Building sustainable, healthier communities for life

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

Our sustainability strategy

Sun Life's focus on advancing sustainability brings our Purpose, to help our Clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives, to life. Sustainability is a key strategy for the company and is central to our overall business success.

We define sustainability as taking accountability for our social, environmental, economic and governance impacts, risks and opportunities, in ways that help to ensure our long-term ability to deliver value to our Clients, employees, shareholders and communities.

Our company-wide sustainability strategy, approved by our Board of Directors, focuses on four key principles within which we continue to deepen our commitment and strengthen our practices: organizational resilience, environmental responsibility, community wellness and governance and risk management. Our priority topics, informed by stakeholder feedback, are mapped to these four principles.


Advancing sustainability across four key principles

Organizational resilience

We cultivate an organization that is competitive, forward-thinking, resilient and sustainable for the long term, so we can continue to meet the needs of our Clients, who are at the centre of all we do.

Priority topics:

  • Client focus
  • Digital innovation
  • Data security and privacy
  • Talent management
  • Workforce wellness
  • Diversity and inclusion

More about organizational resilience

Environmental responsibility

We are accountable for the impact of our operations on the environment, so we are consistently taking steps to measure, manage and reduce that impact.

Priority topics:

  • Environmental impacts
  • Sustainable investing

More about environmental responsibility

Community wellness

We believe that by actively supporting the communities where we live and work, we can help build a positive environment for our Clients, employees, advisors and shareholders.

Priority topics:

  • Strategic philanthropy
  • Infrastructure investments
  • Public policy

More about community wellness

Governance and risk management

We believe a well-run organization contributes to a stable operating platform Sun Life, and positions us to meet our obligations to stakeholders. Proactive risk management and a strong risk culture are essential to our long-term success.

Priority topics:

  • Ethics, integrity and corporate governance
  • Risk management

More about governance and risk management

Messages from our leaders

Message from the President and CEO

For over 150 years, Sun Life has proudly served Clients around the globe. We know the actions we take today will lay the foundation for generations to come. Our commitment to Clients is anchored in a bigger Purpose: helping our Clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives. This is our North Star, and is directly aligned with sustainability – an important focus for our company and essential to our overall success.

At Sun Life, we invest for the future – for our Clients, employees, shareholders and communities. We are focused on creating a diverse and inclusive culture – one that unleashes creativity, fosters innovation, builds the best teams and drives value. We take pride in our inclusive environment and have heightened our focus with commitments to address gender and visible minority representation, specifically at the leadership level, to better reflect our Clients and communities. We also made significant progress on our targets to reduce our impact on climate change and support the shift to a low-carbon economy.

Our Clients and our communities are counting on Sun Life – and as their needs and the world around us continue to quickly evolve, now more than ever is the time to deepen our commitment and strengthen our practices as we strive to shape a more sustainable future.

Dean A. Connor
President & Chief Executive Officer


Message from the Executive Sponsor of Sustainability

In 2018, we set out to better understand our employees’ perspectives on sustainability. The results showed that 89% of our employees feel our business practices demonstrate that sustainability is important to Sun Life. As Executive Sponsor, I see every day the high level of interest and commitment to sustainability across our organization, through to our Executive Team and Board of Directors. I was pleased to learn our employees see it, too. As we report on our progress on sustainability in 2018, I’m looking forward to another strong year of performance in 2019, as we continue building sustainable, healthier communities for life.

Melissa J. Kennedy
Executive Vice-President,
Chief Legal Officer & Public Affairs and Executive Sponsor of Sustainability

2018 Sustainability Report

See our sustainability commitments in action.

  Download the full report

  Download the highlights

  Global Reporting Initiative index