Corporate Responsibility at Swiss Life
Swiss Life takes its corporate responsibility seriously, whether in its business operations, role as an employer, as a part of society or with respect to the environment.
How we understand corporate responsibility
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As a co-founder of modern occupational provisions, Swiss Life believes it has a responsibility towards current and future generations. As a result, the company plays an active role in the public debate about a longer self-determined life and made it a guiding theme in 2016.
In the Swiss domestic market, corporate responsibility – under the umbrella of the Group-wide guiding theme “a longer self-determined life” – comprises the areas of social engagement, “actively shaping your career” and ecology and sustainability. The Corporate Responsibility Report addresses all these areas.
Its social engagement in the domestic market of Switzerland – and in large part at all major locations abroad – is connected to the guiding theme and designed to promote confidence and self- determination.
Swiss Life depends on new working and development models through its Group-wide “Actively shaping your career” programme, aiming to ensure ongoing development and motivation for employees throughout all stages of life. For Swiss Life this means it intends to support its employees in all phases of their career so that they are able to make the most of the challenges posed by the professional environment. To this end, Swiss Life supports and promotes three main success factors at all its locations: ensuring employability, valuing and exploiting diversity and maintaining long-term work ability. This is how Swiss Life intends to take on the challenges of the working world today and tomorrow.
Since early 2017, representatives of the asset management, environmental management and corporate communication areas in Switzerland have stepped up their work on the topic of ecology and sustainability. The project team began by assessing the state of affairs in all areas and using its findings to define the next steps. The topic was also taken up as part of the existing corporate responsibility (CR) framework.
Organisational implementation of corporate responsibility
A Steering Committee (STC) was set up in 2016, to enable Swiss Life to plan its corporate responsibility activities and keep track of progress. The STC Corporate Responsibility includes representatives of Human Resources and Communications in addition to all the Group Executive Board members in Switzerland. The STC meets twice a year as a rule. The Group CEO chairs the committee.
Corporate responsibility representatives from Group Communications, Public Affairs and Human Resources, and one person from the Swiss Life “Perspectives” Foundation, form a core operational team to ensure the exchange of information in the line, propose measures to the STC and implement their mandates correspondingly in the organisation. In 2017, with the integration of ecology and sustainability, two representatives of Asset Management joined the core team.
Consistent reporting to stakeholder groups
The annual reporting on corporate responsibility helps create transparency and strengthen communication with the stakeholder groups. Swiss Life’s stakeholders include, in addition to its employees and customers, investors, legislators and representatives of the media, politics and associations, all of whom are affected either directly or indirectly by Swiss Life’s activities. Swiss Life is in regular dialogue with all of its stakeholders, which ensures that it is aware of the requirements and expectations of its stakeholder groups and is able to react to challenges or changes (G4–24, G4–25, G4–26, G4–27).
Reporting in line with the European CSR Directive
The Swiss Life Group’s Corporate Responsibility Report conforms with the EU’s CSR Directive. In this Corporate Responsibility Report, Swiss Life offers an account of environmental (pages 85–87, 101–102, 123–125), employee (pages 85–87, 108–122) and social issues (pages 84, 103–104) and reports on the observance of human rights (pages 82–83, 101–102) and combating corruption and bribery (pages 94–95, 101–102). The pages cited also provide information on the concepts and associated results, as well as on due diligence process and risk management.
Reporting according to the Global Reporting Initiative
The Swiss Life Sustainability Report meets the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a framework for transparent sustainability reporting. The report on the 2017 financial year comprises the Swiss Life Switzerland, France, Germany, International and Asset Managers segments and was implemented in accordance with the GRI-G4 guidelines and sector-specific requirements for financial services providers (Financial Sector Supplements) in conformity with the “Core” option. 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, format of the reports, based on key figures, also contributes to the comparability and transparency of sustainability reporting.
Materiality matrix of the Swiss Life Group1
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. No material changes were made in 2017.
- Investment strategy
- Diversity and equal opportunities
- Human rights
Relevant for reporting
- Customer centricity
- Sustainable profitability
- Political commitment
- Risk management and compliance
- Employee commitment and development
- Equal treatment and non-discrimination
Relevant for business
- Environmental and climate protection
- Sustainable procurement
- Economic responsibility
- Demographic change
- Products and services
- Responsible employer
Relevant for strategy
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 are within the scope of consolidation (Annual Report 2017, pages 279–282; G4–17)