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Sun Life announces new framework for sustainable investing

By The IJ Staff | July 07 2020 01:50PM

Sun Life’s Group Retirement Services (GRS) announced July 7 the launch of its proprietary Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) evaluation framework for its core investment platform of 23 investment managers and more than 140 investment options.

Sun Life says this new framework is aimed at helping plan sponsors and members make informed decisions when it comes to sustainable investing.

“This new evaluation framework is an expansion of the strong governance process we have in place today for our investment platform,” said Tom Reid, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Canada. “Having a resilient and sustainable workplace plan is more important than ever. This added guidance will help Clients make more informed decisions about the investment choices in their savings plans.”

Sun Life says as the COVID-19 global pandemic unfolded in the first half of 2020, sustainable investment strategies saw record inflows by individual investors. In addition, sustainable indices outperformed broad market benchmarks, a trend seen in previous market crises. “The pandemic has put a spotlight on sustainable investing, particularly how companies are able to pivot and react quickly to social and governance issues,” says the insurer.

Sun Life’s evaluation framework has two objectives for clients: identifying ESG leaders (managers and funds), in every major asset category offered on the GRS core investment platform using proprietary criteria, and making it easy for plan sponsors to understand the level of ESG integration for the investment options they offer in their retirement savings plans, says the insurer.

“This is an exciting and important step in our sustainability journey, and delivers on our Purpose of helping Canadians achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives,” said Melissa Kennedy, Executive Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer & Executive Sponsor of Sustainability, Sun Life. “We are proud that GRS is taking a leadership role on sustainability by empowering Clients with the same rigour that we use to manage our own assets.”

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