Our sustainability plan brings our Purpose - to help Clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives – to life. Sustainability is essential to our long-term business success. That’s why we strive to embed sustainability in everything we do, including our strategy, operations and culture. Being “sustainability driven” is a key part of Sun Life’s Client Impact strategy.
Anchored to our Purpose, our sustainability plan focuses on our areas of expertise where we can have the most positive social and environmental impact: increasing financial security, fostering healthier lives and advancing sustainable investing. These efforts build from our foundation of operating as a trusted and responsible business. Our actions to contribute to a more sustainable, healthier world have a positive impact on our Clients, and earn our position as a trusted brand.
Although we support all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through our sustainability plan, we’ve focused our efforts on the five where we believe we can have the greatest impact. These are:
Through our sustainability plan, we’re focused on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics that our stakeholders identify as most important for us to act on. These topics are determined through a regular materiality assessment, in which we consult our stakeholders and analyze the evolving ESG landscape. The results guide Sun Life’s sustainability efforts, ensuring that we act and report on the right topics.
Learn how we’re managing each of our material topics:
Our governance and oversight of sustainability reflects its priority to Sun Life.
Board of Directors
The Governance, Investment & Conduct Review Committee of the Board of Directors provides oversight of sustainability at Sun Life. This includes oversight of our enterprise-wide Sustainability Policy and reviewing and recommending approval of our annual Sustainability Report and sustainability plan to the Board. The Risk, Audit and Management Resources Committees of the Board also have oversight over aspects of sustainability and climate change. These aspects include oversight over the management of current and emerging risks, financial disclosures in the Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis including those related to climate change, and our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.
Chief Sustainability Officer
This role was created in 2021, in line with the importance Sun Life places on embedding sustainability in everything we do. Reporting directly to the CEO, the Chief Sustainability Officer is building on Sun Life’s long-term ESG commitments to design and lead greater sustainability performance for Sun Life.
International Sustainability Council
The International Sustainability Council (ISC) is composed of senior executives from each of our business groups, key functions and regions. ISC members are responsible for implementation of our sustainability plan, through the areas of focus that align with their business. ISC members champion, influence and drive action. This group meets at least four times per year. ISC members also meet in smaller groups where helpful to focus on specific initiatives or areas of our sustainability plan.
Global Sustainability Team
This team acts as a central resource and source of expertise for sustainability activities. The team manages the sustainability plan, its implementation and reporting and disclosures related to our global ESG performance. Complementing the team’s efforts are dedicated sustainability roles within business groups and units. A network of sustainability champions supports these efforts.
In 2021, we strategically integrated sustainability into all our business groups. As part of their Strategic Plans, each group included specific actions to drive meaningful impacts where they are best positioned. The Board of Directors reviews, advises on and approves Business Group Strategic Plans, ensuring that the plans are holistic, thoughtfully developed and aligned to the enterprise strategy, mission and medium-term objectives. Each group is also accountable for implementing and reporting on their sustainability strategy. The Global Sustainability Team coordinates efforts across all business groups to ensure alignment to the enterprise sustainability plan. The ISC reviews progress of the business groups’ sustainability efforts quarterly.
Read about our sustainability commitments in action.