Independent assurance report
To the management of Swiss Re Ltd, Zurich (“Swiss Re”)
We have been engaged to perform a limited assurance engagement on the consolidated CO2 emissions reporting and Corporate Responsibility topics and sections disclosed with the online version of the 2017 Swiss Re Corporate Responsibility Report (“CR Report 2017”). Those section and information of the CR Report 2017 selected by Swiss Re and subject to our assurance engagement are marked with a logo ().
Scope and subject matter
Our limited assurance engagement focused on the following data and information disclosed in the CR Report 2017 of Swiss Re and its consolidated subsidiaries, for the financial year ended 31 December 2017:
- The management and reporting processes with respect to the consolidated CR reporting as well as the control environment in relation to the aggregation of data and information;
- The organizational measures and internal key controls in place at the corporate level regarding aggregation of information obtained from the subsidiaries and reporting functions;
- The consolidated data and information disclosed in the sections “Creating sustainability solutions”, “Extending our risk intelligence”, “Being a responsible investor”, “Exploring and shaping the risk landscape”, “Reducing our environmental footprint”, “Engaging our people” and “Compliance: Code of Conduct” marked with the logo ;
- The information marked with the logo namely the consolidated CO2 emissions 2017 (Scope 1, 2 and 3 in adherence with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) of the tables entitled “CO2 emissions per employee (full-time equivalent, FTE), Swiss Re Group”, “Underlying environmental data, Swiss Re Group” and “Indirect emissions from purchased electricity, Swiss Re Group” in the online version of the CR Report 2017 covering the reporting period from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017;
- The information marked with the logo about the retirement of 80 780 tonnes of CO2e (CO2 equivalents).
The management reporting processes with respect to the CR Report 2017 were assessed against the internal and external policies and procedures as set forth in the following:
- “Internal Environmental Performance Indicators for the Financial Industry” published by the Verein für Umweltmanagement in Banken, Sparkassen und Versicherungen e.V. (VfU) published in 1997 and 2011;
- “The Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (Revised Edition) published in 2001 by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development;
- The framework document “Environmental Performance Indicators (EPI) Reporting at Swiss Re”, version 1.1 from December 2015 including Annex; and
- The defined internal guidelines, by which CR data and information are internally gathered, collated and aggregated.
The accuracy and completeness of CR indicators are subject to inherent limitations given their nature and methods for determining, calculating and estimating such data. Greenhouse gas quantification is subject to inherent uncertainty because of incomplete scientific knowledge used to determine emissions factors and the values needed to combine emissions of different gases.Our assurance report should therefore be read in connection with Swiss Re’s internal guidelines, definitions and procedures on the reporting of its CR performance.
Swiss Re’s responsibility
Swiss Re management is responsible for both the subject matter and the criteria as well as for selection, preparation and presentation of the selected information in accordance with the criteria. This responsibility includes the design, implementation and maintenance of related internal control relevant to the calculation of the CR indicators that is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
Our responsibility is to form an independent opinion, based on our limited assurance procedures, on whether anything has come to our attention to indicate that the corporate responsibility information reporting marked with the logo is not stated, in all material respects, in accordance with the reporting criteria.
We planned and performed our procedures in accordance with International Standard on Assurance Engagements 3000 (revised), Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information', and, in respect of greenhouse gas emissions, International Standard on Assurance Engagements 3410, Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements, issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. These standards require that we plan and perform this engagement to obtain limited assurance about whether the identified CR indicators are free from material misstatement.
A limited assurance engagement under ISAE 3000 (revised) and ISAE 3410 is substantially less in scope than a reasonable assurance engagement in relation to both the risk assessment procedures, including an understanding of internal control, and the procedures performed in response to the assessed risks. Consequently, the nature, timing and extent of procedures for gathering sufficient appropriate evidence are deliberately limited relative to a reasonable assurance engagement and therefore less assurance is obtained with a limited assurance engagement than for a reasonable assurance engagement.
Our Independence and Quality Control
We have complied with the independence and other ethical requirements of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, which is founded on fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behavior.
Our firm applies International Standard on Quality Control 1 and accordingly maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Summary of work performed
Our assurance procedures included among others, the following work:
- Evaluation of the application of Swiss Re CR reporting guidelines
Assessing whether the methodology applied by Swiss Re is in line with the reporting criteria;
- Interviews and management inquiry
Evaluating the CR reporting and underlying performance indicators by performing analytical procedures and interviewing selected key contacts to assess whether the internal Environmental Performance Indicators Reporting guidelines and CR guidance were consistently applied by the selected locations; performing enquiries of personnel responsible for internal CR reporting and data collection at the Swiss Re corporate level to evaluate the reporting and aggregation process and to assess its appropriateness;
- Reconciliation of CO2 emissions data
Reconciling the CO2 emissions data for energy consumption, business travel, copy paper, waste, water, technical gases and commuting and CR data and information to the data used for the internal CR emissions reporting of the selected locations;
- Assessment of the key figures
Performing tests on a sample basis of evidence supporting selected CR data and information (Natural catastrophes and climate change, strengthening risk resilience: 2017 highlights, the commitment to the UN and the Grow Africa Partnership, the sustainability risk framework, responsible investments, HR data and information, diversity and inclusion, development & training) to assess their completeness, accuracy, adequacy and consistency;
- Review of the documentation
Reviewing the relevant documentation on a sample basis, including Swiss Re’s CR-related policies, the management of reporting structures, the documentation and systems used to collect, analyse and aggregate reported CR data and information;
- Assessment of the processes and data consolidation
Reviewing the appropriateness of the management and reporting processes for CR reporting; and assessing the processing and consolidation of data at Swiss Re’s Group level; and
- Review of verified emission reductions
Reviewing the retirement of 80 780 tonnes CO2e verified emission reductions (VER) according to the Gold Standard.
We believe that the evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our assurance conclusions.
Based on our work described in this report, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the corporate responsibility data and information outlined in the scope and subject matter section (including the related controls) has not been prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with Swiss Re internal policies and procedures.
Zurich, 15 March 2018