Swiss Re underscores commitment to sustainable development with inspiring TV documentary on global warming

24 February 2005, Hong Kong

Swiss Re's latest initiative to raise public awareness about sustainability comes in the form of an inspiring TV documentary entitled 'The Great Warming'. Supported by Swiss Re and narrated by Alanis Morissette and Keanu Reeves, the documentary is a three-part series which explores not only the underlying science of climate change but the solutions that will lead to a truly sustainable future. The three episodes of 'The Great Warming' will be aired on TVB Pearl at 9:30p.m. on 1, 8 and 15 March respectively.

'As part of our core focus on sustainability, Swiss Re has been committed to actively raising awareness of climate change issues for well over a decade and we believe that 'The Great Warming' is an important step forward,' said Mr. Simon Lam, General Manager for the Hong Kong Branch of Swiss Re.
Sustainability is a core value for Swiss Re and the focus of its 'Sharing Solutions' initiatives, which aim to highlight and address the key issues that are vital to building a sustainable future. In recognition of its sustainability program and related activities, Swiss Re is the insurance sector leader of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index . The Company is also actively involved in supporting organisations such as the United Nations Environmental Program Finance Initiative and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which are both dedicated to promoting sustainability.
'The purpose of this documentary is not only to broaden understanding of the issues surrounding global warming, but to share the important message that everyone can play a part in tackling climate change and make a difference,' he added.
Filmed in eight countries across four continents, the documentary aims to be visually appealing to viewers, as well as factually correct; the film has been endorsed by an international advisory committee comprising 15 leading scientists in the area of climatology including Swiss Re's climatologist Gerry Lemcke.
In addition to rising temperatures, scientists warn that the frequency of flooding will increase as a result of global climate change. There is also a growing view that global warming could increase other weather-based catastrophes. According to research conducted by the Hong Kong Observatory in 2003 , Hong Kong's annual mean temperature has been rising since records at the Observatory began in 1885. The 1990s have been the warmest decade and the annual mean temperature in Hong Kong is expected to continue to rise in the 21st century. The findings of the research are in line with the global warming trend.
'We hope that 'The Great Warming' encourages people in Hong Kong to start thinking more about the far-reaching impact of global warming, and start doing their part to avert the potentially catastrophic effects,' concluded Mr. Lam.
Mr. Lam was speaking at a private screening of the documentary for those who are committed to sustainable development including representatives from the insurance industry and the wider business community, NGOs and members of the media.

Notes to editors

The Great Warming: Episode Synopsis

Episode 1: The Human Fingerprint
'The Human Fingerprint' explores the underlying science and evidence of climate change from Asia to the Americas and its potential major impact on our future.
Episode 2: Age of Uncertainty
'Age of Uncertainty' looks at the legacy of climate change, the consequences of a 'business-as-usual' scenario. Climate change is deceptive - it doesn't show itself in any one form. Little by little, our world is changing. But the good news is that we can reduce its impact. Around the world, millions upon millions of people do care and they are going to change the world.
Episode 3: Our Children's Planet
'Our Children's Planet' introduces the audience to some of the solutions used by innovators and communities throughout the world to combat global warming.

Swiss Re

Swiss Re is one of the world's leading reinsurers and the world's largest life and health reinsurer. The company operates through more than 70 offices in over 30 countries. Swiss Re has been in the reinsurance business since its foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863. Through its three business groups Property, Casualty, Life,Health and Financial Services, Swiss Re offers a wide variety of products to manage capital and risk. Traditional reinsurance products, including a broad range of property and casualty as well as life and health covers and related services, are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re is rated 'AA' by Standard, Poor's, 'Aa2' by Moody's and 'A+' by A.M. Best.
Swiss Re has been associated with Asia since 1913, and now has more than 600 staff in 13 offices in Asia Pacific.

Sharing Solutions

Swiss Re places the highest importance on supporting the communities in which it serves, fostering solid relationships with its stakeholders and raising awareness of Swiss Re's commitment to sustainability.
Sharing Solutions is Swiss Re's way of sharing through corporate citizenship activities with various philanthropic sponsorships as well as several initiatives raising awareness for, access to, and conservation of, clean drinking water resources and global climate change. These topics have a substantial impact on the company's sustainability goals and require interaction with its stakeholders.
Sharing Solutions initiatives go beyond providing funds: Swiss Re also contributes specialists and organisational know-how and support to its partners.