Sustainability Report – 2022 Performance

Our commitment to sustainability brings our Purpose to life. In this report, you can read about our sustainability performance
in 2022.

Download report

Sustainability Report – 2022 Performance

Our commitment to sustainability brings our Purpose to life. In this report, you can read about our sustainability performance
in 2022.

Download report

Our sustainability plan

Our sustainability ambition is to maximize our positive impact on society and the environment over the long-term, while creating value and competitive advantage for our business in Canada and around the world. That’s why at Sun Life, being ‘sustainability driven’ matters deeply. It’s a cornerstone of our Client Impact strategy (part of our corporate strategy) and we believe it's essential to our long-term business success.

Our Sustainability Plan is our compass on this important journey. Anchored to our Purpose, our Sustainability Plan has three pillars which represent the areas where we have the greatest opportunity to drive positive impact in society, while creating competitive advantage for Sun Life:

  • increasing financial security,
  • fostering healthier lives, and
  • advancing sustainable investing.

These efforts build from our foundation of operating as a trusted and responsible business.

Learn more about our sustainability plan and approach

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

Sun Life supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our work is aligned to the following SDGs where we believe we can have the greatest impact. These are:

#3 Good health & well-being
#5 Gender equality
#7 Affordable and clean energy
#8 Decent work and economic growth
#13 Climate action

Advancing our sustainability plan

We aspire to increase the lifetime financial security of our Clients, employees and communities. We’re advancing financial security through innovative products and services, proactive education and improved access to and use of insurance and wealth products.

Our work is aligned to Sustainable Development Goal #8 Decent work and economic growth.

2022 highlights:

  • Introduced Prospr by Sun Life, a hybrid advice solution combining a best-in-class digital platform with a team of licensed advisors. The solution makes it easier for Canadians to select, prioritize and track their financial goals all in one place.
  • Created over 49,000 financial roadmaps1 for Clients in Canada using our new Sun Life One Plan digital tool. We also provide Clients with online access to their roadmap to track progress on their goals and identify different scenarios to build a sustainable future.
  • Helped drive good financial decisions and habits with 1.1 million actions taken by Clients in Canada to boost their financial security. For example, through nudges from our digital coach, Ella, Clients obtained $1.4 billion in insurance coverage and made $697 million in wealth deposits in Canada. This represents an increase of 47% and 1% respectively over 2021.

Learn more about how Sun Life is increasing financial security


1 Figure includes Individual Clients and a pilot Group Retirement Services Client using our new Sun Life One Plan digital tool. In 2022, we created over 65,000 financial roadmaps for Individual Clients.

We aspire to improve health and wellness outcomes for all. We offer Clients and employees products, services and tools to help them live healthier lives. We positively impact health and wellness outcomes in society through our focus on increasing access to health care and health and disability insurance. Our investments in community health complement these efforts.

Our work is aligned to Sustainable Development Goal #3 Good health and well-being.

2022 highlights:

  • Supported group benefits plan members in Canada in building their families by introducing new surrogacy, adoption and fertility services benefits. Included within our new Family Building program, the benefits help meet the diverse needs of people growing families in different ways.
  • Continued to help Canadians with type 2 diabetes get access to affordable life insurance through the Diabetes Signature Solutions pilot. The program offers improved eligibility and access to specialized diabetes management resources in some regions.  
  • Provided mental health supports by expanding our partnership with Dialogue Technologies to offer a new Employee Assistance Program and online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program to group benefits Clients throughout Canada. The program offers resources that are clinically proven to support mental health disorders.
  • Rolled out new mental health training for people leaders and employees in North America. The training provides short courses and downloadable resources with practical tips to help support mental wellness.
  • Boosted benefits for employees to better support growing families. For example, in Canada, we extended maternity top-ups (from 6 to 14 weeks, up to 100% pay), included parental and adoption top-ups (up to 100% pay up to 14 weeks), added fertility services and increased fertility drug coverage amounts.
  • Contributed $5.7 million of Sun Life’s corporate giving to the fight against diabetes. We supported initiatives to prevent type 2 diabetes, direct services to underserved communities, and take diabetes education virtual.
  • Donated more than $2 million to support mental health programs in Canada. These investments will support 14 organizations across Canada in their work to develop and maintain targeted mental health programs.

Learn more about how Sun Life is fostering healthier lives

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

  1. Manage capital with environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors embedded into our investment processes
  2. Offer our Clients sustainable investing opportunities
  3. Invest assets to support the transition

Our work is aligned to Sustainable Development Goals #7 Affordable and clean energy and #13 Climate action.

