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2014 Corporate Responsibility Report

Group sourcing policy and minimum standards

As a re/insurance company, Swiss Re does not have an extensive supply chain. Our core business does not require us to buy intermediate inputs like a manufacturing company. However, to run our operations, we need a range of goods and services.

When procuring these goods and services, we apply general and individual criteria. In line with our overarching Group Sourcing Policy, we select suppliers that offer the best value for money, meet high quality standards and adhere to the UN Global Compact. As a signatory to the Compact, we are committed to honouring all its ten principles; amongst other things, these prohibit any sort of discrimination or the use of child or forced labour, and require that the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining be upheld.

We consider environmental criteria relating to materials and ingredients, production methods, recycling and waste. For some sourcing categories, we have developed “minimum standards” that further specify our requirements: besides power (see Using renewable power and the RE100 initiative) and paper (see Paper, water and waste), these cover office supplies, cleaning services and agents, furniture and building materials. Each standard lists objectives, ecological aspects, ecological minimum standards, exceptions, controlling and labels.

When selecting new suppliers, we examine whether they comply with these requirements as part of the overall evaluation process. We take a fresh look at existing strategic suppliers in our periodical contract reviews, and we visit individual suppliers to inspect them onsite. Internally, we hold regular awareness trainings with all our sourcing staff.

In 2014, we screened our critical, important and material (CIM) suppliers using a risk-based approach: It included country and industry specific sustainability criteria established through our Sustainability Risk Framework (see section “Our Sustainability Risk Framework”) as well as specific country risk ratings (see section “Specific approaches per asset class”). The assessment did not reveal any significant sustainability or reputational risks among our CIM suppliers.