Swiss Life is aware of its social responsibility: As a Swiss company and provider of life and pension services for over 150 years, Swiss life stands at the centre of public life. The Group supports community life in a wide variety of ways with charity commitments, voluntary work, active involvement in shaping the political process and constant improvement of its ecological balance sheet.
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT — Helping people in need — All Swiss Life’s national companies and their employees support people in need and a range of meaningful projects. In Switzerland the Perspectives Foundation funds domestic charitable initiatives in the fields of health, science, education, culture and sport, focusing on integration and education. Created on the occasion of Swiss Life’s 150th anniversary in 2005, the Perspectives Foundation donates more than CHF 1 million every year. In 2011 it supported 89 organisations and projects. The foundation also donated considerable sums to relief organisations offering emergency aid. In addition, Swiss Life’s sales force supported various local organisations.
Swiss Life in France has had its own foundation, the Fondation Swiss Life, since 2009. In 2011 it provided funding for concerts and art exhibitions for people in nursing homes, sick children and patients with dementia, who would not normally be able to access culture. The Fondation Swiss Life also supported various charitable projects run by Swiss Life employees for disabled children and children with leukaemia.
In Germany, Swiss Life has been providing support since 2007 for the Nicolaidis Foundation, a non-profit organisation for widows, widowers and their children.
AWD has been helping children in need since it created the AWD-Stiftung Kinderhilfe foundation in Germany in 1991, which the local AWD companies in Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic also support. The foundation is funded mainly by contributions from the salaries of AWD employees. The AWD-Stiftung Kinderhilfe foundation runs two large-scale operational projects of its own. The Noma project launched by the German AWD-Stiftung in Sokoto in West Africa is devoted to the surgical rehabilitation of victims of a disease caused by a mixed infection which results in severe facial disfigurement. In Kyrgyzstan, the Swiss AWD-Stiftung is building a treatment centre for children with facial malformations.
COMMUNITY SERVICE — Promotingand supporting voluntary work — Swiss Life is committed to the principle of voluntary public service. Voluntary public service means taking personal action in matters of public life, in effect unpaid work for the whole community. As a company operating in the social insurance area, Swiss Life has an interest in an integrated and well functioning society. An unpaid commitment in society and the private economy promotes a sense of community and public welfare and enhances social skills.
Swiss Life is convinced that raising the social competence of individual employees increases the competitiveness of the company. It is therefore strongly in favour of employees’ commitment to the community. The staff regulations explicitly approve the involvement of employees in political and military committees and associations. The company offers all reasonable support for such involvement, for example through a flexible approach to working hours.
POLITICS — Swiss Life cultivates active dialogue with decision makers — Swiss Life regards the exchange of ideas with political bodies as extremely important. The company brings its expertise into political discussion and defends its interests in the public arena at all stages of the decision-making process. In this way it tries to exert influence throughout the whole political cycle, aiming for optimal and appropriate outcomes for all concerned. Through its specialists, Swiss Life advises the various decision makers in political parties, committees and parliamentary bodies, bringing its expert knowledge to bear at all stages from the drafting of legislation to the formal processes of consultation and approval. In addition, the company supports individual politicians and selected political parties with financial contributions. Swiss Life in Switzerland is in permanent contact with politicians of all parties, for example on occupational benefit issues (conversion rate, minimum interest rate, statutory minimum distribution ratio), as well as in relation to industry-relevant topics (solvency, supervision). Among other themes, the company is actively involved in the total revision of the Federal Law on Insurance Contracts (VVG).
Swiss Life also conducts its dialogue with the public and decision makers on insurance- and pension-related topics through industry groupings and professional associations. It plays an active role in the committee work of professional associations and specialist bodies. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Swiss Life is a member of the Board Committee of the national business association economiesuisse, while the Group CEO is a member of the Board and the Board Committee of the Swiss Insurance Association (SIA). In fact the company is particularly well represented in the SIA. The CEO of the Swiss Market chairs the central Life Insurance Committee, the Group CFO is a member of the Finance and Regulation Committee, and further experts represent Swiss Life on some 15 committees and working groups. Other representatives of Swiss Life Management are likewise active in local industry associations in other core markets.
In Germany, decision makers from the worlds of business, politics, academia and the media engaged in dialogue on key sociopolitical issues at the “Salon Palais Leopold” series of events in Munich. Guests in 2011 included the publicist, Avraham Primor, and the top Greek diplomat, Anastassios Kriekoukis. Since 2007, Swiss Life has provided a platform for dialogue at its Munich Specialist Forum series of events for corporate clients, business partners and experts.