As an asset owner and manager
As an asset owner and manager, sustainability considerations in general and climate change considerations in particular are an integral part of Swiss Life’s investment strategy, investment processes and investment product development. It is important to manage the assets entrusted to Swiss Life in a manner that takes into account physical and transition risks and seizes opportunities arising from the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. Furthermore, Swiss Life offers its clients investment products and services based on sustainability aspects, such as energy efficiency and environmental protection, taking into account the individual needs and preferences of its clients. These investment products cover equities, bonds, real estate and infrastructure.
In the context of its PAM portfolio – securities, real estate and infrastructure – Swiss Life’s ambition is to make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development and thus contribute to a central goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. In terms of its weighted average carbon intensity with regard to the PAM securities portfolio, Swiss Life is already well positioned compared to the relevant benchmarks. Swiss Life aims at maintaining this position in the next strategic phase. In its direct area of influence as an asset owner and manager, Swiss Life will further reduce the carbon intensity of its directly held PAM real estate portfolio. Swiss Life is thus pursuing a path towards net zero in its directly held PAM real estate portfolio by 2050.
Furthermore, Swiss Life will continue to pursue its responsible investment approach. This covers approximately 90% of the total assets managed by Swiss Life and, among other things, follows the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The remaining assets under management are investment products, such as mortgages or discretionary mandates. Due to the product structure, the responsible investment approach is not yet applicable to these assets. Swiss Life applies its responsible investment approach not only to proprietary assets but also to third-party assets.
As part of its responsible investment approach, Swiss Life implements climate-related measures, such as:
- Systematic integration of ESG topics into risk and investment management
- Regular review of climate-related issues with a potential impact on investments
- Swiss Life targets investments with an overall low carbon intensity for government and corporate bonds.
- For the directly held PAM real estate portfolio, Swiss Life is targeting a carbon intensity reduction by 2030 that is aligned with a net-zero target by 2050 and thus in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Exclusion criteria are defined for the PAM portfolio, which include a threshold value for coal.
- Parts of the new investments will be actively used to promote climate-friendly technologies, projects and initiatives as part of a green investment programme.
- The infrastructure funds invest among other things in renewable energy investments.
- Third-party clients are also consulted on climate-related risks and opportunities.
Furthermore, Swiss Life considers active ownership, which comprises constructive engagement and the exercise of voting rights, as an integral part of its responsible investment approach. In this context, Swiss Life actively seeks to work with companies and relevant stakeholders to address ESG and specific climate-related challenges while safeguarding its clients’ financial interests.
For the prevention of “greenwashing”, Swiss Life relies on clear and transparent communication with its stakeholders to address sustainability aspects – and therefore climate-related aspects as well. In the case of products in particular, it is ensured that adequate control mechanisms exist and that definitions are based, where appropriate, on established industry standards. Additionally, Swiss Life observes, among other things, current regulatory requirements and specifications of the European Union.
Further information can be found in section “Metrics and Targets”, in the Sustainability Report (section “Sustainability as an Asset Owner and Manager”) and in the Responsible Investment Report.