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About Sustainability

The social, business and financial worlds are increasingly being affected by environmental and societal risks, the likelihood of future changes and the measures taken by governments to try to deal with them.

As long-term risk managers such developments are of crucial interest to actuaries. The Sustainability practice area works to identify the implications for actuaries and their clients and help in the development of appropriate responses.

Foremost amongst these is climate change, an existential threat which has implications for existing practice areas such as:

  • pension actuaries in terms of the potential impact on investment values, investment returns, funding strategies, mortality and demographics, and sponsor covenants
  • general insurance actuaries in regard to climate-related property claims, business continuity risks, liabilities to third parties and for insurers of directors and trustees
  • life and health actuaries in regard to investment values and trends in mortality and morbidity
  • finance and investment actuaries in terms of the impact on investment risks, returns and hence strategy, and the development of innovative investment vehicles to assist in climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • risk management in developing methodologies to recognise the impact climate change could have on insurance products, markets, reserving and regulation.

The Sustainability practice area works closely with all other practice areas in responding to these issues. It has created a number of Practical Guides for actuaries in the different investment practices which are available to download and included: An introduction to climate change for actuaries.

Other sustainability impacts on actuarial work include:

  • resource limitations, and the need to live sustainably in a finite world, which have implications for economic growth, investment returns and liability reserving across all practice areas
  • the implications of the emergence of broader societal objectives that recognise the importance of health, education, leisure, poverty reduction and the natural environment, and the limitations of a GDP growth target.

In addition to considering the impact of environmental change on existing work, the Sustainability Board (the “Board”) fosters the development of actuarial involvement in new areas of environmental work as well as those that support the Sustainable Development Goals, for example:

  • advising the government and energy generators on long term energy projections
  • advising the nuclear industry on funding for long term decommissioning and waste disposal
  • wider risks to business due to environmental change and regulation
  • the potential insurance costs for carbon capture and storage
  • valuing fossil fuel reserves
  • assisting organisations dealing with disaster relief.

This is a key part of the work of the Board.

The Board is a senior, member-led committee of volunteer actuaries drawn from a variety of existing practice areas. It advises the IFoA on sustainability issues, including Climate-related risks and is a source of expertise within the profession on such matters. It supports and promotes the interests of members in accordance with the profession’s strategic objectives. The Board has oversight of the Sustainability Research Committee & CPD Committee which co-ordinates its research and CPD activities.  Until July 2020, the Sustainability Board was known as the Resource and Environment Board.

Many environmental issues have a global impact and the Sustainability Board is keen to work with IFoA members across the world. It also supports the work of the International Actuarial Association Resource and Environment Working Group.

The Sustainability Board builds on the work conducted by the former Resource and Environment Member Interest Group (MIG).  The research and activities that were undertaken by the MIG are now conducted by the Resource and Environment Board. The Board supports a number of working parties, the Sustainable Development Goals MIG and it the Practice Board sponsor of the IFoA’s Financial Systems Innovation Centre (FinSTIC).

The Board welcomes volunteers from all areas of the professional to support and engage in sustainability issues.  Find out further details on these opportunities and how to get engaged.

Related documents

Contact Details

For more information about Sustainability working parties contact the Communities Team

professional.communities@actuaries.org.uk

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Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    Climate-Related Risk - This free to view webinar on Climate-Related Risk is the first in a series focusing on some of the ‘Hotspots’ identified in the JFAR Risk Perspective bringing the Risk Perspective to life with practical illustrations and insights from subject experts from the IFoA and other Regulators

  • Spaces available

    Recent decades have seen institutions, such as employers and financial services, give people more choice and flexibility, but these freedoms have come with more responsibilities. Individuals are now responsible for managing more of their own financial risks, from ensuring they put enough money into their pension to securing affordable protection to be financially resilient.

  • Actuarial Innovation in the COVID-19 era

    This event is online. 
    26 April 2021 - 7 May 2021
    Spaces available

    Join us for this brand new IFoA webinar weries comprising of a fortnight of webinars, panel sessions and a hackathon, that showcase the range of ways in which the actuarial profession has added value, in the public interest, to the understanding and management of the current and future pandemics through insight and learning.

  • Spaces available

    This event is now temporarily closed on Monday 26 April, but the session will be repeated on Tuesday 27 April, 09.00-10.30. Please click here to register your place. 

    Actuaries have a lot to offer biodiversity management over the next decade as the world develops more depth to its response to this global challenge. This sessional offers an opportunity to learn about this emergent risk, to contribute to our thinking as a profession and help us develop the next steps forward.

  • Europe Town Hall

    28 April 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual Europe Town Hall, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Alan Rae, Jennifer Hartley, Maribel Vasquez Flores and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.

  • Spaces available

    Sessional Meeting - Free to viewMis-estimation risk is a key element of demographic risk, and past work has focused on mis-estimation risk on a run-off basis.  However, this does not meet the requirements of regulatory regimes like Solvency II, which demands that capital requirements are set through the prism of a finite horizon like one year.  This paper presents a value-at-risk approach to mis-estimation risk suitable for Solvency II work

  • Finance & Investment Virtual Conference 2021

    Available to watch globally in May.
    10-12 May 2021
    Spaces available

    This year's Finance and Investment Virtual Conference takes on the timely theme of ‘resilience’, something we have all learnt a lot more about in the last year! Our diverse range of talks will explore the theme of resilience in a variety of ways including in building robust investment portfolios, in the incorporation of ESG factors, in govern

  • Spaces available

    This talk will explore the potential benefits that wearable tech can bring to health & protection insurers and their customers. The traditional approach of integrating wearables into insurance has largely focused on measuring steps and using rewards-based incentive programs to encourage more activity.

  • Spaces available

    Join us for this talk with Professor Sir Adrian Smith as part of the 'Dr Patrick Poon Presidential Speaker Series'. Professor Smith joined The Alan Turing Institute as Institute Director and Chief Executive in September 2018. In November 2020, he became President of the Royal Society, in addition to his leadership of the Turing. He is also a member of the government's AI Council, which helps boost AI growth in the UK and promote its adoption and ethical use in businesses and organisations across the country. He received a knighthood in the 2011 New Year Honours list.

     

  • CILA 2021

    Available to watch globally in May.
    19-21 May 2021
    Spaces available

    We continue to live in a world of global uncertainty. Survival depends on our ability to simultaneously navigate through the diverse root-causes, ranging from: the consequences of Climate Change; on-going financial consequences of the COVID pandemic; or self-imposed changes in regulatory requirements and accounting standards.

  • Pensions Conference 2021

    Online webinar series
    16-22 June 2021
    Spaces available

    Welcome to the programme for our 2nd Virtual Pensions Conference. This year's conference features 11 webinars offering members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the pension industry. There will also be opportunity to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.