Group note, Zurich, July 13, 2014

Zurich champions responsible investing, doubling its commitment to green bonds up to USD 2 billion

Zurich commits to invest up to a USD billion more in green bonds. This is a part of Zurich’s responsible investment strategy and will double the company’s portfolio of green bonds. The investment will be allocated to the balance sheets of Zurich companies in Europe and will be denominated in Euro, British Pound and Swiss Franc. As of today, the commitment in green bonds made by Zurich is the largest globally.

When Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) announced on November 18, 2013 its commitment to invest up to USD 1 billion in green bonds on its US balance sheet, this reflected the predominance of USD-denominated green bonds issued by supranationals at that time. However, since then an increasing number of green bonds have been issued in the European markets, and new kinds of issuers, such as municipalities and corporates, have also appeared. That is why, following this market development, Zurich has committed to double its investment in green bonds up to USD 2 billion, provided that the market continues to develop in a positive fashion and that Zurich’s criteria for the use of proceeds as well as impact reporting continue to be met. To date, over USD 400 million have successfully been invested.

Zurich is looking to integrate the newly available  green bonds in existing bond portfolios on the balance sheets of Zurich companies in Europe. That will permit a maximum flexibility to reflect the new breadth of the market, and will cover three main European currencies - Euro, British Pound and Swiss Franc. A dedicated in-house green bonds expert was appointed to work with Zurich’s internal and external asset managers in Europe in building the respective exposure.

Cecilia Reyes, Chief Investment Officer said: „Managing over 200 billion dollars of Zurich's assets, we acknowledge a wider responsibility. Green bonds are a great example of an investment that allows us to have a positive impact on society and the environment, while meeting our financial criteria. Through green bonds investments, Zurich will effectively support more sustainable growth and development around the globe – without sacrificing investment return. That is why, we now commit to double our investment in green bonds.”

Further information

Corporate Responsibility is a key part of Zurich’s strategy and supports its mission to help the customers understand and protect themselves from risk. As part of its strategy, Zurich focuses on its strengths as a business, and on key enablers of success – actions necessary to achieve the strategic objectives. Zurich thinks about corporate responsibility in the same way, focusing on seven areas that either make use of insurance, risk management and investment expertise, or are enablers of Zurich's success. They are:

  • Enhancing community flood resilience (see more on  Zurich’s global flood resilience program )
  • Investing our Group assets responsibly (Zurich is a signatory of the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI))
  • Working with our corporate customers to help them understand and manage their corporate responsibility risks
  • Community investment locally and through the Z Zurich Foundation
  • Environmental performance, and health and safety management in our office buildings
  • Diversity and inclusion in our workforce
  • Responsible supply chain management

Zurich participates in the: Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) und FTSE4Good.

Zurich has been a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2011 and is committed to making the Global Compact and its principles part of Zurich’s strategy, culture and day-to-day operations.

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Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With more than 55,000 employees, it provides a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, including multinational corporations, in more than 170 countries. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.

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