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 2023

  • Ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all

    • Help@hand  continues to offer Group Risk customers access to an inclusive offering with a wide range of services. This gave more people greater health and wellbeing support whenever needed to help the working world thrive. In 2023, users booked more than 100,000 appointments in Help@hand, the first time the app reached that milestone.
    • We signed the Miscarriage Association’s Pregnancy Loss Pledge to help employees affected by loss before 24 weeks of pregnancy, and included a new section on pregnancy loss leave in our Additional Leave Policy
    • We commenced a new partnership with Hey Girls to help tackle period poverty by providing free-of-charge period products in all Unum bathrooms. For every product Unum purchases, an additional product is donated to a local community organisation.
  • Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

    • In 2023, we paid more than £9 million in claims on average each week, providing security and peace of mind for those most in need
    • Our 902 employees (as of January 2024) work in both full- and part-time roles to suit their needs. There were 150 promotions and lateral moves, giving our people the opportunity to develop their careers and skills within the business.
    • To support our employees with the cost-of-living crisis, we continued our Bonus Drawdown scheme. This gave employees the option to access up to 50% of their 2023 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

    • We achieved our HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter extended target of 43% female representation on our leadership team (the original target was 40%). We did this 3 years ahead of target. 
    • As a Stonewall Diversity Champion, we are committed to being an inclusive workplace for our LGBTQ+ employees and the wider community. In 2023 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 6,000 hours of volunteering time in 2023. In total, we contributed over £260,000 to good causes throughout the year.
    • Our annual Heroes for Hunger Food Drive raised more than £8,000 for FareShare and Trussell Trust foodbanks, as well as over 750kg of food donations. The funds we raised for FareShare equated to providing enough surplus food for 22,956 meals.
  • Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns

    • We’ve fully embedded 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 and biogas.
  • Taking urgent action to combat climate action and its impacts

    • Through our partnership with Ecologi, we invested in both carbon avoidance and carbon removal projects to offset the entirety of our location-based reported emissions in 2023. For carbon avoidance projects, we offset 536.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e); for carbon removal projects, we offset 473 tonnes of CO2e. 
    • In 2023 we continued the procurement of 100% carbon-free electricity and began procuring 100% biogas contracts to heat and light our Dorking Head Office and Basingstoke office.
    • We earned our second year certification with Planet Mark, meeting the carbon reduction targets required to achieve this. We continue to work with Planet Mark to identify reduction efforts and educate employees.
    • We planted more than 1,000 bulbs and wildflowers in the grounds of our Dorking Head Office to support our onsite bees, which are in two onsite hives thanks to a partnership with Surrey Bees. We also engaged in rewilding our local environment.
    • In 2023 the Sustainability Champions Network, a group of employees passionate about environmental sustainability, worked together to raise awareness, improve understanding and launch initiatives to help make Unum UK a more sustainable place to work
    • 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.

More on Unum UK’s Responsible Business commitments

* Help@hand is provided to Unum Group customers by Square Health. It offers access to services designed to manage the health and wellbeing of employees and their families. Help@hand is entirely separate from any Unum insurance policy. Help@hand is not part of the insurance contract, is provided by Unum for no additional cost to its customers, and Unum can withdraw or change the service in the future. Help@hand is available to UK residents only.