Our sustainability beliefs and goals


Our path towards creating a more sustainable quality of life

We believe operating in a way that is sustainable for people, planet and the economy will bring multiple opportunities for us to enhance the lives of our customers, people, partners, and society.

Embedding sustainability across MLC Life Insurance goes to the core of our ‘Promise for Life’ and delivering on our ambition ‘To be Australia’s leading, most trusted life insurer’.

We believe our commitment to sustainable practices will ensure we are not only meeting standards set globally for companies like ours on critical issues like climate change, but that we are supporting a higher and more sustainable quality of life for our community.

As part of a mutual company, our customers are like our shareholders. Aligned with our deeply held value of ‘Do what is right’, we owe it to them to go beyond doing no harm, but to do good for our world. We have been doing what is right since our founder James Garvan committed to his unique mission in 1886: to provide Australians with the enduring security and protection of life insurance.

And we have been focused on doing what is right by our customers ever since, from refunding premiums to soldiers returning from WWI in 1918 to providing premium relief to those impacted by bushfires in 2019 and our commitment to frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But we are committed to continue to do more.

Our sustainability goals

We have set a range of Sustainability Goals to support our ongoing sustainability journey.

  • Net Zero emissions by 2050
  • Reduce operational emissions by 51% compared to 2019 by 20301
  • 40:40:20 Leadership Gender Diversity by 2023
  • 40:40:20 Independent Director Gender Diversity by 2025
  • Develop a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) by 2023
  • Implement a Sustainable and Responsible Investment Policy by 2023
  • Establish the MLC Life Insurance Foundation by 2024
  • Commit to UN Principles for Sustainable Insurance by 2024
  • Publish 2025 MLC Life Insurance Sustainability Report

Our 2023 Sustainability Commitment

In 2023, we’ll finalise our new Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan as well as develop an Emissions Strategy and Action Plan to specifically support our decarbonisation goals. This will build on what we have already achieved.

  • Safeguarding our climate

    Aligned with Nippon Life Insurance, who are committed to the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, we are committed to reducing our emissions and reaching Net Zero by 2050.

    • We have already transitioned half of the energy across our Melbourne and Sydney offices (covering over 93% of our people) to GreenPower from renewable sources and we are investigating expanding this in 2023.
    • We also provide support to communities impacted by climate change through premium relief for impacted customers. For example, in 2020 and 2021 we assisted Australian families by waiving premiums for those impacted by bushfires and floods.
    • We continue to review and enhance our risk assessment practice to capture a range of sustainability risks.
  • Governance and Transparency

    We are committed to ensuring our sustainability efforts extend to how we manage risk and govern our business for the greater good of our customers, partners and people.

    • As a leading life insurer, we played a key role in the development of the New Life Code which includes over 50 new consumer protections for our customers.
    • Our sustainability approach has Executive and Board oversight and a dedicated team supporting planning and implementation.
    • Ongoing monitoring of our providers and suppliers for compliance with our Modern Slavery Statement.
    • Nippon Life Insurance publishes their sustainability performance in an integrated Annual Report and MLC Life Insurance’s intention is to contribute to transparency and accountability by publishing an annual Sustainability Report matching the ambition and requirements of our new Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan.
  • Wellbeing, Diversity and Belonging

    Driven by our noble purpose as a life insurer, we are passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of our customers, partners and people, as well as supporting diversity and inclusion in all forms.

    • Our Vivo health, wellness and recovery program helps to support our customers, partners and employees to live better lives and be better supported with their health.
    • Ongoing support for the wellbeing of our people through our Thrive Wellbeing program, empowering our people to manage their mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing.
    • Support for our people experiencing family or domestic violence, set out in our Family & Domestic Violence Policy.
    • Inclusive Leadership training continues to be delivered to our Executive team, creating a culture of belonging development. This will continue to cascade through to our leaders in the organisation.
    • We are actively working to address the gender pay gap within MLC Life Insurance and are close to eliminating it altogether.
    • We advocate on a range of social issues including addressing mental health, family and domestic violence, and inclusion awareness across the industry, through organisational membership in groups such as the Council of Australian Life Insurers (CALI), the Diversity Council of Australia and the AIST Indigenous Superannuation Working Group.
    • Policies to support employee volunteering across community initiatives, such as dedicated volunteering leave for all permanent employees.
  • Sustainable investments

    MLC Life Insurance is passionate about ensuring we invest with entities who share our views on corporate sustainability and embrace the principle of ‘do no harm’ to our planet and communities.

    • Our Goal to implement a Sustainable and Responsible Investment Policy will formalise this approach and enhance our current practice outlined in our ESG Investment Policy, such as our commitment to the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge, and the commitments set out in our Modern Slavery Statement.
    • As a member of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, Nippon Life Insurance is committed to sustainability through ESG investment and financing. Nippon Life Insurance has set 2030 Interim Targets for their investment portfolio and has a robust ESG Investment and Financing Policy and evaluation approach.
  • Economic security and peace of mind

    At its core, our business provides Australians with peace of mind should the worst happen, that their loved ones will be protected. Beyond the intrinsic benefits of our business, we actively seek to ensure the benefits of financial advice, protection and other crucial financial services are extended to all Australians.

    • We seek to address the gender pay gap, superannuation gap and insurance coverage gap in Australia, for example, championing reform to support vulnerable people.
    • Lobbying to increase access to financial advice for all Australians, not just the wealthy. 


1 MLC Life Insurance emissions reporting has been consolidated with the Nippon Life Group since 2017. Our local Goal has been developed in alignment with the Nippon Life Group commitment and international commitments, however in support of a local emissions reduction target, we are in the process of developing stand-alone calculations in line with Australian standards and undertaking a limited assurance process to provide independent third party oversight of our calculations, assumptions and methods. Operational emissions includes material Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. We continue to develop our Scope 3 emissions approach.