Our responsibility as an investor: doing well and doing good
Responsible investment is integral to our investment philosophy and approach. For us, it is about managing our assets of approximately USD 200 billion in a way that creates sustainable value - in other words, to do well and do good. When we do ‘well’, we generate superior risk-adjusted returns for our customers and shareholders and when we do ‘good' we have a positive impact on society and the communities where we live and work.
Shaping a more resilient tomorrow
In 2017, Zurich increased its commitment to impact investments and introduced impact targets. While committing to an overall investment of USD 5 billion, innovative impact targets were set, including the goal of avoiding 5 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions and improving the lives of 5 million people per year.
In 2019, Zurich invested another USD 800 million in impact assets, bringing total investments in the impact portfolio to USD 4.6 billion. These investments include green, social and sustainability bonds, as well as commitments to seven private equity funds active in areas like financial inclusion and clean technology. For the first time, Zurich also included impact infrastructure private debt investments as an asset class.
Zurich also established a framework to track the impact of these investments. It measures two metrics: `CO2-equivalent emissions avoided’ and `the number of people who benefited’ across Zurich’s impact portfolio. Zurich is proud that a pilot study of the majority of its impact investments revealed that it helped to avoid 2.8 million tons of CO2- equivalent emissions and, separately, improves the lives of 4.2 million people annually, as of December 2019. Read more
Reducing risk and helping communities: This is what we aim to do in providing insurance, and in managing our customers’ premiums. Responsible investment achieves both goals, which is why we implement it in theory and in practice.
How to deal with climate change?
Every business and asset will be affected by climate change and the collective action taken to mitigate or adapt to it. This will be the case even if society successfully transitions toward a climate neutral economy, and, as envisaged by the Paris Accord, succeeds in keeping future temperature increases this century ‘well below’ two degrees Celsius. The impacts of climate change run through all the elements of our responsible investment strategy. How can we make sure that a proper assessment of risks and opportunities is reflected in investment decisions? How can we help finance measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change? How can we deal with the fact that many consequences of climate change will only materialize over a medium- to long-term time horizon? And how can we help to encourage changes that better enable financial markets to effectively deal with climate change, and approach it as both a risk and an opportunity?
Zurich has defined a clear strategy to reflect climate change in its investment approach and we are committed to action in eight areas. Read more
Responsible investment KPIs
Responsible investment key performance indicators
Impact of real estate investment