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2016 Corporate Responsibility Report

Our Greenhouse Neutral Programme

Climate change has been a strategic priority for Swiss Re for almost 30 years. It is a key topic for a re/insurer, because it is likely to cause more extreme and more frequent weather events, resulting in rising damages and insurance losses. Our strategy to tackle climate change rests on four pillars, one of which is our pledge to reduce our own CO2 emissions (see Focus: Climate change).

Our Greenhouse Neutral Programme has been the principal initiative to achieve this goal. Originally launched in 2003 for a ten-year period, it combined two commitments: firstly, to reduce our CO2 emissions per employee (full-time equivalent or FTE) by a specified amount; secondly, to fully offset all the remaining emissions by purchasing high-quality emission reduction credits, thus making the company greenhouse neutral for the whole period between 2003 and 2013.

Over the course of the ten years, we gradually raised our reduction target from 15% to 45% per employee. By the end of the programme’s first cycle in 2013, we had achieved a total reduction in CO2 emissions per employee of 49.3% compared to the base year 2003.