption of its digital channels to optimize emissions through the application of the Digital Green Index and defining the guidelines to follow for the creation of an "Energy Efficient" digital channel. Today, the Group is one of the first Italian insurance companies to adopt a proactive approach to the sustainability subject and to commit itself to reduce the CO2 consumption of its websites and apps.

To achieve the energy efficiency objectives, the work of various teams such as Digital Experience, Sustainability, Marketing, and IT was fundamental. The project started in September 2021, mainly consists of two paths that will be compared from a pilot perspective (It will then be applied to all the Group websites):

1) Assessment and optimization of the Unipol Group websites, developed without following energy efficiency guidelines, by analyzing the 50 desktop pages and 50 smartphone pages with the most traffic;

2) Assessment and optimization of the new GlassX.it website, designed following energy efficiency guidelines, where the 25 desktop pages and the 25 smartphone pages with the most traffic were analyzed.

The process is characterized by the following strategy:

1) Through the use of the KarmaMetrix algorithm, it is possible to estimate the efficiency of the websites and the CO2 emitted.

2) Once the data are obtained, the results are compared with the worldwide median CO2 emissions of the websites.

3) An efficiency rating is then defined for the mobile and desktop versions of the websites.

4) Once the efficiency rating is obtained, the data are analyzed to identify effective solution proposals to improve the consumption of the websites, such as, for example, adapting the images to the screen or eliminating unused JavaScript code.

5) Implementation of the suggested solutions for CO2 emissions optimization.

6) Finally, a new Karma Test for verifying the results achieved.

Uniqueness of the project

The uniqueness of the project is that UnipolSai defined a tailor-made optimization method for the group's digital channels, becoming one of the first insurance groups to analyze data on ESG topics and the first to apply a Digital Green Index in the Italian insurance sector. The purpose of the Digital Green Index and the Energy Efficiency Guidelines is to reduce emissions from digital channels by promoting a design and management approach that pays attention not only to the communication and usability aspects but also to maintaining the energy efficiency of all Web components. This allows the Group to increase awareness and attention to ESG issues and to progress the energy efficiency of digital assets; to improve the Corporate Sustainability Assessment; to increase energy and economic savings; to improve the user experience as optimization leads to faster and more effective navigation by users on the digital channels; to improve the brand image; and finally to take advantage of the SEO advantage that the Google algorithm offers to the most efficient websites.

To achieve these objectives, the work of various teams such as Digital Experience, Sustainability, Marketing, and IT was fundamental. The project started in September 2021, mainly consists of two paths that will be compared from a pilot perspective:

1) Assessment and optimization of the Unipol Group websites, developed without following energy efficiency guidelines, by analyzing the 50 desktop pages and 50 smartphone pages with the most traffic;

2) Assessment and optimization of the new GlassX.it website, designed following energy efficiency guidelines, where the 25 desktop pages and the 25 smartphone pages with the most traffic were analyzed.

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