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  • Corporate responsibility

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  • In many ways, being ‘responsible’ is our business. Our products and services give support, reassurance and security to our customers.

    Corporate Responsibility at AXA means working to reduce our environmental impact, supporting local communities and working with stakeholders. It plays an important part in helping us achieve our vision and ensures that AXA contributes to society.


     
  • In 2008, AXA established the AXA Research Fund to support scientific research that would contribute to understanding and preventing environmental, life and socio-economic risks. The purpose of the Fund is to:
    • Contribute to scientific breakthroughs
    • Help reframe public debate on global risks-related issues
    • Develop our own expertise in cutting-edge science
    Since 2008 the Fund has committed €76 million globally to 308 projects. We have recently committed a further €100 million to be invested between 2013 and 2018. In the UK we are supporting over 60 projects.

    Our strategy

    AXA UK’s corporate responsibility strategy is organised around four pillars: marketplace, workplace, community and environment.  
  • In the UK, we've made great progress in reducing the environmental impacts of our day to day operations.

    Achievements

    In 2008, we set ourselves some challenging energy, CO2, paper and water reduction targets to achieve in 2012 − and we’re making good progress. At the end of 2011 we had achieved:

    • 16% reduction in energy consumption
    • 14% reduction in water consumption
    • 30% reduction in office paper supplies

    Since 2009 50% of our electricity has been generated from renewable sources and 60% of all our office waste is now being recycled.

    Recognition our progress

    In April 2011, The Environmental Investment Organisation ranked AXA Group as the 4th greenest firm out of Europe's 300 biggest companies, according to greenhouse gas emissions. Part of the reason for our strong performance is because we publically report on our greenhouse gas emissions.

    In 2009, AXA PPP healthcare achieved ISO 14001 international standard for Environmental Management and in 2011 they were successfully re-accredited. In addition, in 2011 they were awarded the Carbon Trust Standard.

    Practical steps

    The steps that we have taken to reduce our environmental impact at many of our UK offices include:

    • Lift modernisation and replacement of inefficient air conditioning
    • Fitting energy efficient boilers and the installing energy efficient lighting and PIR movement sensors
    • Installation of solar panels and electricity supply voltage optimisation units
    • Use of TMAC smart metering and software to power down PCs out of hours
    • Increasing the temperature of comms rooms to reduce the amount of cooling required
    • Making double sided printing the default setting in all our offices
    • Using zero emission electric vans for short journeys around the Tunbridge Wells campus
     
  • Our goal is to embed corporate responsibility in the way we manage our business, and deal with customers and suppliers. So we consider many aspects of our business – such as responsible selling and fair treatment of customers, and appropriate engagement with external stakeholders.

    Customers

    We’re committed to responsible customer relations through clear and transparent communication and marketing of our products, and by managing the claims process responsibly. We are also committed to offering high-quality products and services, which encourage and reward socially and environmentally responsible behaviours.

    Suppliers

    We can have a positive impact on society through our supply chain, so we aim to ensure that our suppliers meet our standards. This means:

    • We assess them in terms of sustainable development as part of the tender process
    • We include a corporate responsibility clause in all of our new supplier contracts. This stipulates that suppliers observe key International Labour Organisation principles and act in a manner aligned to our Compliance and Ethics Guide
    • We use a corporate responsibility tool to help us assess our suppliers
    • We work with suppliers to develop action plans to improve their corporate responsibility rating
     
  • We want to be a good neighbour in the communities where we operate. So we work with community groups to address specific local needs and provide our people with personal development opportunities.

    We do this through the Hearts in Action volunteering scheme, fundraising for local charities and emergency relief. In 2011 we launched The AXA Ambition awards. The awards support talented young people in our local communities to fulfil their dreams and ambitions in the fields of science, community, sports and the arts.

    Hearts in Action

    Hearts in Action is AXA’s global community partnership programme. It provides volunteer and charity fundraising opportunities for employees and is designed to build links between our business, our people and our local communities. It acts as a guideline for community involvement but allows local offices to develop programmes that are suitable for their employees and local community needs.

    Employee fundraising and donations

    In addition to local and employee-specific fundraising campaigns, we support national campaigns with employee fundraising and in-kind donations. We also support CARE, a global humanitarian organisation which aims to address the underlying causes of poverty and move towards sustainable development. Most of its programmes are based on microfinance, education, AIDS relief, food security and drinking water.

    Community activities

    Our 2011 community activities across the UK and Ireland included:

    • Support for the Junior Achievers programme − empowering youth and preparing them for a financially independent life
    • Providing a contact centre of 100 lines for the Children in Need telethon appeal
    • Supporting students in a Bolton school with CV writing, work experience and careers advice
    • Raising £22,600 for Macmillan Cancer Support
    • Raising £11,000 for the East Africa Crisis Appeal
     
  • Trust

    Our vision is to become the trusted market leader in our sector. Our workforce policies and actions that support this are making AXA an employer of choice in the UK. We entered the Sunday Times Best Big Companies to Work For survey in 2012 and were ranked 19th. In 2008, our Best People strategy won the CBI Human Capital award in the ‘managing change’ category.

    Diversity

    We know that employing people from the widest possible pool of talent provides competitive advantage and reflects the communities we operate in. We want to be a leading employer and give all of our employees an equal opportunity to succeed and feel valued for their unique contribution.

    • For the last few years we have been awarded the Jobcentre Plus ‘Positive about Disabled People’ symbol in recognition of our positive attitude towards job applications from disabled people
    • We are committed to ensuring that we have a gender balanced workforce
    • In 2010 around 80% of our employees who went on maternity leave decided to return to work − a positive indication that our policies support women employees and allow for flexible working