Managing sustainability risks
As part of our efforts to manage sustainability risks, we regularly engage with clients and industry partners to help promote best practices within the re/insurance industry.
In 2017, our team of sustainability experts decided in 12 Sensitive Business Risk assessments to proceed with conditions (see The Sensitive Business Risk process). In most cases, these conditions required the particular underwriter to engage with the client on specific questions about human rights issues or environmental protection, in line with the requirements of the Ruggie Framework. In addition, we engaged with strategic clients that have a comparatively low sustainability performance. This open dialogue allowed us to explain our own positions on human rights and environmental protection, and draw attention to specific practices we consider problematic.
To support our dialogue with clients and industry partners about sustainability risks, we updated and expanded our publication on the Sustainability Risk Framework in 2016. During the reporting year, we had exchanges on this topic with a number of global re/insurance companies as well as corporate clients. Frequently, they approached us with questions about the SBR assessment tool and our internal due diligence process. Further discussion topics were sustainability risk management in general and climate change strategy, including the “Climate-related Financial Disclosures” of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which we have helped develop as a member of the FSB’s respective task force (www.fsb-tcfd.org).
On an industry-wide basis, we have played a major role in establishing and advancing the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) introduced in 2012 by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, UN EPFI (www.unepfi.org/psi). We were one of the initiative’s original signatories and currently act as one of its board members. (Our Public Disclosure of Progress for 2017 is included online.)
We also continued our involvement in the Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) association (www.sustainablefinance.ch), as one of its board members. With over 90 members from the private and public sector, SSF aims to strengthen Switzerland’s position in the global marketplace for sustainable finance.