Group Sustainability Strategy

Our enhanced Group Sustainability Strategy defines our mission, key ambitions and principles for implementation.

The strategy defines sustainability as a strategic, long-term value driver and embeds this approach throughout our re/insurance value chain. At its core, it involves managing and monitoring risks and opportunities associated with environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Key elements of the strategy

At its highest level, the strategy states our Sustainability Mission, derived from Swiss Re's vision of making the world more resilient, to the benefit of all our key stakeholders. It expresses what we do and what we aim for:

 

We insure, invest, operate and share our knowledge in a way that tackles sustainability challenges and creates long-term value.

Our 2030 Sustainability Ambitions provide this mission with topical focus areas. Initially, we have selected three overarching ambitions that describe how we can have a significant positive impact in terms of supporting sustainability and strengthening resilience:

  • Mitigating climate risk and advancing the energy transition
  • Building societal resilience
  • Driving affordable insurance with digital solutions

Finally, we have defined three Principles to guide our practical work:

  • Embed
  • Lead
  • Quantify

The illustration below shows how the elements of our Group Sustainability Strategy interact with each other:

By clicking on the tabs below, you can find out more about particular elements of our Group Sustainability Strategy.

Resilience and sustainability: the link

Making the world more resilient is Swiss Re’s vision. Sustainability as a strategic priority supports our ability to meet this vision. Here’s how:

Resilience describes the ability of individuals, organisations, communities and entire societies to bounce back after major setbacks such as financial or human loss due to natural disasters, pandemics and other risks. Effective re/insurance protection plays a vital role in strengthening this ability.

Sustainability denotes the principle of achieving economic and social development that can be maintained in the long term, ie without overusing precious resources. Major challenges that undermine sustainable development, eg climate change, insecure food supplies, health funding gaps, ageing infrastructure etc. can weaken resilience because they create new risks or aggravate existing ones, further widening the protection gap.

Our focus on sustainability seeks to identify and address the challenges that threaten stable long-term development. From the perspective of a re/insurer this translates into offering protection against such risks where viable, and supporting efforts to reduce them and to prevent them ("adaptation" and "mitigation"). This in turn helps strengthen resilience.

Finally, companies that make sustainability a priority across all aspects of their businesses are better qualified to adjust to the changing risk landscape – they become more sustainable themselves. In Swiss Res own case, this enhances our long-term prospects of continuing to meet our vision of making the world more resilient.

2030 Sustainability Ambitions

Our 2030 Sustainability Ambitions provide this mission with topical focus areas. Initially, we have selected three overarching ambitions that describe how we can have a significant positive impact in terms of supporting sustainability and strengthening resilience:

  • Mitigating climate risk and advancing the energy transition
  • Building societal reslience
  • Driving affordable insurance with digital solutions

You can learn more about our three 2030 Sustainability Ambitions here.

Our approach to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

We fully endorse the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and regard the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an important reference point to determine our material Sustainability Topics and how to address them. Since the SDGs were launched in 2015, we have continuously refined our approach to using the SDG framework and defining how our business contributes to achieving the goals.

We started by mapping the SDGs to our 2030 Sustainability Ambitions and our Sustainability Topics, clearly showing where we contribute to the SDGs (see overview in our Sustainability Report 2020).

We then explored how to use our Group Sustainability Strategy to further align our activities with the SDGs, and understand related strengths, opportunities and risks.

We worked with the portfolio owners to assess our re/insurance underwriting portfolios using the SDGs as a sustainability lens, to better understand the contributions of the individual portfolios to the SDGs and identify areas to increase our impact. This is how we are building sustainability into portfolio management on the liability side of our business.

Furthermore, we created an inventory of re/insurance products with particularly strong contributions to the SDGs, making SDG impacts visible to client managers and management.

To better understand the re/insurance industry's contribution to the SDGs, we work with the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance to develop "Insurance SDGs" (iSDGs) for the liability side of our business (see our Sustainability Report 2020).

As part of our Responsible Investing strategy, we have developed an approach to measuring the impact of our thematic investments and aligning it to the SDGs (see our Sustainability Report 2020).

In our Sustainability Report 2020 you can find detailed information on which SDGs we address through our Group Sustainability Strategy.

Contact

Related content