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Sustainability

Building sustainable, healthier communities for life

And we’re looking for new and innovative ways to do more.

Our sustainability strategy

Whether we're bringing solar-powered lights to remote Indian villages, matching our Employees' donations to 845 charities or creating an app that allows for fast, paperless claims, Sun Life continues to advance sustainability for our communities, our Clients, our businesses and the environment.

We believe that environmental, social and governance issues are fundamental to maintaining our business for the long term.

We have integrated sustainability into our business by developing an enterprise-wide sustainability strategy that has been approved by the Governance, Nomination and Investment Committee of the Board of Directors. Our International Sustainability Council, composed of senior leaders from key functions and geographic regions, champions and advocates for the implementation of the strategy across the enterprise.


Advancing sustainability in 4 key areas

Community
wellness

By actively supporting the communities where we live and work, we can help build a positive environment for Clients, Employees, advisors and shareholders


Organizational
resilience

We put Clients first and support our people with ethical policies, creating an organization that is forward-thinking, Client-focused, competitive and resilient.


Environmental
responsibility

We're accountable for the impact of our operations on the environment, so we're taking even more steps to measure, manage and reduce that impact.


Governance and risk management

A well-run organization contributes to a stable and sustainable operating platform, helping us meet our obligations to stakeholders.

2015 Sustainability Report

See our commitment to community wellness, organizational resilience, environmental responsibility, governance and risk management in action.

 Download the full report

Messages from our leaders

Message from the President and Chief Executive Officer

In 2014, our Board approved a company-wide sustainability strategy focused on building sustainable, healthier communities for life. It was a plan that aligned with our overall enterprise strategy. Since then, we have made progress and built upon the excellent programs and initiatives highlighted in last year's Sustainability Report. From literally bringing light to remote villages in India and the Philippines to our global commitment to diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research, we are proud of what we've accomplished this past year and excited about finding new and innovative ways to further our sustainability efforts.

Please take a few minutes to read through our Sustainability Report to see this commitment in action, and to learn more about how we're making life brighter.

Dean Connor
President and Chief Executive Officer


Message from the Executive Sponsor

As the Executive Sponsor for sustainability at Sun Life, it's my role to champion the many initiatives across the company that help foster a sustainable business model. We know that sustainability needs to be front and centre if we want to be in business for our Clients for the long term, and as the definition of sustainability evolves, we must, too.

In 2015, we at Sun Life continued our strong progress against our 4 key sustainability themes, and I'm pleased to see our efforts enabled us to remain on several major indices, such as the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World and FTSE4Good. Also, we were proud to be recognized for the first time with the Ethical Boardroom Best Corporate Governance – Financial Services – North America award.

Not only did we continue our commitment to various local and global causes in 2015, we also deepened our reach on key programs that will support our goal of building healthier, sustainable communities for life. For example, we increased our focus on diabetes to have a greater impact at the Client and community levels and, internally, we made strong progress on both BrightWork – our flexible workplace strategy – and The Brighter Way, our Lean Six Sigma-based initiative to enhance individual and company productivity. Both are helping to build an environment where our Employees can work at their best, with the ultimate goal of an improved service experience for our many Clients around the globe.

I'm proud of Sun Life's commitment to sustainability and the dedication I see across our operations. We'll continue to make inroads into this critical work, tying it even more closely to our day-to-day activities and way of thinking.

Melissa J. Kennedy
Executive Vice-President,
Chief Legal Officer & Public Affairs


Message from the Chair of the International Sustainability Council

The importance of sustainability cannot be ignored. Clients demand it. Employees want it. And companies that don't invest in it will feel the impact.

At Sun Life, we've put a sustainability strategy in place with input from many stakeholders, including our Clients, Employees, advisors, shareholders and regulators, and ensured our goals were achievable. It's an approach that encompasses the essential environmental, social and governance issues, but is expanded to include a focus on our people. All of these elements are essential for our success in the long term.

As Chair of Sun Life's International Sustainability Council (ISC), I am committed to providing leadership and advocacy in order to ensure we incorporate a sustainability mindset in our operations across the enterprise. In 2015, I was proud to see our efforts come to fruition while staying true to our mission of building sustainable, healthier communities for life. Moving the needle can be challenging, but the results of hard work across the organization are truly rewarding.

Philip Gillin
Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Canadian Property Investments and Chair of the International Sustainability Council