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Sustainability Board update - September 2021

Marcus Hurd provides an update on the latest Sustainability Board activities.

The start of the new IFoA sessional year brings with it a new Chair of the Sustainability Board in Sandy Trust and deputy Chair, Lucy Saye. Sandy has already set out his Chair’s Themes, which can be summarised in his own words as to “inspire and equip actuaries to incorporate sustainability into their advice.”

Whilst the Chair is new, the objectives of the Board remain largely unaltered with unanimous approval to continue to focus on engaging and supporting actuaries in this important area. There is consensus amongst the Board members that now is the time for sustainability: interest has never been greater, and our priority is to translate that enthusiasm into demonstrable impact.

Diversity

Diversity had been a strong focus of the outgoing Chair, Nick Spencer, and so it was fitting that he led the Board through our own effectiveness review. Nick analysed the anonymous feedback from members of the Sustainability Board and the increased representation from many different groups over the year, but also acknowledging our lack of representation from outside the UK.

Early Careers Board

One of the areas in which diversity is being increased is through those members of the profession in the earlier stages of their careers. Thrinayani Ramakrishnan briefed the Board on the work she had done towards establishing a productive platform for engagement between early career members of the actuarial profession and the Sustainability Board.

It is recognised the early stage career members often have a great passion for sustainability and the purpose of the Early Careers Board is to harness the voices of early-career members and integrate their thoughts and views into the thinking of the Sustainability Board.

Events

Each Sustainability Board meeting has a focus area and this meeting’s focus was on events. Darko Popovic outlined how sustainability weaves into all practice areas within the profession and how our events strategy reaches out to all members of the profession across all practices. He also addressed the recurring challenge of reaching out and increasing awareness with those members of the profession that don’t actively seek out sustainability events.

With the profession’s recent commitment to allow all members access to free webinars, we recognise that the potential outreach of the Sustainability Board is now greater than ever.

Conclusion

The start of the sessional year is an exciting time with new priorities being set and a focus on what can be achieved during the year. There is a sense amongst the Sustainability Board that, whilst the challenges of sustainability are looming larger than ever, the role of sustainability for actuaries has never been more important.

Find out more about the IFoA Sustainability Practice Board activities

Find out more about Sustainability and Lifelong Learning