As part of our sustainability strategy, we aim to make a contribution toward combating climate change and avoiding or at least mitigating potential negative sustainability impacts. We aim to make our business more sustainable in general and also to make greater use of the opportunities for even more sustainable corporate development.
To meet these objectives we need to address a number of different aspects: climate change and the environment, sustainability risks, the changing needs of our customers and the well-being and needs of our employees.
In a rapidly changing environment, we also need to dynamically develop our sustainability strategy. In 2020, the Executive Management and the Board of Directors defined the 20.25 sustainability strategy. To respond to changing demands and increasing regulation, the Executive Management and the Board of Directors refined the strategy, with a particular focus on its concrete implementation. The aim was to define a compact implementation framework for the sustainability strategy and to set clear focus areas while at the same time incorporating the principles and ambitions set out in the strategy.
Based on our sustainability strategy 20.25, we have specified our goals in terms of mitigating climate change in a climate strategy. The measures that have been decided include firstly the ongoing implementation of CO2-reduction measures in the company's own business activities with the aim of reaching net zero by 2040. The reduction focuses on emissions from buildings (heat), business travel and the use of electricity. Secondly, we have set a net-zero target for indirect emissions from the investment and insurance business by 2050. This also includes a medium-term exit strategy for coal-related business activities and other exclusion criteria for business transactions related to oil and gas. A detailed overview of the already decided business policy measures derived from the climate strategy in the insurance and investment business can be found in our "Fossil Fuel Policy". In general, Helvetia is committed to the transition to a low-carbon economy and sees itself as a supporter of this energy transition that at the same time aims to seize business opportunities in this development.
We focus our engagement where our business activities have the greatest impact on the environment and society and where we can make positive contributions. To identify the most relevant issues and the points of greatest leverage, Helvetia has been systematically conducting materiality analyses for the whole Group at regular intervals since 2013. This gives us a better understanding of our stakeholders’ needs and enables us to identify opportunities and risks in terms of sustainability.
As part of the 20.25 sustainability strategy, Helvetia last carried out a comprehensive materiality analysis in 2019. In personal interviews and with the help of a comprehensive questionnaire, we surveyed internal and external stakeholders from the stakeholder groups customers, non-governmental organizations and universities, society, politics, science, competitors, business partners and capital providers.
In 2023, Helvetia will be polling its stakeholders in a new materiality analysis and will be updating its material topics in accordance with changes in stakeholder expectations and changes in the business model.