Toronto-based international financial services organization Sun Life Financial announced new climate goals, committing to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in both its operations and investments by 2050.

In its operations, Sun Life also unveiled an interim goal to reduce absolute GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, raising its prior 30% ambition. The net zero investment target includes the assets in Sun Life’s General Account, which holds funds from insurance policy premiums, while the company’s other asset management companies – including  MFS Investment Management, BentallGreenOak, InfraRed Capital Partners and SLGI Asset Management – have also pledged to drive toward net zero, joining the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.

Kevin Strain, President and CEO of Sun Life, said:

“Climate change is the defining issue of our lifetime. Our Purpose of helping our Clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives cannot be achieved without serious action to address climate change and support a transition to a lower-carbon future. That is why we’re committed to integrating climate strategies across our investment businesses and working collaboratively with our Clients, stakeholders, and the industry at large, towards this common goal.”

With nearly $1.4 trillion in AUM, the company’s net zero investment goals adds to the rapidly growing pool of capital aligned with achieving global climate goals. Earlier this week at the COP26 climate conference, Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) co-Chair Mark Carney announced that the capital represented by financial sector firms aligned with global net zero goals has surged to $130 trillion, or roughly 40% of global financial assets.

Joining the movement towards net zero investing, the company stated that it is positioned to have a meaningful impact on global climate goals and the transition to a low carbon economy.

Alanna Boyd, Sun Life Senior Vice-President and Chief Sustainability Officer, said:

“As world leaders gather in Glasgow for COP26, we are keenly aware the window of opportunity to avert the worst impacts of climate change is closing. Our concerted efforts towards this global issue, along with collaboration across our industry, will help safeguard a livable climate and improve the health and security of communities worldwide.”