Zurich’s global Corporate Responsibility strategy is focused on Zurich’s roles as insurer, investor, employer and in society. Zurich’s global social impact programs are delivered via the Z Zurich Foundation, a charitable foundation with a registered office in Zurich (Switzerland) established by Zurich Insurance Company Ltd and Zurich Life Insurance Company Ltd in accordance with Swiss law.
The Z Zurich Foundation invests in global, regional and local community programs around the world, focusing on three strategic pillars: adapting to climate change, improving mental wellbeing and enabling social equity. By 2024, it aims to create transformative change in the lives of more than one million vulnerable people and positively impact the lives of 10 million others.
Zurich Australia supports this global vision through its local programs.
View Zurich’s 2019 Sustainability Highlights Report and the Z Zurich Foundation’s 2019 Annual Report here.
In 2018, Zurich and the Z Zurich Foundation launched Tackle Your Feelings, a five-year national program delivering mental health training at community AFL clubs across Australia. The program supports the wellbeing of community coaches and provides them with the tools to understand, recognise and manage the signs of mental health among their players, fellow club members and their extended community and families. The initiative is a partnership with the AFL Coaches Association and the AFL Players Association. Our aim is to train 10,000 coaches and committee members at 1,000 clubs around the country, which will support more than 100,000 young people and their families.
This campaign has been designed based on the framework of the successful ‘Tackle Your Feelings’ campaign launched in 2017 in Ireland with the support of the Z Zurich Foundation.
Zurich and the Z Zurich Foundation have collaborated with the youth mentoring organisation, the Raise Foundation, since 2016 to support its In School Mentoring Program (ISMO). This support has helped Raise expand its programs from NSW to become a national charity in 2018. In 2020, Zurich and the Z Zurich Foundation renewed the collaboration for a further 5 years to help Raise with its ambitious goal to offer its mentoring program in every Australian public high school by 2026. Each year, Zurich employees engage as mentors in the program.
In late 2017 Zurich, through another local grant funded by the Z Zurich Foundation, began its collaboration with Beyond Empathy (BE); a young people arts organisation that uses the arts to influence change and enrich the lives of individuals and communities facing recurring hardship. Because young people from Indigenous communities are statistically much more likely to suffer mental health issues or die by suicide than those from non-Indigenous communities, our focus is on Indigenous young people. Many of BE’s community arts and cultural development workers are from the First Nations communities in which they work. They teach new skills to build the confidence and sense of purpose for young people and encourage them to achieve personal and artistic outcome. In 2019, our collaboration Excursions delivered a large-scale public art exhibition at the building site of Zurich Tower in North Sydney. Our second collaboration, Parting, is currently underway involving young people in the Illawarra.
In New Zealand, Zurich’s community partner is Variety – the Children’s Charity.
He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.
With Zurich’s and the Z Zurich Foundation’s support, Variety transforms the lives of children by delivering flexible support, tailored to meet the individual needs of young New Zealanders living in disadvantaged communities across Aotearoa. The goal is to ensure a happier, healthier childhood for the kids on the programme by providing the essentials needed to ensure their development and participation in society. Every day, more than 1 in 4 Kiwi kids go without the basics most of us take for granted. 1 in 10 children do not have a bed to call their own. This has a profound impact on their health, education, wellbeing, and self-esteem.
Zurich is proud to support Variety because it shares Variety’s values and belief that every child deserves the same opportunities to thrive, flourish and reach their full potential.
Variety, through a local grant program in collaboration with Zurich and the Z Zurich Foundation, has been able to transform lives, providing food to struggling families, maternity packs to new mums, beds and warm bedding to children in dire need, and scholarships to talented young Kiwis living in poverty. Zurich is delighted about Variety’s efforts to provide our employees with opportunities to pro-actively engage in community outreach work, completing building projects at low-decile schools, delivering hygiene packs to families, and giving Christmas gifts to kids who would otherwise miss out.
Variety’s message is that “by working in partnership, we are making a tangible difference to the tamariki and rangitahi of Aotearoa.”
Zurich encourages a vibrant culture of employee giving and volunteering in support of charities and community initiatives that are important to our employees. Zurich has employee-led resource groups, including the Women’s Innovation Network, PrideZ, MindFIT and Eco Office, as well as special interest clubs, all of which drive participation in frequent national fundraising events.
Zurich offers uncapped dollar matching for employee fundraising efforts and one paid volunteer day per year. Since 2018 Zurich Australia has been recognised as one of Good Company’s Top 20 Best Workplaces to Give Back.
Zurich employees participate in regional and global community initiatives via the Z Zurich Foundation, including an annual global community champions conference, community hero awards, competitions, and fundraising initiatives.
In November 2020, Zurich Australia launched its first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). With a proud Australian heritage, we have a responsibility to use our core skills to help our local communities and society become more resilient. The Reflect RAP is a strategic commitment to positive actions towards celebrating, connecting and collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their unique contributions to the communities we serve in Australia. The RAP, endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, is underpinned by Zurich’s global sustainability strategy with investment in local communities at its core. Download the RAP here.
Zurich, through the Z Zurich Foundation, has been involved in disaster preparedness and support in multiple ways. Read more here.