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Corporate responsibility

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.

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.

Marketplace

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.

Community

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.

Workplace

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.