In many ways being ‘responsible’ is our business
Our products and services services give support, reassurance and security to our customers. But Corporate Responsibility (CR) also 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, as a business, we contribute to society.
At the very heart of our CR strategy is the AXA Group flagship of research and education to reduce risk. That’s why, in 2008, we established the AXA Research Fund to support scientific research that would contribute to understanding and preventing environmental, life and socio-economic risks. Since its creation, 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 alone, we’re supporting over 60 projects.
The AXA UK Corporate Responsibility strategy is organised around four pillars: marketplace, workplace, community and environment.
Here in the UK, we've made great progress in reducing the environmental impacts of our day to day operations. We’ve set ourselves some challenging CO2, paper and water reduction targets to achieve − and we’re making great progress. Since 2009, 50% of our electricity has been generated from renewable sources and 60% of all our office waste is now being recycled.
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. In our AXA PPP healthcare business, we’ve achieved (and have been recently reaccredited) ISO 14001 international standard for Environmental Management and, in 2011, we were awarded the Carbon Trust Standard.
Of course, we’re not one to rest our laurels. We’re constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. For example, we’re modernising lifts in our offices and replacing inefficient air conditioning; we’re fitting energy efficient boilers and the installing energy efficient lighting and PIR movement sensors; we’re using zero emission electric vans for short journeys around the Tunbridge Wells campus; and we’re doing the little things too, like making double sided printing the default setting in all our offices. They all count and they all add up.
How we manage our business, how we deal with our customers and suppliers, how we’re seen in the marketplace – they all mean a great deal to us and form a key part of our Corporate Responsibility work.
We’re committed to being good customers. We work hard to make sure that we have responsible customer relations through clear and transparent communication and marketing of our products, and by managing the claims process responsibly. We’re also committed to offering high-quality products and services, which encourage and reward socially and environmentally responsible behaviours.
It’s important that we’re good suppliers too, and we recognise that we can have a positive impact on society through our supply chain. That’s why we ask that all our suppliers meet our minimum standards – in terms of sustainable development and their own corporate responsibility.
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 in a number of ways, through a number of different initiatives.
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.
Employee fundraising and donations. As well as 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.
Community activities. We love doing our bit for the communities we work in. Recently, our people have been involved in:
- Supporting 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.
For more, take a look at this short film about how AXA cares about giving back to the community.
We’re proud to be a great company to work for and our ambition is to become the trusted market leader in our sector and an employer of choice in the UK. We’ve been recognised as one of the Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For - and for the third year in a row now. We’ve also been awarded first class Best Companies Accreditation in recognition of our commitment to employee engagement.
We know that employing people from the widest possible pool of talent provides competitive advantage and reflects the communities we operate in. We’re committed to be a leading employer and we’re passionate about giving everyone who works with us an equal opportunity to succeed. We also want every one of our people to feel valued for the unique contribution they make to our business.
Of course, actions speak louder than written words: we’ve been awarded the Jobcentre Plus ‘Positive about Disabled People’ symbol, recognising our positive attitude towards job applications from disabled people; and, 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.
Last year we helped over 350,000 people with private healthcare
Last year we helped over 1 million people travel on holiday with protection against what might go wrong
Last year we helped over 12,500 people fighting cancer
AXA Investment Managers received 100 awards in 2012 alone!
76 MILLION EUROS
Between 2008 and 2012, the AXA Research Fund has committed this amount globally to 308 projects
Last year we helped over 43,000 people get their homes back to normal after flooding
Last year we helped over 300,000 motorists get back on the road after accidents
That's how many customers we care for globally, with 13 million in the UK alone, specialising here in Wealth Management, Insurance and Healthcare
We're helping over 180,000 people save for their futures
We've come top of the league tables in insurance revenues globally since 2008, and we've been the no 1 insurance brand in the world every year since 2009 (Interbrand)
This many AXA Hearts in Action volunteers around the world helped underprivileged people in 2012
Last year we raised over £500,000 for our charities
The number of employees we have globally, working across 57 countries
The GIE AXA (groupement d'intérêt économique) houses the financial and real estate departments of Mutuelles Unies and Drouot. The name AXA, chosen in 1984 to designate the group, was not intended at the time to be used as a brand name.
La Providence and Le Secours, united under the Présence banner, join Drouot and Mutuelles Unies after Claude Bébéar's successful takeover bid. The seminar in the Ténéré desert of the Sahara laid the foundations for a unified group with just one name, AXA.
After the merger with AGP (Assurances du Groupe de Paris), followed by the acquisition of a controlling interest in its holding company (Compagnie du Midi), during a tense shareholders' meeting that pitted Claude Bébéar against Bernard Pagezy, AXA becomes France's second largest insurance company.
The number of agencies flying the AXA banner hits three thousand in France. A new organisation along regional lines results in the creation of ten regions and a shared information system. Drouot, Mutuelles Unies and Présence are legally combined.
With AXA Hearts in Action, volunteering in the community becomes an integral part of the Group's identity. AXA crosses the Atlantic to become a majority partner in Equitable, a life insurance institution in the United States.
Claude Bébéar announces his Ambition 2001: AXA will be number one by the next century. The first global advertising campaign is launched. The AXA seminar, or corporate meeting as it is called, is held in China. Objective: develop business in Asia.
After making important acquisitions in Australia and Japan, AXA announces its alliance with UAP, and becomes France's largest insurer and the world's second largest insurance and asset management company. Scope, the employee opinion survey, goes global for the first time in its history.
"Go ahead. Go ahead with AXA," proposed the new global corporate ad campaign.
Like Equitable in the United States, which became AXA Financial Inc, all AXA affiliates move to the AXA name in the Asia Pacific region. A plethora of acquisitions on every continent, including Nippon Dantai in Japan and a partnership with Minmetals in Shanghai, the first French-Chinese joint venture in life insurance.
Henri de Castries succeeds Claude Bébéar as chairman of the Management Board and announces his ambition: AXA will become the global leader in financial protection. AXA takes steps worldwide to buy out minority interests.
The time has come for cost-cutting and improving service quality to gain leadership in the business and become the standard setter in financial protection. AXA Way imposes process discipline.
A new acquisition is completed in the United States involving Mony (Mutual of New York). The Mediterranean region is created, bringing together subsidiaries in that part of the world and the Middle East. More than one out of two employees owns shares of AXA stock.
With Ambition 2012, AXA gives itself seven years to become the preferred company of its clients, employees and shareholders. The Northern European region is created, grouping together subsidiaries in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. A year later, Winterthur, a Swiss company with numerous subsidiaries in Eastern Europe, joins AXA.
Protection through research: the AXA Research Fund is created to encourage scientific research into the prevention of major risks. AXA adopts a new signature – "redefining standards" – and three attitudes that guide its behaviour and commitments to customers: available, attentive and reliable.
AXA is present on every continent and in more than sixty countries. This scale bestows a high degree of responsibility on the Group. Irreproachable quality in every area is expected of a global leader. Faced with this challenge, its responsibility is to build trust and enhance it daily by offering tangible proof that it is deserved.