Sun Life’s first Chief Sustainability Officer

By Helen Adams
New appointment marks Sun Life's growing commitment to advancing meaningful contributions to sustainability efforts worldwide

Sun Life Financial Inc has appointed Alanna Boyd as its Chief Sustainability Officer, in a first for the company. 

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the financial services company has a revenue of CAN$39bn. 


Sun life will have added focus on sustainable initiatives 

In her new role, Ms. Boyd will continue to build on Sun Life's long-term economic, environmental and social commitments to design and lead greater sustainability performance for Sun Life. 

Boyd has shown her interest in sustainability initiatives outside of Sun Life, as she is active in:

  • The Board of the Canadian Business for Social Responsibility
  • Toronto Finance International 
  • The Public Affairs Council (PAC).


Over the past few years, Sun Life has taken several actions to achieve measurable outcomes in the areas where it can have the most positive impact on society and the environment, including:

  • Increasing Financial Security: Since 2018, Sun Life Asia has issued more than 120,000 microinsurance policies that have improved access to affordable insurance for underserved and low-income people
  • Fostering Healthier Lives: During the pandemic, Sun Life worked to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout from funding a mobile clinic in Alberta
  • Advancing Sustainable Investing: A commitment to direct an additional $20bn over five years towards sustainable investments that contribute to the transition to a low-carbon, more inclusive economy. These investments are in addition to the existing $60bn the firm already holds in sustainable investments
  • Trusted and Responsible Business: To drive initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Sun Life's business operations around the world will be carbon neutral starting in 2021. Sun Life plans to enhance energy efficiency in its office spaces and introduce an internal carbon charge for business air travel.


Boyd to live up to Sun Life’s sustainability successes

One of the most prominent campaigns Sun Life stands behind is the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs aim to end poverty, advance human rights and protect the planet.

"The world is facing a series of unprecedented challenges – from climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic to growing inequality", said Alanna Boyd. "Sun Life has a responsibility and opportunity to broaden its sustainability agenda to create a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive economy. We have so much more to do, especially as we move toward fulfillment of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. I'm excited about these opportunities for Sun Life."

Since 2006, Sun Life has consistently received industry recognition for its sustainability leadership. The company has been listed for 15 consecutive years on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for its ESG performance and recognized by Corporate Knights as one of the world's most sustainable corporations and one of the best 50 corporate citizens in Canada for 12 and 15 consecutive years respectively.

"As a global industry leader, Sun Life has a responsibility and ability to advance meaningful sustainability outcomes and it is a key strategic priority for us," said Kevin Strain, President and CEO, Sun Life. "Creating a dedicated Chief Sustainability Officer role is important to me to advance our priorities and I see it as the critical next step in Sun Life's sustainability commitment. Alanna brings a depth of sustainability experience and expertise to help Sun Life continue to embed sustainable practices across our business operations and help drive further actions that create a cleaner, more inclusive, and sustainable future."


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