Group Sustainability Strategy

Feedback from our stakeholders confirms that Swiss Re is widely regarded as a sustainability leader, reflecting our many achievements to date. Building on this successful track record, we introduced an enhanced Group Sustainability Strategy in 2019. As the momentum around sustainable development keeps accelerating, our strategy helps us take positive action, benefiting from new opportunities and meeting fresh challenges.

Our Group Sustainability Strategy defines sustainability as a strategic, long-term value driver and embeds this approach throughout our re/insurance value chain. At its core, it involves managing and monitoring risks and opportunities associated with environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Sustainable re/insurance covers all our business activities from the liability to the asset side of our balance sheet, our own operations and dialogue with our stakeholders. In our core business, it aims to develop innovative solutions, improve business and investment performance on a risk-adjusted basis, and thus to contribute to environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Key elements of our Group Sustainability Strategy

At its highest level, the strategy states our Sustainability Mission, derived from Swiss Re’s vision of making the world more resilient, to the benefit of all our key stakeholders. It expresses what we do and what we aim for:

We insure, invest, operate and share our knowledge in a way that tackles sustainability challenges and creates long-term value.

Our 2030 Sustainability Ambitions provide this mission with topical focus areas. We have selected three overarching ambitions that describe how we can have a significant positive impact in terms of supporting sustainability and strengthening resilience, especially through our core re/insurance business solutions:

  • Mitigating climate risk and advancing the energy transition
    The effects of climate change and global warming are already evident and shaking up our risk landscape, eg through warmer average temperatures, rising sea levels, longer and more frequent heatwaves and more weather extremes. We continue to evolve our way of doing business towards a low-carbon economy in line with our net-zero commitments and the Paris Agreement.
  • Building societal resilience
    Technological and economic development, population growth, ageing populations and other societal trends are putting people and assets in jeopardy. With our re/insurance solutions and investments we help reduce societal vulnerabilities.
  • Driving affordable insurance with digital solutions
    Our customers are seeking quick, intuitive and streamlined digital experiences to make their lives safer and healthier. With our digital solutions we increase access to, and the availability and affordability of, re/insurance and risk knowledge worldwide, thus helping to close the protection gap.

To guide practical implementation of the strategy, we have defined the following three Principles:

  • Embed sustainability in all our business activities: We systematically consider ESG factors in all activities, ensure that sustainability is appropriately reflected in all roles and responsibilities and shift our existing business portfolio to make it more sustainable.
  • Lead sustainability-linked solutions and embrace opportunities: We shape sustainability-linked innovations and advance the transition to more sustainable products and services. To do so, we cooperate with clients, partners and communities, and exploit the potential of new technologies.
  • Quantify sustainability performance and impact: We set sustainability metrics and targets across the Group. This contributes to a systematic capital allocation to risk pools with long-term value, aligns us with external frameworks such as the Paris Agreement and allows us to measure our contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The illustration below shows how the core elements of our Group Sustainability Strategy interact with each other:

Group Sustainability Strategy (graphic)

In addition to the three Sustainability Ambitions that are closely tied to our core business and re/insurance solutions, we continue to address six Sustainability Topics. These topics have been identified through our materiality assessments, and are relevant to our overall sustainability performance. You can find more information on the topics in chapter "Our topics, targets achievements".