MetLife, Inc. today announced that it has become the first US-based life insurer to join the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. The U.N. Global Compact calls for companies to align their operations and strategies with 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption.
The mandate of the U.N. Global Compact is to guide and support the global business community in advancing U.N. goals and values through responsible corporate practices. The 10 principles of the Global Compact are:
- Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
- Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
- Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
- Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor;
- Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labor; and
- Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
- Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
- Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
- Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
- Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Five years ago, MetLife announced it achieved its goal of carbon neutrality — becoming the first US-based insurer to do so.
MetLife achieved carbon neutrality by integrating sustainability and energy efficiency best practices across the company’s global operations, and then offsetting the remainder of emissions through investments in carbon mitigation projects around the world.
Among the efforts the company made to embed sustainability throughout its operations are:
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for MetLife’s Washington D.C. office, as well as its Global Technology Campus in Cary, North Carolina. MetLife now boasts 19 LEED certified offices globally (the equivalent of almost 4 million square feet of real estate), and six of these offices have earned the Platinum designation.
- Energy reductions of nearly 30% across US-owned and operated offices.
- Engagement with its top suppliers to reduce environmental impact through the organization’s supply chain.
- Green investments of $9.7 billion which include ownership stakes in 37 wind and solar farms; equity stakes in 48 LEED-certified properties; and $3 billion in renewable energy projects.