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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

  • CILA 2022

    23 May 2022 - 24 May 2022

    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; transitioning to Net Zero; increased inflationary pressures and supply chain issues; to self-imposed changes in regulatory requirements. CILA 2022 focuses on these challenges to ensure we continue to be informed and remain battle ready, as well as showcasing highlights of recent CMI outputs.

  • Spaces available

    In the spirit of fostering the IFoA’s vibrant, global community and enabling our members to participate, we have decided to hold our AGM virtually again this year. This allows for greater accessibility to this important annual event, and for greater accountability of our organisation.

    The Business of the AGM

  • The IFoA Conference 2022

    133 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7BX and Online
    22 June 2022 - 23 June 2022
    Spaces available

    We’re delighted to welcome you back to our first in-person conference since early 2020, also being delivered virtually in our first-ever hybrid event. The theme of our inaugural two-day conference is ‘Focusing on tomorrow’s actuary’ and will explore the contribution actuarial science is making to some of tomorrow’s biggest issues.


  • Spaces available

    This webinar will cover:

    • Some background on the risks of misselling in an ESG context, including the DWS case

    • Achieving positive impact is a strong antidote to the risks of greenwashing or ESG misselling, however this risks having a tension with fiduciary responsibilities

    • This tension can be resolved with a concept called Universal Ownership

    • Under Universal ownership, investors have an appetite to make a loss in order to achieve positive impact, and yet still have no compromise on their fiduciary responsibilities

  • Spaces available

    This session will focus on the transformation roadmap of the healthcare sector in KSA and the role of actuarial capabilities in enhancing its evolution to the desired end stage as per the objectives of the Vision 2030. The discussion will focus how the system has evolved so far and shed light on  the expected future changes. Through examining  the transformation, we will highlight how the sector is and can use actuarial  expertise to not only assist with this transformation but also use basic actuarial principles to identify the key risks and their respective mitigation strategies.