Sustainability in our supply chain

To run our operations, we continuously procure a wide range of goods and services. In line with our overarching Group Sourcing Standard, we select suppliers that offer the best value for money, meet high quality standards and adhere to Swiss Re’s Code of Conduct.

Furthermore, as a signatory to the UN Global Compact, we are committed to honouring all its ten principles. Amongst other things, these prohibit any sort of discrimination or the use of child or forced labour, and require that the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining be upheld. These principles of the UN Global Compact are incorporated into our Code of Conduct by reference and specifically cover our relationships with external service providers under the headings of human rights, labour conditions, environmental impacts and anti-corruption.

The procurement of all goods and services from external vendors is conducted in accordance with our Group Sourcing Standard, which also incorporates these headings from the UN Global Compact. When selecting new products and suppliers, we examine whether they comply with these requirements as part of the overall evaluation process. We take a fresh look at existing strategic suppliers in our periodic contract reviews and visit individual suppliers to inspect them onsite. Internally, we hold regular awareness trainings with our sourcing staff.

For some sourcing categories, we have also developed Minimum Standards that further specify our requirements. Besides power (see Our Greenhouse Neutral Programme) and paper (see Our Greenhouse Neutral Programme), they cover cleaning services and agents, refrigerant agents and building materials.

In 2016, we signed up for EcoVadis, a collaborative platform for sustainable supply chain management, which covers a wide range of screening criteria across the topics of environmental impacts, human rights, labour practices, ethics and sustainable procurement. This allows us to assess the sustainability performance of our suppliers more systematically with the help of key performance indicators and to engage them in improvements. It also helps us reduce and manage potential sustainability risks in our supply chain.


(30% by the end of 2018)

Share of our tier 1 and 2 vendors ESG-assessed by the end of 2019

For our tier 1 and tier 2 vendors (who account for approximately 80% of our outsourced spending), we have set ourselves the goal of having all of them ESG-assessed by the end of 2020. At the end of 2019, the assessment had been completed for approximately 35% of these vendors. In addition, due to expired scorecards we had to re-assess approximately 50% of our assessed tier 1 and tier 2 vendors during 2019.

From 2020 we will take a multi-layered and integrated approach to sustainable supply chain management, using various solutions to assess and screen suppliers and supply networks against sustainability criteria.