Building societal resilience

Silhouette of a worker on a construction site (photo)

Technological and economic development, population growth, ageing populations and other societal trends are increasingly putting people and assets at risk. Swiss Re’s Responsible Investing strategy, as well as its work in the areas of health and longevity, agriculture and infrastructure represent some of the ways we help build societal resilience and reduce related vulnerabilities.

In 2019, our stakeholder dialogue on this 2030 Sustainability Ambition included the following highlights:

  • Through Swiss Re Institute, numerous stakeholders assembled at our “Expert Forum on Mental Health”, where experts exchanged viewpoints on the current mental health landscape and how insurers can make a difference to improve it. Further on the topic, our Reinsurance Solutions Asia Pacific Team Lead, Li Hui Lee, published a blog article titled: “World Mental Health Day: Preventing and Breaking Taboos”, to advance awareness of this global health challenge in the Asia-Pacific Region.
  • We held a number of Engineering & Construction events in locations that included Sao Paolo and Kuala Lampur, as well as the Engineering Underwriting Forum in Zurich. These events brought together stakeholders to discuss infrastructure development, investment and insurance, as well as focused on the advancement of holistic and sustainable infrastructure development. Further on the topic, Marcela Bortolamedi Cochrane, Property & Specialty Underwriting Operations Officer, published a blog article titled: “Helping the world rebuild and renew”, outlining Swiss Re’s role in supporting a holistic approach to sustainable infrastructure development and our involvement in the Madaster Project, which is focused on finding ways to reduce infrastructure’s carbon footprint by re-using building materials.
  • With a broad panel of experts from politics, science, business and risk engineering, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions held a webinar on “The European food industry: Increasing resilience and strengthening food security”. Topics addressed included biodiversity, digitisation and competition – all key factors to resilience in the European food industry. Further on this topic, Jeffrey Khoo, Head Food & Agriculture Sales Asia, published a blog article titled: “Let’s protect those who secure our food”, outlining thoughts on food security considering the ever-growing world population, as well as how to better protect smallholder rice farmers, who remain largely uninsured, but who generate 90% of the rice crops in the Asia-Pacific Region.
  • As part of our Digital Ecosystems Series (September 2019), we published the research report titled “Health ecosystems: striving towards an integrated and seamless patient experience”. The study not only found that re/insurers can play a key role in disease prevention, supported by digitally integrated health ecosystems, but also that such digital ecosystems allow for higher quality and better health outcomes for patients, at lower costs.
  • We produced the sigma issue 5/2019: “Indexing resilience”. As an industry first, Swiss Re Institute and the London School of Economics jointly developed new resilience indices that provide a more holistic assessment of economic health than gross domestic product. The findings indicate that the world economy has become less resilient and that there is a record-high global protection gap within three main areas of risk – natural catastrophes, mortality and healthcare.