2022 highlights:

  • Focused efforts on setting interim targets and implementation plans toward achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. In 2022, four of our asset management businesses had their interim targets approved by the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAM): MFS, BentallGreenOak (BGO), InfraRed and Sun Life Global Investments (SLGI).
  • Made progress towards our goal of $20 billion in new sustainable investments from 2021-2025, with $6.5 billion invested in assets and businesses that support the transition to a low-carbon and more inclusive economy. This brings our total progress towards our goal to $14.2 billion1.
  • Sun Life Canada’s Group Retirement Services business increased opportunities for Clients to explore and choose sustainability-focused investments by: adding three new sustainability-focused investment options, adding a Shariah fund for group savings plans and updating fact sheets to include “How this fund integrates ESG”.
  • SLC Fixed Income joined NZAM and the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials, committing to achieve net-zero GHG emissions across all assets under management by 2050 and assess and disclose the GHG emissions associated with loans and investments, respectively.
  • MFS completed the initial development of a platform for tracking, evaluating and reporting on stewardship activities. MFS also implemented a new platform to guide fixed income sustainability reviews so that investment teams can analyze ESG data in conjunction with portfolio risk analytics.
  • Published numerous articles and papers and launched a podcast to raise awareness among our Clients and the investment community of ESG trends and opportunities. For example, SLGI released a whitepaper outlining opportunities in sustainable infrastructure. 

Learn more about how Sun Life is advancing sustainable investing


Value as at transaction date. Includes restated 2021 figure of $7.7 billion due to reporting omission of $0.9 billion in green, social and sustainability bonds. Client asset values included represent a non-IFRS financial measure. Criteria for investments based on ICMA Green Bond Principles, ICMA Social Bond Principles, ICMA Sustainability Bond Principles, GRESB Real Estate Benchmark, and PRI Impact Investing Market Map. Where issuers do not obtain a third-party opinion or provide an internal opinion on their issuance, our investment professionals apply judgment to assess whether the use of proceeds meets the standards set out in the ICMA principles. Does not include all holdings in companies that may be defined as sustainable under other taxonomies.

We aspire to be a responsibly-managed business that is Client-focused, competitive, forward-thinking, financially and environmentally resilient, and sustainable for the long term.

Operating ethically, treating our Clients and employees with utmost respect, and acting on critical environmental and societal issues are all vital components of maintaining the longevity and resiliency of our business.

Our work is aligned to Sustainable Development Goals #5 Gender equality and #13 Climate action.

2022 highlights:

Climate and environmental action

  • Reduced absolute greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 36.9% (2019 baseline) – from 42,904 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) to 27,063 tCO2e.1 We attribute progress to a mix of eco-efficiency measures and hybrid work arrangements resulting in lower facilities use.
  • Created more climate-related roles at Sun Life and hired our first Vice-President (VP) of Climate Change and Environmental Impact to oversee Sun Life’s enterprise-wide climate change strategy, climate risk management, decarbonization performance and reporting functions, as well as enterprise regulatory compliance.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I)

  • Globally, more than 16,800 employees participated in our Kaleidoscope program to learn about core DE&I concepts, implement inclusive behaviours and create safe spaces for conversation.
  • Completed Phase 1 of Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification and partnered with First Nations University to deliver 4 Seasons of Reconciliation in Canada, an Indigenous cultural awareness program about Indigenous history, protocol, approach and etiquette in line with our commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Learn more about our Indigenous Commitments.
  • Defined DE&I performance goals for all Senior VPs across Sun Life. The goals are tied to actions that can help achieve our 2025 commitments. This measure is to build accountability and ensure every business area reaches representation goals independently.
  • Achieved balanced gender representation in our Board of Directors, with 55% of Board members self-identifying as women2.

Client experience

  • Enhanced our mobile claims experience for Clients in Canada. Through the mobile app, Clients can now more conveniently coordinate benefits claims for themselves and their dependents.

Talent management

  •  Invested over $34 million in training and development to support employee growth (up 36% from 2021)3. This amount covered in-house learning programs as well as external conferences, seminars and courses. On average, employees spent 20 hours participating in learning activities during the year4.

Learn more about how Sun Life is operating as a trusted and responsible business


1 Emissions resulting from global corporate offices and data centres as well as from business travel, inclusive of majority-owned Sun Life affiliate companies. DentaQuest corporate offices are excluded for the 2022 reporting cycle. All emissions reporting is aligned to the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard using the financial control approach. Absolute operational emissions increased 22.6% from 2021 to 2022 largely due to post-pandemic related business operations.  

2 Effective February 7, 2023, upon the appointment of Joseph Natale to Sun Life's Board of Directors, 50% of Sun Life's Board of Directors self-identify as women.

3 2022 figure reflects resumption of some training and development and conferencing activities which were cancelled or delayed due to the pandemic. Refer to Sustainability Data Scope - Note 1.

4 Refer to Sustainability Data Scope - Note 5.