Sustainable investing

We aspire to deliver sustainable returns for Clients and drive the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy. To pursue our aspiration, we:

  1. manage capital with sustainability embedded in our investment processes,
  2. invest in assets and businesses that support the transition to a low-carbon and more inclusive economy, and
  3. offer our Clients sustainable investing opportunities.

Priority Sustainable Development Goals: #7 Affordable and Clean Energy and #13: Climate Change.

2020 highlights

  • Sun Life Canada’s Group Retirement Services business launched a proprietary ESG evaluation framework to help plan members and sponsors make informed decisions when it comes to sustainable investing

  • Along with other asset managers and asset owners, as participants1 in Climate Action 100+, we engage in collaborative discussion with top carbon-emitting companies

1 SLC Management and MFS are participating.

ESG integration

Our world is increasingly being challenged by ESG issues, from climate change to social inequality. Integrating ESG factors helps us manage sustainability risks in our investment portfolios. It also helps us identify opportunities. Research shows that the consideration of ESG criteria has a positive or neutral effect on financial performance.

The pandemic has put a spotlight on sustainable investing. In particular, the focus is on how well companies are able to anticipate and react quickly to ESG issues.

2021 goals

SLC Management

  • Continue advancing ESG in the investment world through thought leadership, education and collaboration
  • Assign proprietary ESG scores on all private fixed income issuers


  • Build out ongoing Client reporting and communication on ESG matters to advance transparency and engagement


  • Continue to engage managers to evolve their processes for ESG integration and engagement/active ownership
  • Evolve the GRS ESG evaluation framework to cover alternative asset classes
  • Advocate for legislative/regulatory change regarding inclusion of ESG considerations as part of fiduciary responsibilities

Learn more about ESG integration in our annual sustainability report

Friede,G., Busch, T.,Bassen, A.. “ESG and Financial Performance: Aggregated Evidence from More than 2000 Empirical Studies”. Oct 2015.

Sustainable investments and products

Sun Life is an asset owner and global asset manager. We have the opportunity to invest in high impact assets and businesses contributing to a low-carbon and more inclusive economy. Our role also enables us to provide sustainable investing opportunities for Clients. We’re seeing a massive shift in the investment world. More and more, institutional Clients and the broader investment community are seeking sustainability-themed investments.

2021 goals

  • Invest to support the transition to a low-carbon and more inclusive economy, to progress towards our target of $20 billion in new investments from 2021-2025
  • Continue to build thought leadership on sustainable investing through articles, conferences, etc.

Learn more about our sustainable investments and products in our annual sustainability report

2020 Sustainability Report

Read about our sustainability commitments in action:

Download the full report