Company and country exclusions
As part of our commitment to tackling human rights and environmental risks, we exclude certain companies and countries from our business.
Through our Sustainability Risk Framework we identify, assess and tackle potential human rights and environmental risks in our business transactions. Complementing the due-diligence assessments we carry out through the Sensitive Business Risk process, we also enforce our umbrella policies and sector guidelines through company and country exclusions.
Our Sustainability Risk Framework policies specify certain criteria that may lead us to exclude a company from both our re/insurance transactions and our investments, to the extent that such an exclusion is permissible (eg by virtue of mandatory law or internal policies) and possible (eg if existing documentation relating to such re/insurance transactions and investments provide for it). These criteria include:
- Involvement in prohibited war material;
- Verifiable complicity in systemic, repeated and severe human rights violations;
- Causing repeated, severe and unmitigated damage to the environment;
- Unregulated proliferation of nuclear weapons;
- Unethical/cruel animal testing practices.
Swiss Re also excludes certain countries from its business that have particularly poor human rights records. This step goes further than compliance with international trade controls (ITCs). Our goal is to refrain from directly underwriting risks or making investments in entities that are based in these countries. We review the list of excluded countries annually based on independent human rights assessments and update it if warranted.
Complying with the UN Global Compact
As the Sustainability Risk Framework is based on the principles of respecting human rights and protecting the environment, the Sensitive Business Risk process with its two due diligence tools, company exclusions and country exclusions are our principal means to ensure compliance with the UN Global Compact in our core business.