Corporate Responsibility at Swiss Life
Since 2018, Swiss Life systematically integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into its investment decisions. Group-wide goals for operational ecology were defined during the year under review and, with its “Actively shaping your career” initiative, Swiss Life has set new standards for the world of work.
In the pursuit of its core business, financial provision and consulting, Swiss Life contributes directly to society. Swiss Life aims to act responsibly in its everyday business and as an employer as well as in relation to society and the environment.
All topics associated with corporate responsibility are summarised in the corporate responsibility framework, which was reworked in 2018 and is now valid for the entire Swiss Life Group. The purpose is the company’s core, while the individual subject areas reflect the focus topics.
Organisational implementation of corporate responsibility
All relevant corporate responsibility activities are discussed and resolved in the Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee (STC CR). This body includes representatives of Human Resources and Communications in addition to all the Group Executive Board members in Switzerland and the General Counsel. The STC meets twice a year as a rule; the Group CEO chairs the committee. Corporate responsibility representatives from Group Communications, Asset Managers, 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, prepare measures and proposals for the STC and implement STC mandates within the organisation. There were no changes to the core team or the STC in 2018. The composition of both bodies is subject to yearly review.
Overview of corporate responsibility management organs in Switzerland
In addition to the STC CR and the core team in the home market of Switzerland, Swiss Life France and Swiss Life Germany have also created Corporate Responsibility committees that meet regularly for discussion, to define focus topics and to drive further development.
Overall responsibility for the Corporate Responsibility committee in France lies with the CFO. Swiss Life France has been publishing its own annual Corporate Responsibility Report (Rapport RSE) since 2014. This report will also comply with the stipulations of the European CSR Directive.
A committee was formed in Germany in 2018 to advance and coordinate corporate responsibility measures in various areas of the company. The corporate responsibility work of Swiss Life Germany focuses, among other things, on foundation activities. The Stiftung für Chancenreichtum und Zukunft (Foundation for opportunities and the future), founded at the end of 2016, advocates greater educational equity and equal opportunity in Germany.
Consistent reporting to stakeholder groups
The annual reporting on corporate responsibility is intended to create transparency and strengthen communication with the stakeholder groups. Swiss Life’s stakeholders include, in addition to its employees, customers and 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 target groups, which ensures that it is aware of their requirements and expectations and is able to react to challenges or changes (GRI 102-40, 102-42, 102-43, 102-44).
At the end of 2018 Swiss Life was a member at Group level of all sorts of organisations and networks in the area of sustainability, as well as co-signatory of initiatives. These include the following:
- Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI): unpri.org, since 2018
- UN Global Compact (UNGC): unglobalcompact.org, since 2018
- Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB): gresb.com, since 2018
- CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project): cdp.net, since 2011
- Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD): fsb-tcfd.org, since 2018
- Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC): iigcc.org, since 2018
- Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (Sustainable Investment Forum): forum-ng.org, since 2018
- European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum (Eurosif): eurosif.org, since 2018
- International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN): icgn.org, since 2018
At its Swiss, French and German locations, Swiss Life was mainly active in the following organisations:
- Swiss Climate Foundation: klimastiftung.ch
- Energy Model Zurich: energiemodell-zuerich.ch
- Observatoire de l’immobilier durable (Green Building Observatory): o-immobilierdurable.fr
- Plan Bâtiment Durable (Sustainable Building Plan): planbatimentdurable.fr
- Netzwerk der Klima-Allianz der Stadt Hannover (Network of the Climate Alliance of the City of Hanover): klimaallianz-hannover.de
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 80, 84, 89–91, 100–107, 130–133), employee (pages 89–91, 116–129) and social issues (pages 80, 84, 88, 100–104, 108–110) and reports on the observance of human rights (pages 80, 84, 86–87, 97–99, 100–101, 105–107) and combating corruption and bribery (pages 80, 84, 97–101, 105–107). 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
Swiss Life’s Corporate Responsibility Report meets the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a framework for transparent sustainability reporting. The report on the 2018 financial year comprises the Switzerland, France, Germany, International and Asset Managers segments. This report was prepared in accordance with the GRI standards in conformity with the “Core” option. The GRI aims on the one hand to provide support to companies, governments and NGOs in focusing on those areas of interest to companies and their stakeholders, while the standardised format of the reports, based on key figures, also contributes to the comparability and transparency of sustainability reporting.
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Materiality matrix of the Swiss Life Group 1
The contents of the materiality matrix were established 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 (GRI 102-46). The matrix is reviewed annually and amended when necessary. There were no amendments made in 2018.
- Investment strategy
- Diversity and equal opportunities
- Human rights
Relevant for reporting
- Customer centricity
- Sustainable profitability
- Risk management and compliance
- Employee commitment and development
- Equal treatment and non-discrimination
- Political commitment
Relevant for business
- Environmental and climate protection
- Sustainable procurement
- Economic responsibility
- Demographic change
- Products and services
- Responsible employer