Sustainability governance

Swiss Re's sustainability set-up involves our Board of Directors, Group Executive Committee (Group EC), Group Sustainability Council and clear responsibilities for our Group EC members.

Board of Directors

At Swiss Re’s highest governance level, the Board of Directors (BoD) is responsible for overseeing the development and adoption of the Group Sustainability Strategy and related policies. Detailed tasks have been assigned to three BoD committees.

  • Based on regular updates from management and the sustainability team, the Chairman’s and Governance Committee monitors and reviews general progress on the Group’s Sustainability Strategy including all sustainability-related external engagements.
  • The Board’s Investment Committee reviews Swiss Re’s Asset Management activities and, as part of this, receives regular updates on Group Asset Management’s responsible investing approach.
  • The Board’s Finance and Risk Committee defines the Group Risk Policy, reviews risk capacity limits, monitors adherence to risk tolerance, and reviews all top risk issues and exposures, including those with a specific sustainability dimension.

Group Executive Committee

While the BoD is responsible for oversight, the Group Executive Committee (Group EC) approves the implementation of the Group Sustainability Strategy.

As part of its mandate, it approves detailed sustainability policies such as the thermal coal policy introduced in 2018. Furthermore, it sets and monitors risk capacity limits (including for natural catastrophes), and determines product policy and underwriting standards. As we are implementing our Group Sustainability Strategy, we have introduced a number of qualitative key performance indicators for the Group EC and its individual members.

In order to optimise coordination at Group level, the Group EC has established a Group Sustainability Council (GSC), chaired by the Group Chief Risk Officer. The GSC is an advisory body to the Group EC. It is composed of Group EC members and further senior management representatives.

The Group EC members who head Swiss Re’s Business Units and Group Functions have explicit tasks related to sustainability, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • The Group Chief Risk Officer (Group CRO) is responsible for providing the BoD and Group EC with independent assurance that all of Swiss Re’s risks are being appropriately modelled, governed and managed, and that adequate controls are in place. As part of executing these responsibilities, the Group CRO is charged with establishing the Group’s Risk Management Framework for all risk categories, including sustainability and emerging risks. In addition, the Group CRO is also chairing the GSC. In this role, he guides the GSC coordination of sustainability activities across the Swiss Re Group.
  • The Group Chief Investment Officer (Group CIO) has overall responsibility for Group Asset Management and its investment result, and with that also for the consistent integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects along the investment process. The Group CIO is responsible for investment decisions within the Strategic Asset Allocation implementation, including those related to responsible investing and is informed of ESG updates through various channels including the Asset Management Investment Committee.
  • The Group Chief Financial Officer (Group CFO) is responsible for the Group-wide Finance function with a focus on steering and achieving the Group’s financial targets. He is also responsible for Swiss Re’s investor relations and public disclosures, including the Group Annual Report (which includes our Climate-related Financial Disclosures).
  • The Chairman Swiss Re Institute and Group Chief Underwriting Officer (Group CUO) is responsible for steering capital to the most attractive areas in underwriting that are of strategic importance for the Group’s underwriting, and overseeing research and development that improves both capital allocation and risk selection. The Institute’s research agenda also includes sustainability and resilience-related topics.
  • The Group Chief Operating Officer (Group COO) is responsible for the Group-wide operations functions. This responsibility includes overseeing Communications, Human Resources, the Corporate Real Estate & Services (CRES) division, Global Sourcing and IT, CRES steers and monitors the reduction of Swiss Re’s environmental footprint and is in charge of Swiss Re’s Greenhouse Neutral Programme to reduce our own CO2 emissions as well as the new commitment to reach net-zero CO2 emissions in our operations by 2030.

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