Our governance and approach
The Executive Committee and the Board take an active role in overseeing and implementing our approach to sustainability. The Governance, Nominations and Sustainability Committee, a standing committee of the Board, reviews and approves the Group’s sustainability ambition and objectives.
The Sustainability Leaders Council, set up by the Executive Committee, ensures that we achieve our sustainability objectives. The Council comprises senior executives from across the business and is chaired by Group Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability.
A key aim is to embed responsible and sustainable decision making and actions into everything we do. To ensure accountability, our Executive Committee ensures that our sustainability ambition gets integrated into the business. The relevant business units and Group functions determine the approach and method for delivering the agreed-upon objectives.
Governance Nominations and Sustainability Committee
The function of the Governance Nominations and Sustainability Committee (GNSC) is to support the Board in fulfilling its duty to establish best practices in corporate governance across the Group, to establish and maintain a process for appointing new Board and Executive Committee members and to oversee the Group’s approach and conduct with regard to sustainability.
In the area of sustainability, the GNSC's responsibilities and authorities are to:
- review and approve the Group’s sustainability strategy and objectives;
- oversee the Group’s approach and conduct with regard to sustainability, assessing progress against agreed actions at least annually; and
- monitor legislative and regulatory developments and reporting requirements relating to sustainability;
- review and propose to the Board for approval targets on ESG matters which have a material impact on business strategy, underwriting or business performance.
The Zurich Executive Committee (ExCo) recommends to the Board Zurich’s approach to sustainability and ensures its inclusion in the Group strategy. The ExCo is accountable for the execution of Zurich’s sustainability approach. To ensure the integration of sustainability across our value chain and make sustainability part of how we do business, accountability for delivery of each key area of Zurich’s sustainability approach is assigned to the relevant ExCo member.
Sustainability Leaders Council
The Sustainability Leaders Council (SLC) consists of senior executives reporting directly to Executive Committee members and direct reports of the Group CEO. The SLC ensures that Zurich’s approach to sustainability is effectively integrated in the way we do business and enables Zurich to live up to its code of conduct and purpose & values and the UN Global Compact. The Council has the following responsibilities:
- Formulate and formalize the integration of sustainability across functions and functions including target setting and tracking
- Lead the ongoing implementation of that ambition by providing management support, time and sufficient resources
- Ensure that sustainability principles are adequately reflected in ongoing and future change projects or initiatives
- Advocate and communicate about Zurich’s sustainability ambition
- The Chair of the Sustainability Leaders Council reports at least twice a year to the ExCo and GNCRC on progress and new developments.
Group Sustainability team
The team’s responsibilities include the following:
- Catalyze and coordinate the implementation of the sustainability ambition across business units and functions
- Track Zurich’s sustainability performance towards set targets and objectives including reporting back to the different governance bodies on a regular basis
- Monitor sustainability developments and changes in stakeholder expectations and performance against peer benchmarks
- Advise on sustainability issues based on the potential impact and Zurich’s ability to make a difference across all its stakeholders
- Manage Zurich’s external sustainability reporting, participation in external benchmarks, ratings and indices, and how it lives up to external commitments such as the UN Global Compact
- Coordinates the engagement of and interaction with the different governance bodies
- Manage the Zurich Flood Resilience Program
- Manage the Z Zurich Foundation and provide the secretariat to the Board of Trustees of the Z Zurich Foundation (Foundation Board).
The Group Sustainability Team is part of the Group Risk Management Function.
Sustainability is embedded into our remuneration framework
Zurich has a clearly defined global performance and development approach where individuals, jointly with their managers, define and agree on annual objectives that support the achievement of the business strategy and operating plans. An individual’s personal achievements consider performance on objectives, as well as the behaviors demonstrated. These continue to be guided by the Group’s Code of Conduct, purpose and values, and our commitment to sustainability.
We monitor developments and best practices, and review Zurich’s remuneration approach to ensure it complies with regulatory requirements, supports our strategic objectives, incentivizes the right behaviors and considers the interests of all our stakeholders alike.
To further support our customer-led transformation, quantitative customer metrics are incorporated to assess the overall business performance and resulting funding for short-term incentive plan (STIP) awards in selected markets and for our senior leaders. In addition, to ensure the sustainability of our efforts, the target card framework for the Executive Committee (ExCo) and the wider leadership team includes both financial and non-financial targets in the areas of financial measures, customers, people and other strategic projects. Examples include the transactional Net Promoter Score (tNPS) and the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) metrics, which are global best practice standards for measuring customer and employee experience respectively.