Independent Assurance Report on the Swiss Re Corporate Responsibility Report 2018
To the Executive Management of Swiss Re Management 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 2018 Swiss Re Corporate Responsibility Report (“CR Report 2018”) as well as with the online version of the 2018 Swiss Re Financial Report. Those section and information of the CR Report 2018 and Financial Report 2018 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 2018 and Fi-nancial Report 2018 of Swiss Re and its consolidated subsidiaries, for the financial year ended 31 December 2018:
- 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 CR Report 2018 in the sections “Creating solutions for sustainability”, “Extending our risk intelligence”, “Being a responsible investor”, “Exploring and shaping the risk landscape”, “Reducing our footprint”, “Engaging our people” and “Compliance: Code of Conduct” marked with the logo ;
- The information marked with the logo , namely the consolidated CO2 emissions 2018 (Scope 1, 2 and 3 in adherence with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) in the tables of the CR Report 2018 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 CR Report 2018 covering the reporting period from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018;
- The information marked with the logo about the retirement of 75’794 tonnes of CO2e (CO2 equivalents) described of the CR Report 2018;
- The information marked with the logo , namely the consolidated data and information disclosed in the Financial Report 2018 in the “Climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD)” and their sections “Climate governance”, “Climate strategy”, “Climate risk management” and “Climate metrics and targets”.
The management reporting processes with respect to the corporate responsibility reporting 2018 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 2004 by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development;
- DEFRA Guidelines to DEFRA/DECC’s GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting. AEA for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA);
- 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. 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
The Executive Management of Swiss Re 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 express a limited assurance conclusion on the CR indicators based on the procedures we have performed and the evidence we have obtained. We conducted our limited assurance engagement in accordance with the 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, with the 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 undertaken in accordance with ISAE 3000 (revised) and ISAE 3410 involves assessing the suitability in the circumstances of Swiss Re’s use of applicable criteria as the basis for the preparation of the CR data and information, assessing the risks of material misstatement of the CR data and information whether due to fraud or error, responding to the assessed risks as necessary in the circumstances, and evaluating the overall presentation of CR data and information. A limited assurance engagement 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. The procedures selected depend on the assurance practitioner’s judgement.
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 the following work:
- Evaluation of the application of Swiss Re’s 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, the commitment to the UN, sensitive business transactions referred to sustainability experts, responsible investments, energy consumption for heating and electricity, business travel data, sustainable supply chain data, 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 75’794 tonnes CO2e verified emission reductions (VER) according to the Gold Standard.
We have not conducted any work on data other than outlined in the subject matter as defined above. 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 CR data and information outlined in the scope and subject matter section has not been prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with Swiss Re’s internal policies and procedures.
Dr. Marc Schmidli
Zurich, 14 March 2019