Pioneering UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance - Swiss Re as a founding member

As a signatory to the Paris Pledge for Action and the UN Global Compact Business Ambition for 1.5°C, as well as a co-founder of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA) Swiss Re is supporting the transition to a low carbon economy and is committed to achieving net-zero emissions on the asset and liability side by 2050 and on the operations side by 2030.

To reach this ambitious goal Swiss Re is now making the next step: Seven of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers - working together with the UN Environment Programme - intend to establish a Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA). The CEOs of the founding members — AXA (NZIA Chair), Allianz, Aviva, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich — have also formally submitted a statement of intent to join the COP26 Race to Zero campaign and become part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). GFANZ brings together existing and new net-zero finance initiatives into one sector-wide strategic forum.  

Thierry Leger, Chief Underwriting Officer, Swiss Re comments: "Climate change is the biggest challenge we face as society. It requires our immediate attention to support the transition to net-zero. By co-founding the NZIA Swiss Re reconfirms its commitment, also on the underwriting side, to make the world more resilient and sustainable."

The insurance industry plays a key role in the transition to Net-Zero as a risk manager, insurer and investor. A few weeks ago, Swiss Re, as a founding member of AOA, has announced concrete targets for how to achieve net zero by 2050. This includes a carbon intensity reduction target of 35% for corporate bond and listed equity portfolio by 2025; long-term objective to exit coal-based assets for the portfolio by 2030; and systematically engaging with portfolio companies on developing climate strategies as part of a broader engagement framework. The new targets have been defined in accordance with science and the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance Target Setting Protocol, which Swiss Re played an instrumental role in developing, and which serves as a guide for the Alliance members.

The engagement with the NZIA also builds on the already announced efforts in exiting thermal coal: In 2023 Swiss Re will tighten its coal policy by introducing new thermal coal exposure thresholds for treaty re/insurance across its property, engineering, casualty, credit & surety and marine cargo lines of business. The thresholds will be lowered gradually and will lead to a complete phase out of thermal coal exposure in OECD countries by 2030 and in the rest of the world by 2040. The coal policy is part of the Group’s Sustainable Business Risk Framework which was established already in 2009. In 2020, Swiss Re revised the oil and gas policy in the same framework and in the beginning of 2021 gradually started withdrawing insurance support from the most carbon-intensive oil and gas production.

To learn more about the NZIA and how the Alliance and its members comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations, including anti-trust also visit the NZIA Press Release.

Selected climate commitments and initiatives of Swiss Re