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How ethical and sustainable is pension provider, Zurich? 

The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Pensions Ratings Table includes Zurich. Zurich has yet to fulfil our ethical requirements, but we think that the brand will make some big changes in the future to become a more ethical organisation and pension provider. Zurich might boost customer trust by seeking out The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation, which would entail a more thorough review as well as recommendations for ethical development.

More information on the necessity of ethical pensions may be found in The Good Shopping Guide to Ethical Pension Companies. Then, in our Ethical Pension Rating Table, compare Zurich to other Pension providers for the Ethical Ratings you care about the most.

What does Zurich do?

Zurich was founded in 1872 in the marine industry, branching out into accident insurance in 1875. It quit the marine business in 1880 and branched out into pensions in 1898. Read more on the history of Zurich here.

The brand is a part of the Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. Zurich provides property, life and health insurance options. To read our article on Zurich as an Ethical Insurance provider, visit its individual brand write-up page.

For which criteria does Zurich perform poorly?
Zurich was rated poorly for Political Donations and other Ethical Criticisms. Zurich Financial Services, a subsidiary of the Zurich Insurance Group, contributed more than $2 million in recent election cycles. The company received a medium rating for its ethical investment strategy; it acknowledges decarbonising its portfolio and lists exclusions such as coal and contentious weaponry; yet, the brand still permits about 30% of its revenue to originate from these sources.

Past Criticisms of Zurich’s ethical record

Zurich was criticised for being one of the four founding members of the Net Zero insurance alliance while continuing to provide more than 20% of oil and gas insurance despite having committed to a policy prohibiting this.

More information on Zurich’s oil and gas insurance may be found here.

The insurance company was also penalised for “cartel tactics” after a lengthy inquiry by Portugal’s competition regulator. More on this example of Zurich’s unethical company actions may be found here.

In what areas does Zurich score well for its ethics?

Due to its sustainability report, which covers extra aims, Zurich achieves a high grade for its Environmental Report. The company has set a goal of reaching Net Zero by 2050 and has joined the Science-Based Targets programme.

How can Zurich improve its ethical rating?

The Good Shopping Guide divides a brand’s Ethical Rating into three categories: the Environment, People and Animals. Zurich could apply for Ethical Accreditation for more specific and tailored advice on how to improve its CSR, company ethics policies and sustainability practices.

Zurich may improve its grade and meet our essential ethical standards by re-evaluating who they invest in, studying firms to ensure no harmful ties exist and restricting its Political Donations.

Ethical Accreditation has benefitted pensions provider, Aviva, for many, many years! See our Ethical Accreditation page for more information.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Environmental Destruction


  • Carbon Disclosure & Reduction Targets



  • Irresponsible Lending


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Responsible Investment Policy


  • Other Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating