Organisational implementation of sustainability

A new directive on sustainability was elaborated in 2021 and anchored in the Group-wide directives system. The directive summarises the key sustainability principles of the Swiss Life Group and describes the roles and responsibilities within the sustainability organisation.

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 and included in the decision-making process.

The variable compensation components are linked to the strategic objectives of the Group and the individual divisions, and the associated financial and HR-related targets. Qualitative goals relate in particular to project, risk management or compliance goals and to leadership, sustainability and ESG (environmental, social, corporate governance) requirements. Personal performance based on the specified quantitative and qualitative objectives is assessed annually in the employee appraisal procedure implemented throughout the Group (Group Performance System, GPS).


The sustainability organisation is aligned to Swiss Life’s multi-divisional organisation: it comprises sustainability delegates from various areas, including Group Finance and Risk. The sustainability delegates from the divisions ensure that the Group-wide sustainability strategy is implemented on site with corresponding measures and initiatives, taking account of local regulatory requirements. They also ensure that the management teams and divisional CEOs are involved in the decision-making process. Swiss Life has defined eleven subject areas for specialist management which are assigned to corresponding specialist delegates and in which representatives of the divisions participate. Swiss Life Group’s sustainability organisation altogether comprised around 52 full-time equivalents (FTE) in 2021.

The Swiss Life Group Sustainability team is responsible for the coordination, steering and implementation of measures at Group level. This team ensures that the focus areas defined by Swiss Life’s Group-wide sustainability strategy are integrated within and implemented by the divisions. The team also ensures the involvement of the Corporate Executive Board as a management body, reports on progress and engages in dialogue with key stakeholder groups at Group level. The Swiss Life Group Sustainability team reports to the Head of Group Communications and Strategic Marketing.

Within the Corporate Executive Board, the Group CIO is responsible for Swiss Life’s investment strategy and responsible investment approach. Climate-related risks and opportunities are systematically taken into account in risk and investment processes.

The responsible investment governance of Swiss Life Asset Managers is based on the goal of integrating ESG into all core processes of asset management. These core processes encompass all divisions and functions. Amongst other things, the ESG Board of Swiss Life Asset Managers is responsible for streamlining the implementation of sustainability in terms of asset management in the divisions and processes. The committee decides on responsible investment policies, addresses crucial ESG matters and advises the Executive Committees of Swiss Life Asset Managers or other legally binding committees on ESG issues. The ESG Board is chaired by the Head ESG.

The ESG team of Swiss Life Asset Managers designs and coordinates the responsible investment policies and ESG investment strategies in close cooperation with the divisions and in accordance with the local requirements of the divisions. In addition, the ESG team of Swiss Life Asset Managers supports the implementation of the investment policies and strategies in existing processes. The ESG team of Swiss Life Asset Managers also plays a key role in sharing knowledge on sustainability in asset management. The ESG team reports to the Group CIO.

Further information can be found in section “Risk Management”, in the Sustainability Report (section “Sustainability Strategy”) and in the Responsible Investment Report.