Overarching approach

Swiss Re is a long-term investor. Therefore, it follows that we take a long-term view on the risk factors that may have an adverse impact on our investment portfolio. We continue to be actively engaged in the dialogue on key requirements for long-term investors and periodically publish related research, including a report in 2015 entitled “Financial repression: The unintended consequences” (see “Selected communication products of 2015”).

At the core of our approach to tackling ESG-related risks in investments is the Sustainability Risk Framework. This framework enables us to identify and analyse potential ESG risks within an investment, and to ensure we are aligned with our governance structure.

The framework consists of an overarching human rights and environmental protection policy and seven policies on sensitive sectors or issues: the defence industry; oil and gas (including oil sands); mining; dams; animal testing; forestry, pulp & paper and oil palm; and nuclear weapons proliferation. Each policy contains a number of predefined criteria and qualitative standards that may lead to the exclusion of a company or a country from our investment scope.

Swiss Re’s Asset Management unit applies these criteria to the vast majority of our investment assets, excluding companies and countries if they do not meet the pre-defined criteria and qualitative standards.