The 12 May meeting began with an update on engagement between the Sustainability Board and the Practice Boards on the recommendations of the Climate-Related Risk Taskforce (CRRT). To keep momentum and progress on the member engagement plans, closer working ties are being established between the Sustainability and other Practice Boards.

The Board discussed the developing Chairs’ Themes for the next year. Making climate and sustainability risks part of actuarial DNA and a focus on biodiversity will remain important and bring continuity, while encouraging individual action to drive systemic change is a new theme. We recognise that now is the time for action, so empowering individual actuaries to act is hugely important. To get to net zero 2050 the International Energy Agency’s Roadmap to Net Zero sets out that emissions have to reduce globally by 50% by 2030 and 25% by 2025, so there is a need to start now.

In a Policy & Regulation deep dive, the Board looked across various issues on the agenda and how we plan to respond. There is significant change coming as the UK begins to put in place policies to achieve the government’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The IFoA are planning policy briefings to set out positions for the profession ahead of the UN COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November, including the role actuaries must play in supporting net zero ambitions.

The Board's Policy & Regulation portfolio has been very active recently, responding to a number of consultations while continuing to push for changes to the Actuaries Code. We are also looking at the overall regulatory framework to see how we can ensure the profession is effectively equipped to weather the coming changes.

We have been considering how we ensure members are equipped with the skills and competencies to embed climate and sustainability risks into all actuarial practice. As the practising certificate regime develops into a competency-based approach, we will set out the lifelong learning needed for actuaries to give effective advice on sustainability issues. One tangible suggestion, which is now under consideration, is to create more video case study content that aids reflective practice on sustainability issues.

We also discussed plans to evolve the Board’s approach to its Research programme that support the policy agenda. We will have a further Research deep dive in July.

A screening of the WWF Film "Our Planet: Too Big To Fail" will be held with the Sustainability Volunteers Group, and is highly recommended viewing for all in the financial services industry.

Finally, we heard about Make My Money Matter (MMMM), the campaign looking to raise awareness of where people’s pension money is invested and increase demand for those investments to build a better future. MMMM are looking for companies and pension providers and schemes to sign up to make a pledge to be net zero by 2050 or sooner ahead of COP26 in November. The Board discussed net zero alignment and what this means and will look to provide a clear view to our members and the market.

The Sustainability Board convenes again on 21 July 2021. We welcome actuaries across all practice areas to continue engaging and learning. Please reach out to the Board should you wish to make any comment or suggestion.

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