Responsible sourcing and procurement

Due to the nature of our business, we are predominantly a consumer of services, and not products or raw materials. Compared with other industry sectors such as manufacturing, the risks associated with the environmental, social and governance impact of Zurich's supply chain are low. Nonetheless, we are committed to effectively managing such issues within our supply chain.

We aim to work with suppliers who share our values, and we expect high standards of business conduct from those who represent us or do business with us. We are continually working to improve policies, processes and guidelines for managing sustainability issues in the supply chain.

Zurich ensures that sustainability is an integral part of its sourcing and procurement function to ensure that we are able to uphold our commitment to sustainability through the products and services we purchase, and contractual agreements we enter into.

We incorporate appropriate evaluation criteria to assess the goods and services we buy, taking into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in line with best value and in compliance with relevant legislation. We also ensure relevant sustainability clauses are included in contracts with suppliers, such as ethical conduct and labor, health and safety and environmental standards.  

In addition, we strive to develop an understanding of the ESG impact on the diversity of goods and services we buy, while implementing processes to ensure these factors are taken into account on an ongoing basis. Reflecting our commitment to promoting supplier diversity, we engage a wide range of different suppliers, aimed at giving Zurich the possibility to source from the most suitable, agile and innovative companies.

As part of our approach, we actively work with some of our suppliers to enhance sustainability performance throughout supply chain. We also analyze key data and insights to review and improve policies, processes and guidelines for managing sustainability issues in the supply chain.

To foster awareness among Zurich’s employees and support our efforts, our employees are encouraged to take into account the ESG impacts of their purchasing activity.

Embedding CR in the supply chain

Our work with social enterprises is one example of how Zurich is ensuring its supply chain takes into account sustainability. In 2016, Zurich in the UK signed up to Social Enterprise UK’s ‘Buy Social’ Corporate Challenge, which commits a group of high profile companies in different types of industries to spend GBP 1 billion in total by 2020 on purchasing goods and services from social enterprise companies. The initiative, set up by Social Enterprise UK and the Cabinet Office, promotes sourcing and buying from British social enterprises. These are businesses that reinvest their profits to address social and environmental issues — from homelessness and unemployment to landfill waste and climate change.

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