Hong Kong, 21 March 2022 – AIA Group Limited (the “Company”, and together with its subsidiaries, “AIA” or the “Group”; stock code: 1299), the largest pan-Asian life and health insurer, issued its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report Sustaining Healthier, Longer, Better Lives, highlighting the acceleration of its ESG Strategy.
Lee Yuan Siong, AIA Group Chief Executive and President, said, “With our scale, trust, and influence in Asia, AIA has a responsibility to address material ESG challenges including climate change, access to healthcare, and inequality. With that in mind, our ambition is to take a leading role in contributing to the sustainable development of the region. Our Report, Sustaining Healthier, Longer, Better Lives, sets out our focus on ESG as we deliver our Purpose of helping people live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.”
AIA’s ESG Strategy brings together a clear programme of goals, commitments, and actions to deliver long-term sustainable value for customers, shareholders, and communities. The Strategy is built around five pillars: Health and Wellness, Sustainable Operations, Sustainable Investment, People and Culture, and Effective Governance.
Through the Health and Wellness pillar, AIA is committed to delivering better health outcomes, championing financial inclusion, and expanding access to quality healthcare across Asia. AIA provides financial protection to the holders of over 39 million individual policies and more than 16 million participating group insurance scheme members, with benefits and claims exceeding US$16 billion in 2021. In February this year, the Company also launched the AIA One Billion initiative, a bold ambition to engage a billion people to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives by 2030.
As part of the Sustainable Operations pillar, AIA aims to improve the environmental performance of its operations. In 2021, AIA made the commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and reduced emissions per employee by 53% compared to 2018. 77% of AIA’s buy, service, and claims transactions were also submitted digitally, significantly reducing paper usage across the Group’s operations.
The Sustainable Investment pillar of AIA’s ESG Strategy aims to deliver long-term value by allocating capital to companies that commit to sustainable outcomes and lowering AIA’s exposure to the risk of stranded assets in a future low-carbon economy. AIA also completed the divestment of directly-managed, listed equity and fixed income exposures to coal mining and coal-fired power businesses last October, seven years ahead of schedule. In 2021, AIA achieved a 31.4% decrease in the carbon footprint of the Company’s directly-managed, listed-equity portfolio since 2018. In addition, AIA has investments of US$8.6 billion in Healthcare bonds and US$3.6 billion in ESG bonds, representing a 100% increase year-on-year, with plans for this to grow materially in the years ahead.
Through the People and Culture pillar of AIA’s ESG Strategy, the Company is committed to empowering its people to succeed by fostering a diverse and inclusive culture with equitable and fair processes for employment and progression. In 2021, women comprised 58% of the Company’s workforce and 42% of its senior leadership. In addition, there are more than 70 nationalities represented across the Group. These efforts have been recognised through AIA’s inclusion in Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers” list for the third consecutive year, and through AIA’s ranking in the ninetieth percentile of Gallup’s global financial services and insurance industry benchmark.
The Effective Governance pillar ensures that AIA continues to operate to the highest standards of business practices both in terms of its engagement with stakeholders and how it manages risk. In 2021, AIA was ranked top five globally in the insurance industry for the ESG risk rating by Sustainalytics, a firm that provides ESG risk ratings for companies and considered an industry standard by the world’s leading investors. AIA’s MSCI ESG rating also improved from A to AA.
Amita Chaudhury, AIA Group Head of Sustainability said, “We will continue to embed environmental, social, and governance considerations in strategic decision-making at all levels of our organisation. We are committed to playing a leading role in shaping a more sustainable future for our industry and our communities.”
AIA’s full ESG Report 2021 can be accessed here.