The contents of the materiality matrix were established in 2015 as part of a multi-level materiality process involving internal and external stakeholders. Based on qualitative and quantitative interviews with the Swiss Life Corporate Executive Board, a project group comprising specialists from Investor Relations, Asset Managers, Human Resources and Corporate Communication worked on selected key themes for Swiss Life, discussed them with selected stakeholders and refined them in structured interviews. Finally, the completed materiality matrix was approved and ratified by the Corporate Executive Board (G4–18). The matrix is reviewed annually and amended when necessary. In 2016 the subject of human rights was expanded and the central issue “Future regulatory and demographic trends” was renamed “Demographic change”.
The materiality matrix displays and organises the central issues from the “Corporate Responsibility” area along two axes. The Corporate Responsibility Report covers all the subjects included in the matrix. 2 The upper right quadrant of the matrix contains the issues that have proven most important to both internal and external stakeholders. These are action points, which are classified as being particularly important to business success and they feature prominently in the reporting.2 The report comprises Swiss Life’s main locations in Switzerland, France and Germany and refers to all company entities within the scope of consolidation (Annual Report 2016, pages 317–321; G4–17).
Swiss Life has developed its sustainability reporting according to the GRI guidelines and implements the guidelines according to the requirements of the “core” option (GRI–G4 indicators), taking into account the industry-specific requirements for financial services providers (financial sector disclosures). GRI stands for Global Reporting Initiative. It is an independent, international organisation with a framework for sustainability reporting, which has evolved into an international standard. The GRI aims to provide support to companies, governments and NGOs in focusing on those areas of interest to companies and their stakeholders. The standardised, key figure-based format of the reports also contributes to the comparability and transparency of sustainability reporting.