Chief Executive Officer
At Aviva, being one of the first to chart a path toward net zero means we are often navigating uncharted territory. Despite this, we’ve built good momentum within various parts of our business. We leaned in, deepened our understanding, and experimented. We do not have all the answers, but that’s not stopping us from forging ahead, finding solutions and doing what’s right for our shared planet. Since announcing our 2040 net-zero ambition in 2021, our people have rallied behind it. I am immensely proud of our multiple climate working groups who, amid some headwinds, were able to hit some milestones. I’ll highlight a few key achievements:
- invested $449M in sustainable assets, ahead of and surpassing our $350M by 2023 target
- introduced a new electric vehicle (EV) insurance solution to incentivize EV adoption for customers
- wrote six new renewable energy accounts, totaling approximately $7M, and established a renewable energy working group across underwriting, client relationship management, and risk management
- piloted our first parametric insurance product for small and medium businesses in select industries
- launched our inaugural Climate Day in June where over 1,100 of our people came together to take action on climate and plant trees
- published our first Sustainability Report, including a TCFD chapter, two years ahead of mandatory disclosure requirements
Aviva takes its role as a leader on sustainability seriously and uses its scale to drive customers, businesses, and governments to act with greater urgency in the transition to a low-carbon economy. In addition to introducing products that reward and encourage climate-friendly customer choices, we are actively seeking opportunities to support the renewable energy sector through our underwriting approach. We are also working with our suppliers to help them on their own net-zero journeys, with 30% globally now signed up to the SBTi.
Achieving greater impact with partners
But sustainability is about more than getting to net zero. Addressing emissions is critical, but it isn’t enough to save the ecosystems that sustain life on our planet or help facilitate our economy’s transition to clean energy. For this critical work, we leverage strong partnerships that enable us to invest in building stronger, more climate-resilient communities.
In partnership with Earth Day Canada, we launched Charged for Change, investing $3M in EV charging infrastructure for communities without sufficient access. I am glad that we were able to identify a specific pain point in terms of EV adoption and take direct action to address that.
There is so much more we need to do. Working with partners like WWF-Canada through its Nature and Climate Grant Program, we’re tackling biodiversity loss. We are also actively seeking to work with partners to help us abate residual carbon emissions and have set aside $23M, as part of Aviva’s £100M global investment in nature-based carbon removal projects.
We are advancing our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts towards building a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable future. Our talented and highly engaged people are what makes Aviva brilliant and we’ll continue to ensure they can grow and succeed by being themselves. Our five DE&I communities, run by passionate people across the organization, have made some good strides in the year including:
- becoming the first financial services company in Canada to achieve 50/50 male-female split (VP+)
- achieving 35% visible minorities (VP+)
- having 3X female successors & 4X visible minority successors for future leadership positions since 2020
- launching our Female Returners Programs and our Black Student Internship Program
In 2023, we will continue our focus on listening, learning, and taking action to create meaningful change. Our work will not be done until our industry reflects the diversity that is the bedrock of Canadian society.
Tackling climate change is a collective effort. It’s easy to be impatient, as I am, in wanting to see more being done to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. I’d love to see peers and other businesses take what Aviva is doing and try to beat us, set the bar higher or take actions that will be more impactful. Healthy competition is a good thing and can accelerate Canadians moving to a low to zero-carbon economy.
The only path forward is one forged through bold action. What we do today determines the legacy we leave behind for generations to come.
Read more about our work in 2022 here.