The Baloise Group is more than just a traditional insurance company. The changing security, safety and service needs of society in the digital age lie at the heart of its business activities. The 7,900 or so employees of Baloise therefore focus on the wishes of their customers. The best possible customer service, combined with innovative products and services, makes Baloise the first choice for people who want to feel ‘simply safe’. Located at the heart of Europe, with its head office in Basel, the Baloise Group is a provider of prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets are Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Switzerland, the Group also operates as a specialised financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. The Group offers innovative pension products to retail customers throughout Europe from its competence centre in Luxembourg. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange.
The topic of sustainability has a long tradition at Baloise. For instance, it signed the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Statement of Environmental Commitment by the Insurance Industry back in 1995. For Baloise, sustainable development and the insurance and financial services business have significant similarities: long-term activities and responsible handling of risks and resources. As well as securing its own business operations in the long term, Baloise wants to actively pursue its role as a corporate citizen.
Expansion of the Baloise responsible investment strategy
As a long-term asset manager, Baloise is of the firm belief that integrating sustainability criteria in the investment process has a positive effect on the risk/return profile. Baloise has already been adhering to the exclusion list of the Swiss Association for Responsible Investments (SVVK-ASIR) for some time now. In order to strengthen the commitment to Baloise customers, shareholders and employees, it signed the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2018. Baloise is also a member of the Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) network.
At the beginning of the year, Baloise adopted a responsible investment (RI) policy for new investments of insurance assets for asset management. The RI policy governs the integration of environmental, social and corporate governance criteria in investment decisions. As of 1 January 2020, the responsible investment policy will be extended to all of Baloise Asset Management’s self-managed products for third-party customers. This will see current efforts in the area of responsible investment further strengthened. Baloise customers stand to benefit from a sustainable investment strategy as a result of the expansion of the responsible investment policy. The changeover will affect products with a volume of CHF 6.4 billion (as of 30/6/2019).
Improvement of the sustainability rating
Baloise was also upgraded from BB to BBB by MSCI Inc. in July 2019. Improvements in the area of responsible investment were commended in particular. The rating scale ranges from CCC at the lower end to B, BB, BBB and A, AA through to AAA at the upper end. The BBB rating sees Baloise move above the industry-standard rating of BB, where 33% of companies in the Multi-line Insurance & Brokerage CH sector are positioned. MSCI ESG Research is the world’s biggest provider of sustainability analyses and ratings in the area of environment, social and corporate governance (ESG).
You can find out more about Baloise’s sustainability activities and the responsible investment policy at www.baloise.com/sustainability.