1 Sustainability matters Our commitment to making a positive impact.
3 Contents Introduction 04 Investing responsibly matters 06 Financial security matters 10 The environment matters 12 Our people matter 16 Giving back matters 20 Governance matters 26 Our partners matter 28
4 Sustainability is critical to Aegon. It’s a mindset that helps guide our strategy and decision-making and involves thinking deeply about how we impact people and the planet. It’s about values and how we define success in a world facing urgent environmental and social challenges. Climate change poses a threat to us and future generations. It isn’t a matter of choice – we all need to get behind the necessary transition to a lowcarbon and climate-resilient future. At Aegon, we’re passionate about making a difference and believe everything we do matters. Whether it’s eliminating waste, changing our travel practices, offering responsible investment options, ensuring sustainability in our supply chain, or supporting charitable work and our communities. So, it’s with great pride that I introduce our first Sustainability matters publication, which provides an overview of our many efforts. We’re focused on the key areas of responsible investing, the environment, giving back and working towards a goal of being among the top 25% of responsible businesses in the UK. While we’re proud of our achievements, we won’t rest on our laurels. We’re constantly asking ourselves what we can do better and welcome feedback from all stakeholders as we continue this critical journey. We care passionately about our communities and the environment Introduction Mike Holliday-Williams Chief Executive Officer, Aegon UK
5 Our goal is to be one of the top 25% responsible businesses in the UK by 2025 Investing responsibly matters We’re committed to helping customers grow their savings and contribute to a more sustainable world. Our people matter We want our colleagues to directly reflect the demographic of our society. Giving back matters We’re passionate about supporting charities and communities. Governance matters We’re proud of our responsible business practices. Our partners matter We want to partner with organisations that match our values. Financial security matters We help our customers feel in control of their future. The environment matters We’ll play our part in creating a more sustainable environment for the future.
Investing responsibly matters We’re committed to helping customers grow their savings and contribute to a more sustainable world 6
7 As a long-term savings provider, we take responsible investing very seriously Figures correct as at December 2021. A workplace default fund is the fund that workplace pension scheme members are automatically placed in if they don’t choose their own fund. Target to half carbon emissions for default funds based on 2019 start date. Committed to net zero carbon emissions for our workplace default funds by 2050, and a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. Moved over £12 billion into investment strategies that take climate change into account. Over 30 years’ experience managing funds to responsible investment mandates. More than £19 billion invested in responsible investment funds across our platforms. Over 200 responsible investment options available on our platforms. Member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC).
8 We’ve entered a more aware era of investing, with a growing focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges such as climate change, plastic pollution and racial inequality. Customers increasingly recognise that these factors can impact long-term investment performance, and that the way we invest can’t be viewed separately from the kind of world we want to live in. Our pensions and other investments can play a key role in creating a more sustainable future, by supporting responsible company behaviour and using our collective voice as investors to drive change. The science is clear – we urgently need to correct our collective course if we’re to avoid the worst effects of climate change. It’s all hands on deck, and we’re determined to play our part. Integrating ESG into our workplace pensions Over 90% of UK pension scheme members are invested in the default fund1. We’re committed to net zero carbon emissions for our default funds by 2050, and to halving emissions by 2030 (relative to 2019). We’ve significantly increased the proportion of funds that take ESG factors into consideration, shifting over £12 billion of default assets into these types of strategies. Wide choice We offer over 200 responsible investment funds on our platforms, giving customers the ability to focus on the issues that matter to them, whether it’s sustainability more broadly, or specific themes such as climate change or social equality. Stewardship Stewardship – or active ownership – is critical to driving positive change in the companies our customers invest in. This refers to the use of influence to improve how companies are managed, making sure they focus on the long term and embed sustainability into their decision-making. We expect all the fund managers we partner with to demonstrate stewardship, by actively engaging with companies and voting wisely at shareholder meetings (see our Responsible Investment Framework). Our stewardship priorities are informed by our stakeholders, including our customers. 1 The Pension Regulator, DC trust scheme return data 2020-2021. March 2021.
