Group Sustainability Strategy
Feedback from our stakeholders confirms that Swiss Re is widely regarded as a sustainability leader, reflecting our many achievements to date. It is notable, however, that the momentum around sustainable development has intensified recently, opening up new opportunities to businesses for decisive action. Building on our successful track record, our Group Executive Committee has thus decided to further strengthen our efforts and to develop an enhanced Group Sustainability Strategy.
This enhanced strategy defines sustainability as a strategic, long-term value driver and embeds this approach throughout our re/insurance value chain. At its core, it involves managing and monitoring risks and opportunities associated with environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Sustainable re/insurance covers both the liability and the asset side of our balance sheet, our own operations and dialogue with our stakeholders. In our core business, it aims to develop innovative solutions, improve business and investment performance on a risk-adjusted basis, and thus to contribute to environmental, social and economic sustainability.
Key elements of our Group Sustainability Strategy
At its highest level, the strategy states our Sustainability Mission, derived from Swiss Re’s vision of making the world more resilient, to the benefit of all our key stakeholders. It expresses what we do and what we aim for:
We insure, invest, operate and share our knowledge in a way that tackles sustainability challenges and creates long-term value.
Our 2030 Sustainability Ambitions provide this mission with topical focus areas. Initially, we have selected three overarching ambitions that describe how we can have a significant positive impact in terms of supporting sustainability and strengthening resilience (see Focus: 2030 Sustainability Ambitions for further details):
- Mitigating climate risk and advancing the energy transition
- Building societal resilience
- Driving affordable insurance with digital solutions
Finally, we have defined three Principles to guide our practical work:
The illustration below shows how the elements of our Group Sustainability Strategy interact with each other:
Adjusting our terminology
Reflecting our enhanced Group Sustainability Strategy and its accelerating relevance for our business, we have changed our terminology and replaced our former umbrella term of “corporate responsibility” with “sustainability”. In line with this change, our annual review is now called Sustainability Report instead of Corporate Responsibility Report.
You can learn more about our Group Sustainability Strategy and related aspects on the following pages: the crucial link between sustainability and resilience, our three 2030 Sustainability Ambitions, our Climate Action Plan, our approach to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (see below) and the full, adjusted set of our Sustainability Topics with related targets.
Our approach to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Swiss Re endorses the UN Agenda 2030. Since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were launched in 2015, we have continuously refined our approach to using the SDG framework and defining how our business contributes to achieving the goals.
We started by mapping the SDGs to our Sustainability Topics (formerly Corporate Responsibility Topics), clearly showing where we contribute to the SDGs (see Our Sustainability Topics).
We then explored how to use our Group Sustainability Strategy to further align our activities with the SDGs, and understand related strengths, opportunities and risks. We have analysed our Reinsurance Underwriting Portfolio from an SDG perspective and will use the insights for our portfolio steering. As we look to develop further products supporting sustainability, an important criterion will be how we can contribute to the SDGs.
As part of our responsible investment strategy, we have developed an approach to measuring the impact of our thematic investments and aligning it to the SDGs (see Inclusion).
Going forward, we will further focus on mapping, measuring and disclosing our SDG contributions and impacts. Below you can see all the SDGs we address through our activities:
Our external commitments
Based on our commitment to sustainability, we have committed to a number of external charters and initiatives:
- Paris Pledge for Action
- UN Global Compact Business Ambition for 1.5°C
- Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance
- IDF commitment with UN Development Programme, Germany and the UK
- UN Global Compact: for our Communication on Progress
- UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI): for our Public Disclosure of Progress
- Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
- Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (FSB-TCFD)
- CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project)