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Increasing financial security, helping people live healthier lives and advancing sustainable investing - the focus of Sun Life's efforts in 2021 Sustainability Report

·5 min read
Participants in Sun Life’s annual Fit to Win enjoyed the chance to hang out with Lucky the Leprechaun, the mascot of the Boston Celtics. Fit to Win is a 4-week program with the Celtics and the YMCA of Greater Boston that helps foster healthier lives by teaching kids ways to eat healthy and stay active. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)
Participants in Sun Life’s annual Fit to Win enjoyed the chance to hang out with Lucky the Leprechaun, the mascot of the Boston Celtics. Fit to Win is a 4-week program with the Celtics and the YMCA of Greater Boston that helps foster healthier lives by teaching kids ways to eat healthy and stay active. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)
In Canada, Sun Life fostered healthier lives by expanding its Lumino Health platform with a mobile app – so Canadians have easy access to paramedical care, education and wellness resources. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)
In Canada, Sun Life fostered healthier lives by expanding its Lumino Health platform with a mobile app – so Canadians have easy access to paramedical care, education and wellness resources. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

Highlights include 378K positive health actions taken by Canadians and $65B in investments that support the transition to a low-carbon, more inclusive economy

TORONTO, March 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ - Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) today released its 2021 Sustainability Report and 2021 Public Accountability Statement. The report captures the company's sustainability efforts focusing on three key areas where Sun Life has identified it can have the greatest positive impact: increasing financial security, fostering healthier lives and advancing sustainable investing. It also reports on key aspects of being a trusted and responsible business, including climate action, diversity, equity & inclusion, data privacy, governance and risk.

"We're proud of our sustainability accomplishments this past year, all achieved under the backdrop of an ongoing pandemic and global health crisis," said Alanna Boyd, Senior Vice-President, and Chief Sustainabiity Officer. "Our work builds on our Purpose and contributes to a more inclusive and sustainable future. Our efforts have had a meaningful impact in increasing financial security, fostering health and well-being and advancing sustainable investing. In 2021, Sun Life made being "Sustainability Driven" a core part of our business strategy, effectively doubling-down on our sustainability commitment and signalling our intention to do more."

Boyd added, "Companies and business leaders play an important role in driving the sustainability agenda. Sun Life is working to bring sustainability to life in everything we do – to direct our efforts in ways that are both good for our company and stakeholders, and beneficial to society now and for generations to come."

Key highlights from Sun Life's 2021 Sustainability Report:

Increasing Financial Security

  • Helped Clients in Canada take 1.4 million positive financial actions to increase their financial security.

  • Made it easier for Clients in Canada to access life insurance coverage. Sun Life Clients aged 18 – 40 may qualify for up to $5 million in life insurance coverage without lab exams – a first for the industry.

  • Advocated with U.S. Congress for paid family and medical leave, so Americans don't have to choose between working and caring for themselves or a loved one.

Fostering Healthier Lives

  • 378,000 positive health actions taken by Clients in Canada after a nudge from Sun Life's digital coach, Ella.

  • Expanded mental health solutions for employers in Canada and the U.S., helping them to create workplaces that protect and prioritize mental health. This included piloting our Mental Health Coach in Canada, which prompted 55% of participants to meet with a mental health professional and 32% to make lifestyle interventions.

  • Supported individuals in obtaining the health coverage they need through new and expanded digital offerings: Health Navigator powered by PinnacleCare in the U.S., Personal Accident and Cancer solutions in Vietnam, and expanded Lumino Health Virtual Care in Canada including the launch of a mobile app that provides on-demand access to health care.

  • Donated over $1 million worldwide for a total contribution of $4.5 million since the start of the pandemic, to support people and communities affected by COVID-19.

Advancing Sustainable Investing

  • Announced goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 for investments across Sun Life's general account, with interim targets to be established in 2022.

  • Made good progress towards Sun Life's sustainable investment commitment with $6.8 billion in new sustainable investments in 2021. The company set a goal in 2021 of $20 billion in new sustainable investments by 2025. Its current portfolio value of sustainable investments is $65 billion. Examples of typical investments include solar, wind and hydro renewable energy investments, energy efficiency projects and social infrastructure projects, such as affordable housing and long-term care facilities.

  • Launched the Sun Life Malaysia Global Sustainable Fund, the first sustainable investment-linked fund available to Malaysians.

Trusted and Responsible Business

  • Developed a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy, outlining Sun Life's focus areas, ongoing progress and promise to keep pushing for action. Sun Life has established 2025 goals, including achieving greater representation at leadership levels, with a target of 50% women in VP+ roles globally, 25% underrepresented ethnicities in VP+ roles in North America, and obtaining Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification in Canada in support of Indigenous communities.

  • Improved transparency around privacy practices, with updated, plain-language content in Sun Life's Global Privacy Statement. This helps Clients and the public to better understand what they can expect when the company collects and uses their personal information. The statement reinforces Sun Life's promise to do what's right, rather than only what laws require.

  • Appointed Sun Life's first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), reporting directly to the CEO, with overall accountability for sustainability, including climate change.

  • Achieved CarbonNeutral company certification across Sun Life's global business operations.

  • Continued advocacy and collaboration with external stakeholders to develop supportive net-zero programs and policies that pave a path towards decarbonization.

2021 Sustainability Highlights (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)
2021 Sustainability Highlights (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

Since 2014, Sun Life has used the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework to guide its reporting. Sun Life's 2021 Sustainability Report is developed in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core Option and reports on relevant disclosure topics identified in the Insurance and Asset Management standards developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

For more information about Sun Life's sustainability efforts, visit www.sunlife.com/sustainability and read the 2021 Sustainability Report.

About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2021, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1.44 trillion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars

Media Relations Contact:
Kim Race, Director
Corporate Communications
T: 416-779-4574
kim.race@sunlife.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Yaniv Bitton
Vice-President, Head of Investor Relations & Capital Markets
T. 416-979-6496
investor_relations@sunlife.com

Sun Life logo (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)
Sun Life logo (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)
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SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.