As a company with many connections to communities around the world, we believe we play a role in their development and sustainability. Our goal is to build sustainable, healthier communities where we all live and work, helping to improve the lives of individuals and families.

Strategic philanthropy

We lead and support high-impact philanthropic programs around the world, drawing on our resources, talent, networks and strategic partnerships with community organizations. Since 2012, diabetes has been our global priority, with a major focus on prevention. Combating this disease ties into our Purpose of helping our Clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives. We empower our employees to get involved in their communities and support them in several ways, depending on local needs.

2017 highlights:

  • Donated $11.4 million to community organizations across Canada, the U.S., Asia and the United Kingdom. Over 40% of this amount was directed to fighting diabetes, our key community-giving priority.
  • 978,000 people screened for their risk of developing type 2 diabetes globally, through programs funded by Sun Life.
  • 3,800 employees took part in walks, runs and bike rides in support of community causes globally.
  • Collaborated with the American Diabetes Association (Association) to sponsor the Association’s Wellness Lives Here® Health Champion Designation, which recognizes employers who help staff manage their nutrition, weight and physical activity.
  • Launched new projects through the Sun Life Foundation in the Philippines to improve health, wellness and education in disadvantaged communities.
  • Received the CSR Health Impact Award in recognition of our Asia Service Centre India employee volunteer initiatives.

Infrastructure investments

We make strategic investments in infrastructure projects that enhance community health and sustainability. We do this through financing programs that provide long-term capital to support project construction, operation and maintenance.

Our current strategy is channeling our infrastructure investments to 3 key areas: supporting healthier communities through social infrastructure; facilitating the transition to cleaner, renewable and affordable energy sources; and promoting sustainable and efficient transit infrastructure.

2017 highlights:

  • Invested more than $100 million in 17 long-term care facilities, representing 1,000 additional long-term care beds for seniors requiring a higher level of medical attention.
  • Allocated over $300 million to healthcare infrastructure projects, including long-term financing to create a new Canadian medical facility to offer scientific research, education and in-patient and ambulatory services focused on mental health.
  • Initiated nearly $1 billion in new financing for clean and renewable energy projects, including a U.S. energy storage facility that uses emerging battery storage technology to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Invested over $250 million in environmentally friendly, sustainable transportation projects, including financing for new passenger rail upgrades in the United Kingdom.

Public policy

In an industry subject to significant regulation, we believe it is important to contribute our views and experience to public policy debates on important issues that directly affect our Clients, employees and communities. Wherever we operate, we are committed to being open and transparent about our public policy positions and activities and interacting responsibly with government officials.

2017 highlights:

  • Participated in public policy conversations relating to the life and health insurance industry and contributed to the development of public policy on diverse issues in support of economic growth, financial security and healthy lifestyles.
  • Collaborated with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and member companies to provide feedback on recommendations made by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
  • Partnered with a coalition of life insurers and industry associations to advocate on behalf of maintaining sections of the U.S. Tax Code that have an impact on our industry. Employee benefit and life insurers were able to limit changes to the tax code that would have negatively affected our ability to offer products and services to our Clients.

2017 Sustainability Report

See our sustainability commitments in action.

  Download the full report
  Download the highlights