MetLife has announced that it has committed to originating US$500 million (around NZ$706.69 million) in impact investments by 2030. In addition to allocating 25% of the investments to addressing climate change, MetLife will focus on promoting financial health for underserved people, including advancing racial and gender equity in low-income and ethnically diverse communities.
MetLife highlighted the intended investment in its annual Sustainability Report, which discussed the company’s commitment to fostering a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and society.
In 2020, MetLife became the first US insurer to sign the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, which have guided the company’s strategies to close gender gaps in the areas of leadership, workplace, marketplace and community. As of the end of 2020, women represented 52% of MetLife’s workforce, 33% of its board of directors, 30% of its executive group, and 42% of its managers.
“As a global insurer and purpose-driven company, we strive to create a more confident and sustainable future for all of our stakeholders,” said Michel Khalaf, president and CEO of MetLife. “Building on our 153-year legacy of creating financial security, we are strengthening our commitments to the environment and climate, equity and inclusivity, health and wellbeing, and economic growth for disadvantaged communities.”
The report also covers the company’s efforts to create positive change in the more than 40 markets where it operates. Highlights from 2020 include:
- Through premium credits and contributions, MetLife and MetLife Foundation gave more than US$250 million in relief to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.
- MetLife and MetLife Investment Management invested more than US$659.6 billion in total assets under management for policyholders and clients.
- MetLife Foundation committed an additional US$5 million over three years to promote Black educational and career opportunities, Black business ownership, and racial justice initiatives, supplementing the existing US$10 million in annual contributions to support racial equity and diverse communities.
- The company also launched EXCELERATE, a talent stewardship program aimed at accelerating midlevel Black and Latino employees into officer-level roles.
- As part of 11 new environmental goals, the company committed to reducing location-based greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 30% between 2019 and 2030 and originating US$20 billion in new green investments by 2030.
- MetLife’s operations have been carbon-neutral since 2016 and its green investments currently exceed US$28.7 billion.
- The company launched a sustainable financing framework to further align its investment and business priorities and issued a US$750 million green funding agreement, which secured the US insurance sector’s first green funding agreement-backed note.
“We believe sustainability must be central to our business strategy and a guiding force behind every aspect of our operations,” said Jon Richter, chief sustainability officer at MetLife. “The full scope of our people, products and services, investments, and community efforts help us serve as a force for good in the world.”