Responsible investing in practice

“We make the world more resilient” is Swiss Re’s vision. More than ten years ago, our Asset Management unit embarked on a journey to not only generate risk-adjusted, stable long-term returns, but to also consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects in our investment decisions.

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Overview

Our Asset Management has been steadily contributing to the Group’s vision of making the world more resilient. As an early adopter of responsible investing, we signed the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and formalised our commitment to this practice in 2007. In 2012 Swiss Re became a signatory to the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance.

The following selected milestones have marked Swiss Re’s journey to act as a responsible investor:

Our Responsible Investing strategy relies on the three cornerstones Enhancement, Inclusion and Exclusion, of which Enhancement is the most meaningful for Swiss Re. Including ESG criteria along the investment process makes economic sense as it improves risk-adjusted return profiles, especially for long-term investors.

In 2017 we reached a key milestone on our journey: as one of the first re/insurance companies we integrated ESG benchmarks into our investment portfolio. This was a significant step forward from considering ESG as an "add-on" approach only. After a couple of years of experience with the new benchmarks, we are even more convinced that taking ESG criteria into account has a positive impact on our risk-adjusted returns.

As a founding member of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA) launched in 2019, we committed to transition Swiss Re's investment portfolio to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, while setting intermediate targets for every five-year period until then. Managing the risks and opportunities arising from climate change complements our strategy, and comprises setting targets, taking actions, measuring and reporting.

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Our Responsible Investing Strategy

Our Responsible Investing strategy relies on the three cornerstones Enhancement, Inclusion and Exclusion whilst consistently integrating Climate action.

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