Swiss Life wants to make an active contribution to reducing CO₂ emissions. To this end, it has defined measures to make its own business activities more sustainable.
In the context of operational ecology, Swiss Life strives to reduce emissions at its own locations within the Swiss Life Group that are caused by its business behaviour and by its own employees.
Swiss Life aims to reduce its CO₂ emissions per FTE by 35% by the end of 2024 compared to 2019, primarily by cutting emissions from travel and obtaining electricity from sustainable sources. Swiss Life's company buildings are supplied with electricity from renewable sources. As part of its investment cycles, Swiss Life also intends to further reduce fossil fuel use for heating company buildings. These targets are also part of the Group-wide “Swiss Life 2024” programme.
Targets up to 2024
Within the framework of operational ecology, Swiss Life pursues clear goals for making progress in the area of sustainability and making this measurable and transparent for stakeholder groups.
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Swiss Life collects sustainability indicators from its locations as part of a Group-wide data collection process. The exact data is compiled annually and can be found in the Sustainability Report.
Sustainability in business behaviour
Diligence and responsible action constitute the basis for Swiss Life's successful and sustainable business operations.
Measures taken within the Swiss Life Group
A company-wide working group is responsible for designing the appropriate measures, setting the objectives and monitoring them. All divisions are represented by experts in this working group. Each division pursues its own specific measures to reduce CO₂ emissions from its own business activities.
- In Switzerland, Swiss Life is a member of the Energy Model Zurich and has been obtaining all its electricity from renewable energy sources for over ten years. Founded in 1987, the Energy Model Zurich is an association of companies that set themselves voluntary targets for energy efficiency. In setting its new targets for 2020, Swiss Life renewed its pledge to increase energy efficiency at its Zurich location by 1.5% annually until 2030.
- Swiss Life’s head office in Zurich is virtually carbon-neutral. Since the early 1990s, the building has been cooled and heated with water from Lake Zurich. Rainwater is used for sanitary installations at the Zurich business premises. 30% of the energy used for heating Swiss Life’s Binz Center property is biogas sourced from Switzerland. The aim is to continuously increase this share by 2024 in the place of natural gas. Since 2021, Swiss Life been steadily increasing the share of recycled copying and printing paper. Recycled paper as a percentage of total paper consumption is due to increase to 80% by 2024. The paper used by Swiss Life is one of the most ecological labels: it is made entirely of paper fibres from recycled paper, based on a production process that avoids the use of hazardous chemicals. Swiss Life also promotes the use of public transport by providing its employees with season tickets for local public transport operators at reduced rates. In addition, Swiss Life supports cycling and the use of e-bikes by offering discounts on local cycle rental systems. All sites pay due attention to waste separation. There are recycling points on all floors of the operational buildings in Zurich.
- With its operational ecology programme, Swiss Life seeks to make an active contribution to climate protection. This is why it set up the Swiss Climate Foundation in 2008 in cooperation with other Swiss companies. The Foundation supports SMEs in becoming more energy efficient and reducing their CO₂ emissions. Swiss Life active contributes to the Foundation through its chairmanship of the Advisory Board and its permanent seat on the Board of Trustees.
- Since the initiation of the Group-wide “Swiss Life 2024” programme, Swiss Life France has focused on the following four priorities for reducing CO₂ emissions in its own operations: cutting resource consumption and optimising waste separation, reducing CO₂ emissions, increasing employees’ environmental awareness, and involving business partners and suppliers. Numerous measures have been defined for these four priority areas. For example, one of the two Swiss Life France data centres has been outsourced to an efficient data hosting specialist, thereby reducing CO₂ emissions.
- In Germany, the two main Swiss Life branch offices – in Garching near Munich and in Hanover – have repeatedly been awarded the ECOPROFIT seal for their outstanding commitment to corporate environmental protection. The seal rewards efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions and save resources.
- Swiss Life Germany has also been represented in the “Klima-Allianz der Stadt Hannover” (Climate Alliance of the City of Hanover) network for over ten years and, in cooperation with other companies, undertakes to reduce CO₂ emissions and increase energy efficiency in this urban area.
- In order to further reduce CO₂ emissions, Swiss Life Germany decided with immediate effect to replace the company cars of its Executive Board members and level 1 managers with electric vehicles. The Car Policy, the central set of rules for the company car fleet, was already amended as of 1 September 2022. The cars will be replaced successively as their current leasing contracts expire. In the medium term, this means exchanging around 50 vehicles – equivalent to 100% of the company car fleet in internal services.
- The digitalisation of processes holds great potential for climate protection. It includes the e-signature, and sustainable application, contract and commission processes. The aim is to make the customer process as independent of time and location as possible in order not only to increase customer satisfaction, but also to reduce emissions caused by paper printing and mobility.
- In Switzerland, Livit Ltd has replaced all petrol and diesel fleet vehicles with hybrid vehicles. Planning for this changeover already took place in 2021, so hybrid vehicles have been used for all trips with the fleet since the year under review.
- Energy from 100% renewable sources is used in Luxembourg and only recycled paper is used for copying and printing. Furthermore, waste is systematically separated at the recycling points located on all floors of the building. In addition, the number of disposable and reusable bottles is to be reduced by providing glass bottles and a water dispenser. Moreover, the canteen offers eco-conscious lunches and the company subsidises public transport tickets.
- As part of internal sustainability communication in Germany, a monthly newsletter is sent to employees in which colleagues present inspiring options for a sustainable lifestyle. In addition, Swiss Life Asset Managers is actively involved in various local sustainability projects. In the year under review, for example, colleagues in Germany were actively involved in restoring boglands to their natural state.
- The teams in Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the UK, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Slovakia work in modern, energy-efficient office buildings. Environmental impact is steadily being reduced in all areas through progressive digitalisation and optimised use of workplaces. The most important measures include reducing paper consumption and waste and encouraging the use of public transport.
How we neutralise CO₂ emissions
Operational activities at Swiss Life have been net zero since 2022. The measured, unavoidable CO₂ emissions from operational ecology are neutralised by certified projects in the core European markets (Switzerland, France and Germany). Swiss Life supports projects that contribute not only to reducing CO₂ but also to preserving biodiversity. One of these is the Oberallmig climate protection project, which focuses on forest conservation/reafforestation.