9 Industry advocacy Real-world change requires collective action, and we’re keen to collaborate and support initiatives aimed at creating a more sustainable future. We’re members of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), and at an Aegon Group level, the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance. Supporting our customers Education is key to navigating different approaches and terms. We’ve created a dedicated web hub to help our customers make sense of responsible investment and identify funds that are aligned with their values and preferences. We’ve also created hubs for employers and financial advisers, which include a range of support materials and insights into key issues such as regulatory change. Find out more at: aegon.co.uk/responsibleinvestments
Financial security matters We help our customers feel in control of their future 10
11 Our purpose is to help our customers achieve a lifetime of financial security Today we help over 3.8 million people2 achieve peace of mind – whether it’s saving for the future, financing their retirement, or planning for the unexpected. Through 6,500 advice firms and 10,000 employers, we already play a meaningful role in many people’s lives.3 2 Correct as at September 2021. 3 Correct as at December 2021. We provide the right solutions We use our insight and experience to offer straightforward long-term savings, retirement and protection solutions to help people understand, plan and act to support better wellbeing across key life moments. We want people to feel good about their money. And through financial education, help them make informed choices so they feel confident about their future. In 2020 we launched our annual Financial Wellbeing Index. This digital flipbook is packed with insights and positive ways for people to think and act about their future, as well as their finances, helping them create their own journey based on their goals and needs. Find out more at aegon.co.uk/wellbeing We’re a founding partner member of the Initiative for Financial Wellbeing. A not-for-profit organisation whose purpose is to help financial planners, advisers and coaches improve their clients’ financial wellbeing by helping them become happier and more fulfilled, not just wealthier. We listen and take action We’re constantly seeking customer feedback and use this to improve the service our customers receive. Each year over 100,000 customer surveys are completed. All feedback is fed into the relevant teams and actioned. We have a well-established Customer Panel, where Aegon customers and market consumers test development work we do. This includes everything from product design to communications. By creating services based on customer needs and expectations, we’re able to make sure we’re delivering solutions that meet the needs of our customers.
12 The environment matters We’ll play our part in creating a more sustainable environment for the future
13 Caring for the environment matters and is a key element of our positive impact ambitions Significantly reduced our operational emissions. Use 100% renewable energy. Planted over 4,000 trees in the Aegon Future Forest. Recycle over 80% of our waste. Figures correct as as February 2022.
14 Energy The energy we use in our buildings can have a significant environmental and commercial impact. At Aegon, we purchase 100% certified renewable energy. Waste We’re committed to reducing the amount of waste created throughout our sites and increasing recycling across the business. We recycle over 80% of our waste. Food waste is converted into compost or soil conditioner and our oil waste is turned into biodiesel. Any mixed residual waste is used to generate electricity. Climate contributions We’re committed to providing and maintaining high environmental standards across our organisation. We’ve significantly reduced our operational emissions through increased use of renewable energy and efficiency measures. We also support global carbon reduction initiatives as part of our decarbonisation journey. Circular economy We have a mature and detailed life-cycle management process, which recognises the importance of investing in new materials that help us reduce our environmental impacts. We’re inspired by circular-economy principles, and continually look to refurbish or recycle existing materials and products where possible.
15 Travel We consider the effect of our travel decisions on the environment. Our travel policy makes sure there are robust management processes in place to challenge the need to travel and that the most appropriate methods are used. We also work with our travel providers to monitor and manage our greenhouse gas emissions, seek ways to reduce the need for travel and find the most effective routes which have lower emissions. Biodiversity Over the past few years, we’ve taken up a number of initiatives to encourage biodiversity and create a positive impact on our environment. We have our own Aegon Future Forest, nurtured on our behalf by Trees for Life, where we’ve planted over 4,000 trees – helping re-wild the Scottish Highlands, to encourage biodiversity. At our Edinburgh office, we have four beehives which play an important role in helping to boost the declining honeybee population and pollinating plants. Our bees are thriving and our colony grew from 5,000 to 30,000 bees – creating a total of 48 pounds of honey during spring and summer 2020. We’re also doing our bit for insects too, with our wildflower meadow and wild corners at Edinburgh, and our insect hotels in our Edinburgh and Witham offices. These spaces create a habitat for all sorts of insects and fungi, as well as offering shelter for small animals.
