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Sustainability practice area: articles and blogs

The Sustainability practice area is increasingly important to the IFoA, highlighting relevant issues for traditional actuarial work and giving opportunities for members of the profession to get involved in new areas. Issues around climate change, sustainability and resource constraints will be featured in this page which brings together articles written by our Members.

Articles and blogsWindmill

The Arc of Geopolitical Risk

Lawrence Habahbeh, Chair of the Sustainability MIG, discusses the differences between government instability and hard core geopolitical risk and the leading risk factors driving geopolitical instability.

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Climate Risk: A Practical Guide for Actuaries working in Defined Contribution Pensions by the Defined Contribution working group of the Resource and Environment Board

In May 2017, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (‘IFoA’) issued a Risk Alert on Climate-Related Risks.

Following publication of the Risk Alert, the IFoA’s Resource and Environment (‘R&E’) Board is seeking to support members by producing a series of practical guides on climate risk for different practice areas to raise awareness of the topic, encourage discussion, catalyse further research and help actuaries to think about how to develop their advice. This guide has been produced to support actuaries advising UK defined contribution pension schemes (trust, contract and master trust).

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Avengers: Age of Actuaries – the Case for Natural Capital

Jonathan Cross introduces the concept of Natural Capital, making the case for how it can support sustainable economic growth and even explaining why it might resonate with Thanos.

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Issues for Pensions Actuaries: Supplementary Information on R&E Issues and their Implications for Sponsor Covenant Assessments

This is the first supporting report for “Resource and Environment Issues: A Practical Guide for Pensions Actuaries” . That Guide explains where resource and environment (R&E) issues are likely to be relevant to pension schemes and the work of pensions actuaries. This report expands on the aspects relating to covenant assessments, ie assessments of the financial strength of sponsoring employers of UK defined benefit pension schemes, and provides further background information on R&E issues, focusing on the aspects most relevant to covenant assessments.

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Originally published 13 September 2017

Kaya Identity

Jonathan Cross provides an introductory and educational piece on the Kaya identity, a tool which actuaries can use to understand and measure how CO2 emissions and their underlying drivers change.

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Nothing Without Energy

Carol Storey explains why a new IFoA working party will be looking at the role of energy in the economy and invites you to get involved.

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Decoupling economic growth from environmental impact and resource use?

The seminal report, “The Limits to Growth” published in 1972, although much criticised then and since, concluded that on a finite planet exponential economic growth cannot continue indefinitely. Its long term doomsday projections (it emphasised that they were not supposed to be predictions) have so far proved to be worryingly close to actuality. To the five factors the authors considered (population increase, agricultural production, resource depletion, industrial output and pollution) can now be added climate change, the loss of ecosystem services and new devastating forms of pollution such as plastic waste.

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Contact Details

For more information about the Sustainability Practice Area please contact the Professional Communities Team

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Events calendar

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar, we will discuss how cause-of-death data from the Office for National Statistics can help us to understand how inequalities arise at the all-cause level. The key to understanding mortality inequality is to think about the chain that connects risk factors, relative risks, and cause-of-death mortality through to all-cause mortality.

  • Spaces available

    The importance of biodiversity for finance, business and policy is being increasingly recognised. While many studies highlight the overall economic impact that biodiversity loss could have, it is much more difficult to quantify and understand the particular impact that is may have on individual businesses or communities. The management and measurement of these risks is a field where actuaries are well placed to contribute.

  • Spaces available

    The climate crisis and the degradation of our planet will affect societies everywhere. How we address these threats will require solutions that transcend borders. As a global profession, the actuarial community is well-placed to consider and propose effective risk management solutions to help manage the climate crisis.

  • GIRO 2021 Webinar Series

    8 November 2021 - 19 November 2021
    Spaces available

    Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas and new research across the general insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.