Corporate responsibility at Zurich: our values and strategy
For Zurich, corporate responsibility (CR) is a key ingredient of our strategy. It is about sustainable value creation, one of our core values, as set out in Zurich Basics, our code of conduct. We aim to create sustainable value for each of our main stakeholder groups by proactively addressing relevant environmental, social and governance issues. While we have built our approach on a solid foundation, over the years our thinking about our role in society as a global insurance company has evolved. We articulated a clear mission statement: to help our customers understand and protect themselves from risk. This mission statement is anchored in insurance’s core role: to transfer and manage risk and to invest the premiums collected in the capital markets. As risk becomes more complex, our mission becomes ever more relevant. Through these activities, insurance creates value for society. It allows people and businesses to protect themselves from risk, helping them to become prosperous, resilient and stable and frees up capital for investment. This role has significant social, as well as economic value. The social value of insurance, and its potential, means our wider contribution to society does not sit separately in our business. It is part of how we do business.
As part of our strategy, we are focusing on our strengths as a business, and on key enablers of success – actions we need to take to achieve our strategic objectives. We think about corporate responsibility in the same way. For Zurich, corporate responsibility is about focusing on what we do best and on the enablers of business success.
Our flood resilience program taps into our insurance expertise in protecting against the risks posed by natural disasters, including floods. Our responsible investment program grew out of another of our core competencies: our role as one of the world’s largest institutional investors. And our work with corporate customers on corporate responsibility risks is a natural extension of our market position as one of the world's most prominent corporate and commercial insurers.
We pursue other corporate responsibility initiatives because they are key enablers of success. That includes community investment, which brings us closer to the communities in which we live and work and provides unique development opportunities for our people. Our environmental activities help us economize on resources and cut costs while protecting the environment. Health & safety practices protect our employees at work. And responsible sourcing & procurement practices help extend Zurich’s high standards to our supply chain.
Zurich's corporate responsibility strategy includes seven workstreams. They are:
- Enhancing community flood resilience
- Investing our Group assets responsibly
- Working with our corporate customers to help them better understand and manage their corporate responsibility risks
- Community investment locally and through the Z Zurich Foundation
- Environmental performance, health and safety management in our office buildings
- Diversity and inclusion in our workforce
Responsible supply chain management
We recognize that to be a successful business, we are dependent on earning and maintaining the trust of our stakeholders. We aim to create sustainable value for our customers, our people, our shareholders and our communities by proactively addressing relevant environmental, social and governance issues. We have defined and articulated the Zurich Commitment as a guide for all employees.
The Zurich Commitment
“The Zurich Commitment speaks for itself. It is intended as a guide for all Zurich employees – a reminder of what we must do together every day to win and keep the trust of our stakeholders. It was introduced in Zurich in 2013 and we are now working hard to make it part of the way we do business. It is a journey – one that has no final destination, because there will always be something more we can do to be the best in the eyes of our stakeholders.
For us at Zurich, success is about sustainable value creation, one of our core values as set out in Zurich Basics, our code of conduct. We aim to create sustainable value for our customers, our people, our shareholders and our communities. We make a contribution to society through our core business of insurance, but we want to go further and that is why corporate responsibility is a key ingredient of our business strategy.”
Martin Senn, Chief Executive Officer of Zurich Insurance Group
We care about our customers. Our customers are the individuals, families, businesses and institutions that face risk every day. We must earn their trust – and the commitment of the agents, brokers and others that help us serve them. We must deliver the insights, products and services that empower them to understand and protect themselves from those risks. As One Zurich, we can and must exceed their expectations. And when adversity strikes, we need to be there for each of them with the solutions and financial strength to deliver on our promise.
We care about our people. Our people are the diverse women and men who together strive to make Zurich the best global insurer. We value their passion and personal integrity, and recognize those as a basis of our strength. We need to invest in their capabilities and expertise so that each may fulfill his or her individual potential. We celebrate success, and learn from mistakes. And we must live up to our common set of values, and hold each other accountable.
We care about our shareholders. Our shareholders are the individuals and institutions that provide the financial strength that backs our promises. We must deliver a fair, reliable and sustainable return on their investment. We must do so with a clear focus on our core business of insurance, an uncompromising commitment to financial and portfolio discipline, and investing in our future.
We care about our communities. Our communities are where our customers, our people and our shareholders live and work. While we can be proud of the contribution to society that Zurich makes through our core business of insurance, we must also give back to our communities through our talent, time and resources.
Code of conduct - Zurich Basics
Zurich Basics, which defines our core values and code of conduct, is the basis of all that we do and provides the framework for how we deliver on our business goals. Our basic values of integrity, customer centricity, sustainable value creation, excellence and teamwork guide our actions, and we expect all our employees to live up to these in both letter and spirit. Each one of us has to play a role in addressing important and relevant economic, environmental and social issues in our day-to-day business.