16 Our people matter We want our colleagues to directly reflect the demographic of our society
17 Our people are our greatest asset, and we want Aegon to be a place where they can bring their authentic self to work and do all they can to deliver on our strategic promises to our customers Living wage employer, with fair, equitable and consistent remuneration. We advocate an inclusive and diverse workplace. Over 2,000 inspired employees4 who put their energy into helping customers. We look after our employees’ wellbeing. 4 Correct as at December 2020.
18 A great place to work We’re passionate and proud about helping our customers succeed and we embed this within the values, behaviours and culture at Aegon. We encourage all of our 2,000 employees to express their views, opinions, and suggestions. We conduct yearly feedback surveys, and from this we know that we have a highly engaged and committed workforce. We regularly check the pulse of our business on subjects including: • Company culture • Development • Our leaders • Customer advocacy We use the results to discuss and agree the actions we need to take – as a business and in our local teams – to invest in and develop our people to make sure everyone can be their best. We embrace diversity Everyone should feel valued and respected and feel comfortable being their true self. We have an expansive inclusion and diversity agenda driven right from the very top of the organisation. Our company-wide statement on diversity and nondiscrimination aims to create a productive and open working environment, in which all colleagues are valued for their contribution and can realise their potential. We have strong Executive sponsorship across our inclusion and diversity communities. And, we’re also proud signatories to the Woman in Finance Charter and the Race at Work Charter. We enable people to deliver against their full potential Our approach to performance management focuses on brilliant conversations. We make sure everyone has the support they need to flourish in their role and the opportunity to develop their career. We offer a broad range of training and development opportunities.
19 Our leaders are role models who lead, inspire, coach and enable change We run three development programmes, providing managers with the skills they need to be a great leader: • Aspiring managers – helps set colleagues on the pathway to their first management role. • Manager development – aimed at continuous development of our manager population. • Ability to execute – aimed at helping colleagues deliver successfully in their roles and the projects they’re involved in. We support wellbeing The health and wellbeing of our people is a priority for us. We offer colleagues support with their physical, mental and financial wellbeing, through a wide range of events, activities and resources. We reward our people Transparent, equitable and competitive remuneration, linked to performance, makes perfect business sense. Aegon’s Global Remuneration Framework applies to all Aegon employees around the world. Salaries and incentive payments are based on the principle of market competitiveness and ‘pay for performance’. We also reward our employees with a benefits package which includes: • Company pension • 6x salary life insurance • Private medical insurance • Income protection insurance • Cycle to work scheme • Employee discount scheme • Discounted financial advice And a range of other flexible options where colleagues can choose what best meets their needs. We’re also proud to be an accredited Living Wage Employer. Non-financial benefits The benefits of working at Aegon extend beyond simply financial reward. They include the opportunity to make things happen – working together with fun and interesting people and development opportunities that suit your way of learning. Or new career opportunities close to home or further away, recognition for team and individual results, and much more.
20 We’re passionate about supporting charities and communities Giving back matters
21 We care about making a difference – there’s a real passion and ambition in our business for how we support our communities We devote time and resources helping the wider areas in which we live, work and do business with – supporting local and national charities through fundraising, donations and our voluntary hours programme. Charity partners Supported over 90 local and national charities. Raised over £2 million, donating £148,210 to charities in 2021. We donate £2 for every £1 raised by employees. Two paid volunteer days for each employee every year.
