Sustainable construction and Swiss Re Next
Swiss Re has around 70 offices in more than 30 countries. For new building or renovation work, we apply a number of principles. One of them is sustainability, which translates into criteria such as stringent construction standards, high-quality fittings and finishes, a comfortable ambient climate, environmentally sound, durable materials, low energy consumption and low maintenance and running costs. Constructing or renovating an office building in line with such sustainability criteria is the most effective way to minimise its environmental footprint.
For construction projects in Switzerland, the applicable criteria are defined in detail in the Energy Mission Statement of Swiss Re, Zurich: They stipulate that new buildings need to conform to the MINERGIE® standard (www.minergie.ch), a Swiss quality label specifying high levels of energy efficiency and superior user comfort. When we renovate old buildings, this standard is to be applied if feasible from an architectural, technical and financial perspective. Our pension fund in Switzerland applies the same criteria for all its direct investments into real estate projects.
In practice, we usually go beyond these requirements and use further standards such as MINERGIE-ECO® – which also includes health criteria and demands on building materials – and, more recently, MINERGIE-P-ECO®, which specifies the characteristics of a “passive house” that consumes even less energy than a MINERGIE®-certified building.