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FAQs – Sustainability and ESG

Answers to some common questions about how we approach and address environmental, social, and governance issues.


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MetLife is committed to promoting a more secure future for individuals, families, and communities around the world. The Company demonstrates its commitment to operating responsibly through the security MetLife provides customers, the claims MetLife pays during times of need, its activities and investments in the communities that the Company serves, and MetLife’s long-term investments in the broader economy. Sustainability is about managing business and responsibly delivering long-term value for all stakeholders. For MetLife, sustainability is about achieving a positive societal impact while improving the long-term sustainability of the Company.

In 2019, MetLife built out its newly created sustainability function and developed a comprehensive strategic approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. These priorities were determined based on input from institutional shareholders and other external stakeholders, research into leading practices, benchmarking of peer companies, and feedback from employees and business leaders at MetLife, among others. The result is a strategic focus that enhances the value propositions for stakeholders, supports the Company’s corporate purpose statement, enhances the MetLife brand, and supports its businesses. MetLife’s sustainability efforts emphasize its role as:

  • A responsible investor, managing a long-term, value-creating portfolio, and embedding ESG principles in its decision-making;
  • A market leader in insurance and financial services, providing specialized products, services, and solutions tailored to the specific needs of each market to provide financial health, protection, and opportunity;
  • A preferred employer, committed to diversity and inclusion, gender equality, and employee well-being;
  • A responsible steward of the environment, dedicated to reductions in waste, energy use, and GHG emissions, and an increase in Renewable Sources of Energy; and
  • A force for good through philanthropy and volunteerism, contributing millions of dollars and more than 100,000 hours of employee time to building and supporting communities.

With long-term yet tangible priorities defining our ambition, and champions across our organization cultivating sustainability principles in their decision making, sustainability at MetLife creates value, advances inclusive behavior, protects our shared environment and society, and ultimately, helps build a more confident future for all.

MetLife defines responsible investments as those investments that achieve both a market financial return and promote social and/or environmental benefits. As part of MetLife’s commitment to deliver long-term value for all of our stakeholders, MetLife Investment Management (MIM), MetLife’s institutional investment management business, seeks to deliver client solutions that manage risk and create sustainable investment returns. MetLife has a long history of responsible investing with a focus on the following core areas: 1) impact investments; 2) affordable housing investments; 3) green investments; 4) infrastructure; and 5) municipal bonds.

MetLife defines impact investments as those investments made with the intent to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return, in alignment with The Global Impact Investing Council (GIIN) industry definition. MetLife’s impact investments are focused on financial health and inclusion in alignment with broader corporate social responsibility activities, including the MetLife Foundation. Impact investments are a part of our broader responsible investments categorization.

MIM believes that material ESG factors have an impact on investment performance and are important considerations to effectively manage risk and achieve MetLife’s, as well as MIM’s institutional investment management clients’, investment objectives. ESG integration has always been a part of MIM’s disciplined risk management culture that has incorporated financially material ESG considerations into our investment processes as part of our fundamental, bottom-up credit analysis.

Learn more in MetLife Investment Management’s ESG Investment Policy >

Guided by our recently established purpose statement, MetLife examined its approach to environmental stewardship and commitment to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our customers, employees and stakeholders in the communities in which we operate. To better align our investment portfolio to our core corporate values, MetLife’s general account portfolio will no longer invest in, and is in the process of divesting from: 1) manufacturers of automatic and/or semi-automatic assault weapons intended for sale to civilians; 2) direct producers of controversial weapons, including cluster munitions, landmines, biological and chemical weapons; and 3) manufacturers of finished tobacco, e-cigarette and vaping products. Additionally, MetLife’s general account portfolio has committed to not make new investments in: 1) miners or utilities deriving 25% or more of their revenue from thermal coal; and 2) companies that hold at least 20% of their oil reserves in oil sands. We aim to implement these screens and applicable divestments prior to year-end 2020.

Carbon neutrality means eliminating or offsetting all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across a company’s operations. For MetLife, this goal applies to GHG emissions from all of MetLife’s owned and leased properties across the world, as well as its fleet of automobiles in the Auto & Home business line (Scope 1 and 2 Emissions). The goal also applies to the Company’s employee business travel (Scope 3 emissions).

MetLife has a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, and we are proud to be the first U.S. insurer to achieve carbon neutrality — an achievement we have maintained for the past four years.

For us, carbon neutrality involves both immediate action on climate change and a long-term transition to a low-carbon economy. Every year, we make significant progress toward reducing our energy and greenhouse gas emissions and continue to explore additional ways to mitigate climate change while making a positive impact on our communities around the world. An example of this includes implementing energy efficiency and energy reduction projects across our global facilities, such as completing lighting upgrades, setting automatic timers for electronics, installing energy-saving window coatings, and calibrating computers to low power settings.

To offset the GHG emissions that we cannot reduce in the short term, we support third-party certified carbon reduction projects in markets where we operate around the world. Each project helps empower local economies and support sustainable development. Projects include:

We communicate progress on sustainability year-round using multiple channels including our annual sustainability report (see the 2019 report), social media engagement, news releases posted on MetLife.com, and active engagement at both in-person and virtual events, as well as thought leadership.

Please visit our ESG Data Center for all ESG-related statements, policies, definitions, and more.