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Swiss Re remains insurance industry leader in sustainability, according to 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices

08 September 2016 Swiss Re

* Swiss Re named sector leader for the tenth time; improving on its 2015 scores across all three sustainability dimensions

* Announcement underlines Swiss Re's ability to integrate sustainability considerations into its core business decisions

* Sustainability Risk Framework allows Swiss Re to effectively identify and address sustainability risks in underwriting and investments

* 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report provides detailed update of Swiss Re's commitment and activities


Swiss Re remains the insurance industry sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for the
third consecutive year and the tenth time since 2004. The company was particularly recognised for understanding the sustainability issues that create risks and opportunities for the reinsurance business, and for closely cooperating with clients and public and private partners to create innovative solutions in the areas of climate and natural disaster risks, agricultural risks, sustainable energy and funding longer lives.

Christian Mumenthaler, Swiss Re's Group Chief Executive Officer says: "Playing our part in enabling sustainable progress is one of our key objectives as a company, and crucial to our vision of making the world more resilient. It's a great pleasure to see our progress reflected in the DJSI rankings."

Close link between sustainability and the core business

Swiss Re's commitment to sustainability is woven into its core business. The company works closely with its clients and partners from the private and the public sector to develop innovative solutions that help to tackle key environmental and social challenges. Highlights in this regard in 2015 include the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and insuring the first-ever offshore wind farm project in the US. In 2016, Swiss Re pioneered the first parametric insurance programme against risks of natural disaster for farmers in China.

Through its innovative transactions, the company continues to follow through on a commitment made to the United Nations at its Climate Summit in September 2014, when it pledged to offer USD 10 billion of climate risk
protection to sovereigns and sub-sovereigns by 2020. By the end of 2015, Swiss Re had offered such clients a total of USD 2.1 billion in re/insurance protection.

The company also stays committed to the RE100 initiative, a joint effort of some of the world's largest companies to obtain 100% of their power from renewable sources by 2020. At the end of 2015, approximately 87% of the power it purchased across the Group came from renewable energy sources.

Identifying and addressing risks through the Sustainability Risk Framework

The DJSI announcement again highlighted Swiss Re's Sustainability Risk Framework, through which the company identifies and addresses sustainability risks in its re/insurance underwriting as well as its investment activities. The Framework also helps to trigger a dialogue with clients on significant environmental and social concerns. In such cases, the company works with clients to address these issues – or abstain from the business.

In 2015 Swiss Re introduced a new online Sensitive Business Risks assessment tool enabling its underwriters to quickly spot potential sustainability risks of transactions, further strengthening the due diligence process.

The accessibility and clarity of this online assessment tool led to an optimisation of the number of transactions referred to Swiss Re's sustainability experts for an assessment — from 454 in the previous year to 309 in 2015. Of these, the company issued negative recommendations in 32 cases and positive recommendations with conditions in 24 cases.

DJSI key for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their investment decisions

The DJSI were launched in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmarks for corporations. The assessment consists of an in-depth analysis of economic, environmental and social factors that are relevant to the companies’ long-term financial success, but that are under-researched in conventional financial analysis.

David Cole, Group Chief Financial Officer, says: "Our investors are looking for long-term, sustainable returns. They also look to sources like the DJSI to find out which companies share those goals and values. We are pleased to again be named the insurance industry leader by the DJSI and encourage all our stakeholders – investors, clients, employees and others – to join us in enabling sustainable progress."

Promoting dialogue and understanding around sustainability

The link between sustainability and Swiss Re's core business is illustrated in detail in Swiss Re's 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report (CRR). The CRR also serves as the company's Communication on Progress for the UN Global Compact and its Public Disclosure of Progress for the UN Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI). Swiss Re remains committed to both initiatives and will continue to play an active role in the PSI. The main content of the CRR was independently verified by PWC and is available on swissre.com.

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