Helvetia aspires to responsible and sustainable corporate management. A governance system that is fit for purpose ensures that we can put our sustainability strategy into practice systematically and efficiently at all levels of the corporate hierarchy and in all relevant business activities. This strategy sets out the rules for entrenching sustainability issues within the organization. To protect its integrity and reputation, Helvetia aims to ensure that its corporate activities comply with internationally recognized laws, rules and requirements.
When refining and evolving our strategic sustainability framework, we are guided by the expectations of our stakeholders, by global sustainability initiatives and by voluntarily applied standards. The Board of Directors defines and monitors the sustainability strategy. Group Executive Management is responsible for implementing the sustainability strategy. In doing so, Group Executive Management places particular emphasis on a proactive approach, on encouraging a corporate management style that is responsible and transparent, on integrating aspects of sustainability into the business units' strategies and on generally raising awareness of sustainability-related issues among employees and managers alike.
The Board of Directors plays an active and creative role in the Helvetia Group’s system of sustainable corporate management and reviews the Group’s sustainability management activities several times a year. As the company’s supreme management and administrative body, it bears responsibility for approving the sustainability strategy and the sustainability goals defined in it, and oversees the Helvetia Group’s system of sustainability management Every six months, the Board of Directors confers with internal and external sustainability specialists and is thus kept abreast of relevant developments in the field of sustainability, e.g. sustainability trends and changes in regulatory requirements.
Responsibility for developing and implementing the Group-wide sustainability strategy rests with Group Executive Management. In the course of managing the company’s operations, and with a view to implementing the sustainability strategy, Group Executive Management defines sustainability management requirements across all business areas, e.g. for risk management, underwriting, claims management, asset management and, more generally, in relation to leadership and employee conduct.
The Group Sustainability Committee is a Group Executive Management committee that also includes specialists and key functions. The members of the Group Sustainability Committee include, among others, the Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Risk Officer. The committee is tasked with managing operational implementation of the sustainability strategy across the Group. It promotes the integration of aspects of sustainability into all key business areas and functions, tracks current developments in the field of sustainability and anticipates their impact on Helvetia’s business model. It supports Group Executive Management in elaborating and evolving the sustainability strategy and in making other important decisions in relation to sustainability management.
The Chief Sustainability Officer is responsible for Group-wide functional management within the framework of the given sustainability strategy and sustainability governance system, and of the topics determined for Group-wide sustainability management. This includes ensuring compliance. The Chief Sustainability Officer is supported by a team of sustainability specialists as well as specialists representing other Group functions. The Chief Sustainability Officer’s tasks include actively managing and coordinating implementation of the sustainability strategy and helping the business units to make sustainability management an integral part of their core business (ESG integration), measuring and assessing sustainability performance, and reporting regularly to the Group Sustainability Committee, Group Executive Management and the Board of Directors.
The Group business areas and the executive management teams of the country markets are responsible for implementing and integrating the sustainability strategy as well as for ensuring compliance within their spheres of responsibility. They are supported in these tasks by the Group Sustainability Team and local specialists.
Each of the Group’s country markets has its own sustainability organization, which reports to local management Local sustainability officers bear responsibility for the operational implementation of sustainability strategy measures, for monitoring goal achievement and for supporting local executive management in ensuring regulatory compliance within their respective local jurisdictions. They provide support of a general nature to the local executive management so that the latter can fulfil its sustainability management responsibilities. They also coordinate local communications and reporting. The local sustainability officers report to local executive management and also, in functional terms, to the Chief Sustainability Officer.