Sustainable Development Goals

Our Responsible Business Strategy is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are a set of guiding principles aimed at businesses wishing to drive their Responsible Business commitments forwards by contributing to a more sustainable society.

Green leaf sustainability

Unum's Sustainable Development Goals

The Unum UK Responsible Business Strategy is structured around the below UN SDGs, which reflect our core pillars of focus and where we feel we can deliver the most positive societal and environmental impact as an employee benefits provider.

Our Impact in 2022

  • Ensuring healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

    • Widening availability of our health and wellbeing app Help@hand  to Group Life Insurance and Group Critical Illness customers, giving every employee covered by a Unum Group Risk policy access to valuable support services. 
    • Relaunching our Group Life proposition to provide practical support to employees and their families every day — not just when the worst happens. This includes integrating Cancer Assist, a support service for those affected by cancer, provided by experts Reframe.
    • Our Wellbeing Calendar saw a 254% increase in visitors, benefiting from Unum’s ultimate health and wellbeing resource that features podcasts, webinars, awareness dates and other useful support
    • We enhanced our people policies and processes for our employees. These include family-friendly and flexible working policies and a new reproductive health policy and support programme, as well as signing the Menopause Workplace Pledge. We hope this will help normalise and destigmatise reproductive health and promote general health and wellness. Covering fertility, menstruation and menopause, the policy supports those dealing with symptoms at work and encourages open and respectful wellbeing conversations.
  • Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

    • In 2022, we paid more than £7 million in claims on average each week, providing security and peace of mind for those most in need
    • Our 826 employees as of the end of 2022 work in both full- and part-time roles to suit their needs. We promoted 157 of our people internally last year, giving them the opportunity to develop their careers and skills within the business.
    • To support our employees with the cost-of-living crisis, we introduced a Bonus Drawdown scheme. This gave employees the option to access up to 50% of their 2022 target bonus early to support with additional cost-of-living expenses. We also ran financial wellbeing webinars and targeted emails on cost-of-living support through our financial education provider Nudge. An interest-free financial support loan scheme is also available for employees.
  • Reducing inequality within and among countries.

    • In 2022 we were proud to be reaccredited as a recognised Disability Confident Leader, which means we’re committed to providing people living with disabilities with the opportunity to fulfil their potential, realise their ambitions and make the most of their talents.
    • We have achieved our HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter original target of 40% female representation on our leadership team and have extended this goal to 43% by 2026. 50% of our hires into our leadership team were female in 2022.
    • Partnering with expert organisations such as Women Returners has allowed us to hire female career returners into areas of the business where women are under-represented.
    • As a Stonewall Diversity Champion, we are committed to being an inclusive workplace for our LGBTQ+ employees and the wider community. In 2022 we attended Surrey Pride, supporting the event as their Accessibility Sponsor.
    • We continue to tackle hygiene poverty through our partnership with The Hygiene Bank, donating both products and funding for essential toiletries and personal care items.
  • Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

    • Through our ongoing community outreach programme, our employees gave back more than 5,000 hours of volunteering time in 2022. In total, we contributed over £250,000 to good causes throughout the year.
    • We also measured our total social value for the second time through our ongoing partnership with Planet Mark, where our estimated total social value increased from £1.58 million in 2021 to £2.28 million in 2022.
    • Our annual Heroes for Hunger Food Drive raised more than £7,000 for FareShare and The Hygiene Bank.
  • Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.

    • During 2022, we were able to fully embed our new hybrid working model where our employees are encouraged to “locate for their working day”. On average employees spend 2-3 days in the office; this is compared to full-time office working for most of our workforce pre-pandemic. This will help towards reducing our office consumption as well as employee commuting emissions.
    • Our two office buildings are backed by 100% renewable electricity.
  • Taking urgent action to combat climate action and its impacts.

    • In 2022, we partnered with leading UK sustainability experts Planet Mark to help identify further actions and targets for us to take from a climate action and emission reductions perspective. As part of this partnership, we will be joining more than 800 other UK organisations and participating in Planet Mark’s annual carbon and social value certification.
    • In addition, we have continued our membership with Business in the Community, the UK’s largest and longest-established membership organisation dedicated to Responsible Business.
    • Our new charity partners for 2022 and 2023 Rewilding Britain — we’ll work with them to support local conservation and rewilding projects. We also partnered with Surrey Bees and installed two new beehives in our Dorking head office grounds. We aim to sell the honey the bees make in the future to raise money for the charities we support, and also use it in the staff restaurant.
    • We launched a new Electric Vehicle salary sacrifice scheme for our 800+ permanent employees, to support them in making more sustainable travel choices, as well as to help reduce some of our employee commuting emissions.
    • We’ve selected Ecologi as our business emissions carbon offsetting provider, allowing us to continue taking actions to sustainably manage and reduce carbon from our operational footprint. We will use this partnership to offset our reported carbon emissions. View our impact in terms of trees planted in the Unum Forest and sustainable projects supported here.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the SDGs, which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.

More about Unum UK’s Responsible Business commitments

Responsible business

Charity Partners

Outreach and engagement

Giving back

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