Our position and objectives

Today, global warming is a fact. Since the beginning of industrialisation and the rapid growth of world population, man’s activities – along with natural variability – have contributed to a change of climate manifesting itself as a considerable increase in global temperature. Climate change has the potential to develop into our planet’s greatest environmental challenge of the 21st century.

Current and expected changes in the natural environment are causing the business and political environments to react and change – even more so because climate change is intertwined with numerous other challenging issues such as water availability and energy security. As an enabler of change, the financial services industry can help guide society towards an effective response. However, the industry can only be effective in this role if the regulatory and legislative framework sets the right incentives for emissions reduction and adaptation on a global scale.

As a major global reinsurer, Swiss Re is committed to taking a leading role in the climate debate. We identified climate change as an emerging risk some 20 years ago, and the concern has since evolved into an important component of the company’s long-term risk management strategy. Our actions are based on the premise that it is in the interest of our shareholders, clients and employees, the wider stakeholder community and society in general to tackle this issue. Furthermore, we believe that companies can make an effective contribution by developing the numerous business opportunities which climate change has created, or will create in the future.

We are continuing to develop and strengthen our commitment to this issue. More specifically, we are pursuing the following objectives:

  • advancing our knowledge and understanding of climate change risks, quantifying and integrating them into our risk management and underwriting frameworks where relevant
  • developing products and services to mitigate – or adapt to – climate risk;
  • raising awareness about climate change risks through risk dialogue with clients, employees and the public, and advocacy of a worldwide policy framework for climate change
  • tackling our own carbon footprint and ensuring transparent, annual emissions reporting

Climate change has been designated a Swiss Re Top Topic, which means that it is recognised as an issue of Group-wide strategic importance. Responsibility for this Top Topic is assigned to our Chief Risk Officer, a member of the Executive Committee; the topic is managed and steered by the Head of Sustainability & Emerging Risk Management.

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