2030 Sustainability Ambitions

Our 2030 Sustainability Ambitions denote three topical focus areas where we can have a significant positive impact in terms of supporting sustainability and strengthening resilience.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about these key ambitions of our Group Sustainability Strategy.

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Mitigating climate risk and advancing the energy transition

The effects of climate change are already evident and impacting our risk landscape: warmer average temperatures, rising sea levels, longer and more frequent heatwaves, as well as more intense precipitation events. These phenomena are becoming the new normal and will increasingly impact our way of life, our health and our natural environment. Urgent questions we need to ask are how to tackle climate change, how to advance the transition to renewable energy, and how we can best adapt to and mitigate climate risk.

Our response

Swiss Re’s main responses to this challenge are to make societies more resilient to the growing risks of climate change and natural hazards, as well as evolving our way of doing business towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with our net-zero commitments and the Paris Agreement. We do this in a number of ways.

Climate risk mitigation and energy transition solutions

With our underwriting and innovative re/insurance solutions, we can help communities and businesses get back on their feet quickly after a disaster, as well as prepare them for more frequent and severe climate impacts.

We build partnerships with clients and governments to develop scalable solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This includes offering solutions that support the transition to more sustainable, low-carbon energy systems by managing the risks associated with renewable energy projects and making them more attractive to investors with re/insurance backing. Overall, it is our goal to be a leading re/insurance capacity provider for the development of renewable energy solutions.

Moreover, we enable the transition to a net-zero emissions economy by financing environmentally sustainable projects through green bonds, renewable energy infrastructure loans or green real estate.

Decarbonising our business model

We also promote sustainable practices in our own operations to demonstrate good stewardship, lead by example and drive long-term performance. We have committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 in our own operations, and by 2050 in our underwriting and investment portfolios. We work on decarbonising our underwriting by building on our Sustainable Business Risk Framework and by developing a comprehensive carbon steering mechanism.

We have adopted a holistic strategy to responsible investing, considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in our investment decisions. In line with the 1.5°C target, our investment-related climate strategy sets intermediate targets every 5 years and defines actions to reach a net-zero emissions investment portfolio by 2050 at the latest.

To further minimise our own carbon footprint across our operations, we have created our thought-leading CO2NetZero Programme, which includes the introduction of a triple-digit real internal carbon levy.

As part of our Group Sustainability Strategy, we have developed a Climate Action Plan, which also serves as our climate strategy. You can learn about our Climate Action Plan, our investment-related climate strategy, the CO2NetZero Programme and the progress we have made towards meeting the targets we have set for this Ambition in the Sustainability Report 2020 as well as in our climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD) in the Financial Report 2020.

Our Climate Action Plan

Swiss Re first detected the potential long-term challenges posed by climate change some 30 years ago. Consequently, it has become our most important sustainability issue: For a re/insurer, climate change constitutes a key topic because it leads to an increase in the severity and a change in the patterns of natural catastrophes such as windstorms, floods, excessive rainfall, heatwaves and drought. In combination with growing asset concentrations in exposed areas and more widespread insurance protection, this will cause a rise in average losses.

Climate change is an essential element in our Group Sustainability Strategy: “Mitigating climate risk and advancing the energy transition” is one of our three overarching 2030 Sustainability Ambitions. In the course of defining metrics and setting targets, we have developed our Climate Action Plan. The plan builds on our commitments and initiatives of recent years, and combines three objectives:

Building on our commitments and initiatives of recent years, our Climate Action Plan, which also serves as our climate change strategy, combines three objectives:

  1. We aim to become the leading re/insurance company on physical climate risk.
  2. We aim to become a leading provider of re/insurance solutions for low-carbon transition opportunities.
  3. We build partnerships to develop scalable solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

You can learn more about how we have been implementing our Climate Action Plan in our Sustainability Report 2020, in our Business Report 2020, and in our climate-friendly financial disclosures (TCFD) in the Financial Report 2020:

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