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Sustainability at Swiss Life

In the pursuit of its core business, financial provision and advice, Swiss Life contributes directly to the sustainability of society and the economy. Over and above this, the company acknowledges its responsibility as an employer and in relation to the environment.

Swiss Life has summarised the principles of sustainability in a Group-wide sustainability strategy. This covers four areas: sustainability in business activities, in society, as an employer, and in the environment. The Group’s sustainability reporting is based on this same structure.

Organisational implementation

The highest management body in matters of sustainability is the Corporate Executive Board, chaired by the Group CEO. The Board of Directors – the supreme authority for strategic issues – is kept regularly informed about measures and progress in the area of sustainability. The Swiss Life Group Sustainability team is responsible for the coordination, steering and implementation of all measures at Group level. This team ensures that the focus areas defined by Swiss Life’s sustainability strategy are integrated within and implemented by the divisions. The team also reports on its progress and engages in dialogue with key stakeholder groups at Group level.

The sustainability organisation is aligned to Swiss Life’s multi-divisional organisation: it comprises sustainability delegates from all divisions as well as specialist delegates. Ten subject areas have been defined for specialist management. In 2020, Swiss Life Group’s sustainability organisation comprised around 31 full-time equivalents (FTE).

Materiality Matrix

Swiss Life’s materiality matrix shows which topics are relevant for Swiss Life and its stakeholders. The materiality analysis forms the basis for the annual sustainability reporting.

Swiss Life has reported on the basis of the Global Reporting Initiative’s standards since 2016. In 2015 it produced the first version of its materiality matrix in a multi-step materiality process involving internal and external stakeholders. Since then, the matrix has been continuously refined. In 2019, Swiss Life performed an extensive re-evaluation of the key topics to reflect the various stakeholders’ changing expectations, developments in its business environment and the latest standards (see Annual Report 2019, pages 8–85; GRI 102-46).

The sustainability matrix defined in 2019 has been used again as the basis for the 2020 sustainability reporting (GRI 102-49).

Materiality matrix of the Swiss Life Group1


  • Environmental and climate protection
  • Risk management2
  • Profitability and growth
  • Products, services and advice
  • People centricity
  • Responsible investing
  • Responsible real estate management
  • Data protection and information security
  • Digitalisation
  • Corporate governance4
  • Combating corruption and fair competition
  • Corporate citizenship
  • Human rights
  • Sustainable procurement
  • Diversity, equality of opportunity and non-discrimination
  • Employee development and retention
  • Economic responsibility
  • Self-determined living in times of demographic change3
(GRI 102-47)
To enhance readability, the dimension “Impact on sustainable development” is not directly integrated into the materiality matrix.

1 The subject parameters and the impact of Swiss Life on the material topics are set out in the relevant sections.
2 This topic is discussed in the Annual Report in the section Risk Management.
3 This topic is discussed in the Annual Report in the section Strategy & Brand.
4 This topic is discussed in the Annual Report in the section Corporate Governance.

The four topics rated as having the greatest impact on sustainable development are:

  • Responsible investing
  • Responsible real estate management
  • Risk management
  • Data protection and information security

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