Swiss Re Affirms Priority of Risk Management; Updates Procedures

June 5, 2014

Swiss Re has published a report on the updates it has made in its Corporate Responsibility and Risk Framework applications. “Risk management is at the core what Swiss Re does and as a result, the company updated one of the tools it has in place to address sustainability, political, regulatory and emerging risks,” Swiss Re said.

“Reflecting recent risk developments in some sensitive key areas, Swiss Re made important adjustments to four policies of its company-wide Sustainability Risk Framework,” the bulletin explained. It said the framework “is an industry-leading risk management instrument to identify sustainability risks in Swiss Re’s core re/insurance business. It is explained in detail in the company’s 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report, which was published today.”

Group Chief Executive Officer Michel M Liès said: “In risk management, we focus on detecting and avoiding risks that pose a threat to our commitment to sustainability. Reflecting recent risk developments affecting the defense industry, nuclear weapons proliferation, oil and gas exploration and forestry, we made important adjustments to four policies of our Sustainability Risk Framework in 2013.”

Swiss Re said it applies the “framework globally to all business transactions as well as investment decisions and comprises eight policies on sensitive sectors or issues. These policies are enforced through a so called ‘sensitive business risks process,’ which works like a due diligence process for case-by-case assessment.”

The announcement noted that in 2013,” a total of 210 business transactions were screened through this due-diligence process, up from 170 transactions a year ago. Out of this, 27 business transactions received negative recommendations and were stopped, while a further 26 transactions received positive recommendations but with certain conditions attached.”

In addition Swiss Re said another priority is to reduce its environmental footprint. As a result it “continuously aims to minimize the environmental impact of its business operations. In 2013, the company successfully ended the first phase of its Greenhouse Neutral Program, which it launched in 2003. Over the ten years since then, the company was able to achieve a total reduction of CO2 emissions per employee of 56.5 percent.

“Continuing its commitment to tackle climate change, in 2013 the company launched the second phase of the program running until 2020. The key elements of the new phase are to maintain the substantial emissions reductions achieved and continue to fully offset the remaining emissions. In addition, Swiss Re will explore the potential to further reduce its energy intensity, i.e. in power consumption and heating.”

Swiss Re also noted that it “renewed its proprietary “COyou2″ Program until 2020. This program provides subsidies to Swiss Re employees around the world for private investments that help cut their own CO2 footprint. The new phase of the program will end in 2020, in line with the company’s climate change strategy.”

Swiss Re also said it has “further strengthened its commitment to conducting its business responsibly by extending independent assurance of the Group’s 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report. All five main chapters are now reviewed and assured by an external auditor.

The 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report “also serves as the company’s annual communication on progress for the UN Global Compact as well as its public disclosure on progress for the UNEP Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), in which the company continues to take an active role,” the bulletin concluded.

Source: Swiss Re

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