22 Volunteering We believe volunteering can be as valuable as cash donations to the communities we support, and our volunteering activities are driven by our committed employees. Each colleague is able to take up to two days paid annual leave per year to take part in volunteering initiatives. Work is ongoing as to how we can encourage more people to take up the opportunity in future years and to find opportunities where we can make a difference.
23 Aegon breakfast clubs In partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, we provide funding to support breakfast clubs in five Edinburgh primary schools, providing local school children with a free, healthy and nutritional start to their day. Breakfast clubs run for around 45-60 minutes where children can enjoy breakfasts such as cereal, toast, yoghurt, fruit, milk and water. But breakfast clubs are more than just healthy eating. We know they improve attendance and concentration, as well as social skills and it helps the children to develop good eating habits early on in life. It also helps parents to juggle different work patterns, allowing them to drop their children off earlier and safely at school, knowing they’ll have something to eat before their lessons begin.
25 Fundraising As a company, we recognise the importance of fundraising and the difference it can make. With lockdown restrictions and social distancing putting a stop to many of the traditional ways we raised funds for our charity partners, we were determined to find new ways to continue our fantastic fundraising efforts. And so, the Around Aegon in 42 Days challenge was born. The challenge saw teams of up to six walk, jog, run, sprint or wheelchair their way to clock up 1332 km – the distance it would take to visit each of our UK offices. And while raising money for our charities was the main goal, there were lots of other benefits as well. Colleagues commented on better wellbeing as a result of getting out in the fresh air regularly. For many teams, the event helped them feel more connected after months apart and of course, a bit of healthy competition is always a good thing. The event was a great success with over 600 colleagues taking part and raising over £20,000.
26 Governance matters We’re proud of our responsible business practices
27 We need to be a sustainable partner – planning and managing our business so we’re commercially resilient against the risks of climate change We have a strong environmental, social, and governance foundation in place that underpins our commitment to doing business in a responsible manner and to facilitate the transition to a climate-neutral economy. Our efforts to address climate change are overseen by our Sustainability Board, reporting into the Aegon Global Sustainability Board. The UK Sustainability Board is tasked with evaluating new climate developments affecting our business activities and recommending actions as necessary. We strive for consistent disclosure when it comes to climate change and sustainability. We’ve been supportive of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) since 2017. • Our UK Board is accountable for all aspects of corporate sustainability, ensuring the long-term resilience of the UK business to climate change. • Our Board is also responsible for developing the strategy, which has sustainability at its heart – underpinning two of our five strategic pillars. • Sustainable business practices are firmly established in our operations, with formal policies in place covering our environmental impact, our approach to responsible investments and investment exclusions. • Our inaugural TCFD report sets out our approach to managing the risks and opportunities relating to climate change in more detail.
28 Our partners matter We want to partner with organisations that match our values
29 As a large business we work with hundreds of suppliers each year and they play a vital role in supporting our purpose and vision Our tier one suppliers are the most critical to our operations and we’ve developed long standing relationships. We recognise the impact our supply chain has on the environment and our communities, that’s why we’ve committed to several global initiatives to support responsible stewardship of procurement: We work closely with our partners to make sure high standards of business conduct, as reflected in our Vendor Code of Conduct. Our tier one suppliers attest to meet these standards on an annual basis. We encourage all tier one suppliers to signup to EcoVadis – a global company who independently assess a business’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) credentials or use an alternative of their own choice. We’re a member of Social Enterprise UK and we’ve set a target of spending £100,000 on social enterprises in 2022. In June 2021, we were formally recognised as a Living Wage Employer. As a direct result, two of our on-site suppliers will make positive changes in their remuneration structures as part of their internal pay review cycles. £
30 Aegon UK plc, registered office: Level 26, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3V 4AB. Registered in England and Wales (No. 03679296). © 2022 Aegon UK plc CORP392234 02/22 aegon.co.uk @aegonuk Aegon UK Aegon UK Follow our sustainability journey at: aegon.co.uk/sustainabilitymatters