In­dus­try re­port: two thirds of in­sur­ers have sus­tain­abil­i­ty strat­e­gy

Media releases

The fifth private insurers’ sustainability report shines a light for the first time on the sustainability governance of the companies surveyed and reveals that two thirds of these insurers already have a sustainability strategy. A further 20 per cent are planning to introduce one soon. Reporting and corresponding standards and guidelines also play an important role in the insurance industry.

The 2023 sustainability report saw the Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) publish its fifth industry report. It is based on surveys involving national and international primary insurers and reinsurers and takes a broad view of sustainability. It covers not only the ecological dimension but also economic and social aspects, which are mutually dependent. This year, the report focuses on the sustainability governance of member companies for the first time.

Sustainability strategies are of great importance

The report reveals that two thirds of the insurers surveyed already have a sustainability strategy in place. A further 20 per cent are planning to introduce one. Where a strategy already exists, a net zero target is usually also in place: this is already true for 61 per cent, and is planned for a further 35 per cent. In 90 per cent of cases, this target relates to capital investments, followed by own business operations at 82 per cent. In just under 55 per cent of cases, insurance portfolios are also included in the net zero target. 

The sustainability strategy always occupies a prominent position. For the majority of insurers surveyed, the entire management or group management is jointly responsible for defining and achieving sustainability targets. Sometimes, the CEO or another member of the management or group management is also specifically entrusted with these tasks.

Standards and guidelines shape sustainability efforts

In order to measure progress in the area of sustainability and make it transparent, more than two thirds of the insurers surveyed report on their sustainability efforts. Guidelines play a major role as a reference and for exchanging best practice: 43 per cent of insurers surveyed use them already, while a further 22 per cent are planning to do so. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the most significant of these.

Beyond sustainability reporting, insurers are also guided by common guidelines and recommendations when integrating sustainability aspects. For insurers, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) or the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), both under the UN umbrella, are particularly relevant. In Switzerland, insurers accounting for 80 per cent of the total premium volume (measured in terms of the Swiss market) have signed at least one of these two agreements.

Key sustainability governance figures at insurers

  • 66% of insurers surveyed publish information on their sustainability efforts
  • 41% of insurers surveyed have set themselves a net zero target
  • 41% of insurers surveyed have signed the Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) 
  • 38% of insurers surveyed have signed the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI)

Note to editors

 The Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) represents the interests of the private insurance industry at national and international level. It has approximately 70 members, which include global primary insurers and reinsurers as well as many nationally oriented specialist non-life, life and supplementary health insurers. The sector is one of the most productive and highest value-added sectors of the economy. The private insurance sector employs about 50,000 people in Switzerland. With its expertise in risk coverage and hazard prevention, it assumes economic responsibility. Private insurers make a key contribution to the stability of the economic system and prosperity within Switzerland. As a result, the SIA is committed to the sustainable development of the industry and its locations.

Media contact
Swiss Insurance Association (SIA)
Thilo Kleine, media spokesperson
Phone: +41 44 208 28 14 
Email: mediaatsvv [dot] ch (media[at]svv[dot]ch)
Head office phone: +41 44 208 28 28


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