Throughout our 150-year history, our Clients have counted on us to meet our long-term commitments to them. That’s why being a resilient organization is a strategic imperative — so we can continue to be here for decades to come.

It’s about cultivating an organization that is competitive, forward-thinking and sustainable for the long term. We believe this focus is a key differentiator and value-driver for Sun Life as we strive to be one of the best insurance and asset management companies in the world.


Client focus

Our Clients are at the centre of everything we do and we are focused on building lasting relationships. We believe this will allow us to maximize the value we provide our Clients, and lead to better business outcomes for Sun Life.

2017 highlights:

  • Aligned 25% of annual incentive plan compensation to Client experience measures.
  • Provided 45,000 in-person and electronic benefits-enrollment consultations to our Clients in the U.S.
  • Rewrote over 650 communications in Canada using plain language principles, and conducted user testing to make sure we were hitting the right tone.
  • Sun Life Indonesia launched Generasi #LebihBaik (a better generation) video series in Indonesia, aimed at educating people, in particular younger generations, about the importance of planning for their future. As of the end of 2017, these videos have been viewed more than 1 million times online.
  • Voted by Canadians as the Most Trusted BrandTM of Life Insurance Companies according to the 2018 Reader’s Digest Trusted BrandTM Survey, for the 9th year in a row
  • Recognized as one of the Top 100 Brands in the Philippines by Campaign Asia-Pacific, for the 4th straight year — the only insurance company to make the list.

Digital innovation

In a digitally driven world, innovation closely connects to Client satisfaction. Digital touchpoints are changing the way people research, buy and manage their insurance and wealth solutions. Our digital capabilities are therefore critical, both to support our Clients' needs and evolving preferences, and to help Sun Life become more efficient.

We have been on a digital innovation journey for several years and have achieved a number of digital firsts, including pioneering technologies like the Digital Benefits Assistant program (Canada). In 2017, we continued to build on this momentum.

2017 highlights:

  • Formed a Fintech partnership with Timo Vietnam, a digital banking platform, to promote our products through them and connect Timo members to Sun Life advisors.
  • Sun Life Malaysia launched that country’s first telco-assurance product with U Mobile, one of Malaysia’s most innovative telecommunications companies. We collaborated to enable subscribers to go completely paperless for their life microinsurance, as they are able to apply, subscribe and manage it entirely via their mobile phones. As insurance coverage becomes financially accessible and convenient, more Malaysians may benefit from financial protection.
  • Introduced the Bright Start Tool, an interactive tool to help make it easier for Canadian Clients to get started in their financial planning journey. We learned that Clients found it difficult to identify what they need, so the tool helps them by providing relevant, personalized recommendations about health, savings and retirement needs and goals.

Data security and privacy

Sun Life’s commitment to handling personal information with the utmost care is the foundation of trust that our Clients, employees and partners place in us. We maintain and continually invest in practices, processes and tools to safeguard our networks and the personal information stored in them.

2017 highlights:

  • Rolled out new annual privacy training to employees across the globe, supported by specialized in-classroom training and a 12-month privacy communication program to strengthen employee understanding of privacy requirements.
  • Delivered 250,000 phishing simulation tests to employees. The tests aim to educate employees by simulating real world cyberattacks.
  • Teamed up with numerous external stakeholders to develop the Canadian Assessment Framework to help determine whether big data activities in the private sector are legal, fair and just — a global first.

Talent management

With a global workforce of 34,000 employees (including 12,600 employed by our Asia joint ventures), attracting, retaining and developing top talent is central to our success. We believe that the more engaged our employees are, the more productive and passionate they will be in delivering on our Purpose of helping Clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives.

2017 highlights:

  • Invested more than $41 million in training and developing our employees globally.
  • Reduced global turnover rate to 9.6%, from 10.4% in 2016.
  • Tested a new virtual reality development experience to put employees “in the shoes” of Clients.
  • Using real-life work locations and actors, employees ran through a variety of Client service simulations to see their reality in 360-degree video.
  • Recognized as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, for the 2nd consecutive year.

Workforce wellness

We are continuously investing in a culture of wellness that empowers our employees to be their best selves. We take a holistic view of workforce wellness by focusing on physical, mental and financial wellness. This approach helps frame our benefits programs, set priorities and embed wellness into Sun Life’s culture.

2017 highlights:

  • 27% of employees took part in our global Wellness Challenge, with 91% saying they achieved their goals and 65% reporting higher productivity. The “healthy competition” encourages employees to make small but significant changes to their financial, physical and mental well-being.
  • Ran campaigns for our employees during Diabetes Awareness Month in November, and encouraged all our employees globally to take the online diabetes risk assessment.
  • Our Asia Service Centre India ran financial control sessions with tips on how professional women can take charge of their own finances and manage their investments better.
  • Awarded the Venngo Healthy Workplaces Award by Canadian HR Reporter, for providing mental, physical and financial wellness programs that foster healthy and engaged employees.

Diversity and inclusion

We view diversity and inclusion as key drivers of innovation, engagement and sustainability, and a foundation for understanding Clients and their needs. Guided by an enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion strategy, we work to embed diversity and inclusion in our workplace culture and practices — from recruitment, training and mentoring to benefit programs and leadership development — wherever we operate.

2017 highlights:

  • Delivered Unconscious Bias Awareness sessions to more than 1,300 leaders in North America and Europe.
  • Grew membership in our Women’s Leadership Network to 726 employees, from 605 employees in 2016.
  • As part of our commitment to 100% Talent: The Boston Women’s Compact, we continued working to close the gender wage gap and level the playing field for working women.
  • Committed $450,000 in support of the Play for Prevention program offered by Right to Play. The program aims to address health issues affecting many Indigenous communities by involving Indigenous youth in physical activity and health nutrition workshops.
  • Recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index, for the 10th year in a row.
  • Included in the 2018 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, for creating inclusive work environments that support gender equality at all levels.

2017 Sustainability Report

See our sustainability commitments in action.

  Download the full report