Royal London launches new social impact commitments to make a positive difference for customers and communities

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

ICMIF member Royal London (UK) has launched a new Social Impact Report, which details the mutual insurer’s approach to social impact, as well as its themes, commitments, and how these align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a member-owned and independent business, putting members and customers first is in Royal London’s DNA: it is focused on the long term, and so is determined to secure a better future for its customers, their families and their communities.

Royal London’s social impact approach focuses on the areas where the company can use its strengths and work together with others to make a real difference. In today’s rapidly changing world, especially since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), Royal London believes it is well-placed to tackle some of the big issues facing society, including: economic uncertainty; climate change; increased consumer focused on social impact; demand for innovative products; continually evolving regulation; trust in business; and an ageing and healthier population.

In its report, Determination for good, Royal London identifies three key social problems – its social impact themes - that it wants to tackle for the benefit of customers and communities: building financial resilience; taking on the long-term savings challenge; and strengthening responsible business.

During 2019, Royal London built on its initial approach to develop 10 commitments. Each commitment is linked to one of its three social impact themes and is relevant to specific aspects of its business. These commitments ensure Royal London’s strategy is influenced by its social impact aims – from helping people to be more financially resilient, to investing responsibly – and also align to the UN SDGs. In total, Royal London’s commitments align to nine of the SDGs.

Royal London’s social impact themes and 10 commitments are:

Building financial resilience:

  1. Help more people get protection
  2. Reduce funeral poverty
  3. Give people financial knowledge and skills they can use

SDGs: no poverty (SDG 1); good health and well-being (SDG 3); quality education (SDG 4); decent work and economic growth (SDG 8); and reduced inequalities (SDG 10).

Taking on the long-term savings challenge:

  1. Create solutions, products and services to enable a positive financial future
  2. Fight for a fairer pension system and greater access to advice and guidance
  3. Help people engage with their long-term savings

SDGs: no poverty (SDG 1); gender equality (SDG 5); decent work and economic growth (SDG 8); and reduced inequalities (SDG 10).

Strengthening responsible business

  1. Invest responsibly and encourage positive change in business
  2. Build sustainability into our operational estate and supply chain
  3. Help people prevent a life shock becoming a crisis
  4. Create a meaningful, inclusive workplace for our people and their wellbeing

SDGs: no poverty (SDG 1); gender equality (SDG 5); affordable and clean energy (SDG 7); decent work and economic growth (SDG 8); reduced inequalities (SDG 10); responsible consumption and production (SDG 12); and climate action (SDG 13).

The next stage of the mutual’s social impact work involves finalising its ambitions and KPIs. Launching in 2021, these will show exactly what the company want to achieve and identify the things it can measure against this.

In the foreword of the report, Jerry Toher, CEO Consumer Division and Group Executive Committee social impact sponsor, writes: “As a mutual, we’re owned by members. We’re a purpose-led business that always puts the needs of our customers first and does what’s right for them. They’re at the centre of our business. But what’s in the best interests of our customers is often also in the best interest of their communities and society.

Toher continues: “We’ve always had a positive impact – it’s the grounds on which Royal London was founded – but we’re determined to do more, especially in light of the current coronavirus (Covid-19) situation that’s impacting so many people. By doing our part to tackle big social issues, we’re helping to look after our customers and their future. That’s why we’ve developed a new social impact strategy, which focuses on Royal London’s effect on our people, customers and communities, as well as wider society and the environment.”

Nadia Al Yafai, Group Head of Social Impact and Responsibility, adds: “People, be it our colleagues, our customers, their families or in society as a whole, are at the heart of social impact. So we developed our approach through extensive people engagement and research, both internally at Royal London and externally with customers and other stakeholders. We found that social impact really matters to our customers. It means making positive societal change that affects everyone, and having an impact outside of our main offerings as a business. It shouldn’t be an afterthought – it should link directly with core business practices and values.

“Our mutuality and our values – to be empowered, to be trustworthy, to collaborate and to achieve – mean social impact is truly at the core of Royal London.”

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of GBP 130 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 4,046 employees (as at June 2019).

As a mutual, Royal London is focused on much more than profits. Throughout its history it has always worked to tackle social issues. It was founded in 1861 by two young men who wanted to help people avoid the stigma of a pauper’s grave. Since then, it has continued to have a positive social impact, doing the right things for its customers, members, people and wider society.

The full Social Impact report can be download from this link on the Royal London website.