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About Us

Environmental, Social and Governance

Willis Towers Watson’s purpose is to create clarity and confidence today for a more sustainable tomorrow. Our purpose drives us to act and make an impact by bringing our best to inspire the best in others.

Message from the CEO

Our commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is multifaceted and one that continues to evolve with our company. Through our work in this area, we demonstrate that we are a responsible and ethical business partner and employer.

Underpinning everything we do, including our ESG commitments, is our Code of Conduct and company values of client focus, teamwork, respect, excellence and integrity. Our Code is an important guide for how we do business and it details the behaviors that each of our colleagues is expected to model. Through adherence to the Code, we demonstrate to our clients, colleagues, shareholders and communities that we do business in a way that supports and furthers our values.

I'm proud of our company and what we've accomplished so far and look forward to building on our successes.

John Haley
CEO, Willis Towers Watson


What ESG means to us

Our clients, colleagues and other stakeholders expect us to conduct business with integrity, in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and with the highest ethical standards.

7 ways we demonstrate our commitment to ESG

  1. 01

    Conducting our business based on our Code of Conduct and our company values, which emphasize managing all relationships with fairness, decency and good citizenship

  2. 02

    Partnering with our clients and communities to help address their social and economic challenges. We accomplish this through a combination of our business services and corporate programs

  3. 03

    Fostering a culture of mutual respect and security, an inclusive and diverse work environment, an array of professional development opportunities, safe working conditions and fair hiring and labor standards

  4. 04

    Implementing substantial information security safeguards, policies, standard and controls, which are aligned with ISO 27001

  5. 05

    Strengthening our communities through philanthropic activities, including matching gifts and volunteer day programs that provide our colleagues with paid opportunities to volunteer their time and amplify their charitable giving through gift matching

  6. 06

    Minimizing our environmental impact and carbon emissions through improvements to energy efficiency in our operations, leveraging technology to reduce our need for business travel, promoting recycling, minimizing the waste we send to landfill, purchasing environmentally-responsible office supplies and encouraging our colleagues to adopt environmentally-responsible habits

  7. 07

    Improving our suppliers' ESG impacts by increasing our demand for and use of goods that are developed in a sustainable way and contribute to a reduced carbon footprint, tracking supplier diversity, including ESG questions and evaluation criteria within our procurement processes, and having in place a supplier contract that stipulates all operations must be conducted in full compliance with all applicable laws in connection with the contract


Climate and the environment

Our corporate priorities

Climate change and its growing impact on society represents the greatest challenge facing the world today. As one of the world’s leading risk advisors and experts in assessing and mitigating climate risk, we are fully aware of the need to support measures aimed at helping to tackle climate change.

As a global company with operations in 140 countries and markets, we recognize our environmental responsibilities and our impact on the environment and are in the process of designing and implementing processes to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible. We are currently focused on baselining our environmental data, setting new carbon-reduction targets and developing a new carbon/environmental management system. Once complete, we will be able to publically report our emissions and carbon footprint across our global operations.

In addition, the following highlights activities that are further helping reduce our company’s environmental impact:

  • Reduced paper use and increased recycling have been an ongoing focus throughout our company. This has included reducing print volumes, and therefore paper and equipment usage, by implementing print on demand technology and scanning capabilities and by having fewer printers in our offices. We have also increased the availability (and use) of online meeting and records management tools that reduce their overall reliance on paper based materials. This has resulted in a significant reduction in our paper consumption while recycling several million pounds of paper each year.
  • We encourage our colleagues to participate in office-based recycling programs and paperless recordkeeping. We replaced personal printers with networked multi-function devices and procure recycled supplies. We also modified IT programs to ensure proper disposal and recycling of obsolete computer equipment.
  • We raise awareness for and provide information about environmental sustainability to our colleagues through internal communications and promotional campaigns.

Our external activities

As one of the world’s largest insurance brokerage firms, Willis Towers Watson acutely understands the risks and hazards that climate change poses worldwide. Increased hurricane intensity across the Caribbean and southern United States and prolonged incidents of drought affecting governments and vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa are emblematic of the global nature of these risks.

We recognize the unique position of the insurance industry in responding to these challenges and have developed deep and collaborative relationships with the United Nations (UN), World Bank, World Economic Forum and others to help build resilience in the face of climate risk.

Below are some of the many initiatives and partnerships Willis Towers Watson is involved in to confront the biggest challenge facing our planet today.

  • 1-in-100 initiative
    Willis Towers Watson's "1-in-100 Initiative" involved working with the G20 Financial Stability Board, Bank of England, US Treasury, International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and other authorities to propel reform on the disclosure of near-term climate and natural disaster-related risks by financial institutions. At its core is a "stress test" the insurance sector can use to evaluate the maximum probable annual financial loss that an organization, city or region could expect once in 100 years, enabling them to manage their risk in a more informed and effective way.
  • Centre for Risk Studies, Judge Business School
    We sponsor the University of Cambridge's Centre for Risk Studies Risk Index, which quantifies the impact of future catastrophe shocks on the world's economy, including those from cyber-attacks, commodity price volatility, geopolitical events and financial crises.
  • ClimateWise
    We are a long-standing member of this global network of leading insurance organizations, convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and dedicated to enhancing societal resilience to climate risk.
  • Global Adaption and Resilience Investment Working Group
    We participate in this multi-stakeholder working group looking to establish the Global Adaption and Resilience Fund, supported by private sector investors and other stakeholders from institutional investors to corporations, start-ups, think tanks, advisory firms and development finance institutions.
  • Global Assessment Report (GAR)
    We sponsor the GAR co-coordinated by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the first globally consistent and comparable risk assessment tool for a wide range of perils.
  • Global Ecosystem Resilience Facility (GERF)
    We launched the GERF to develop resilience for vulnerable ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves, through innovative finance and risk management opportunities. GERF seeks to address ecosystem risk and vulnerability, and to support public and private organizations to understand the true value of ecosystems and put in place effective protection measures.
  • Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance
    We have a seat on the leadership group of the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, a group of experts from the public and private sector who come together to support identification and piloting of cutting-edge climate finance instruments to support investment into climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in developing countries.
  • Insurance Development Forum (IDF)
    Willis Towers Watson is a leading member of this public/private partnership led by the insurance industry and international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. The forum aims to optimize and extend the use of insurance and its related risk management capabilities to build greater resilience and protection for people, communities, business and public institutions that are vulnerable to disasters and their associated economic shocks.
  • Natural Resource Risk Index
    We created this index to analyze the severity of impact and ease of management of the top 50 global risks facing the natural resources industry, grouped into five megatrends and based on data, discussion and interviews with 350 senior executives.
  • Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
    We have joined with more than 100 business leaders to support better disclosures of climate-related risks and opportunities, and to create a united effort to improve climate-related financial disclosure across sectors and regions. We believe that climate change will have significant impacts across many sectors and that we have an important role to play in ensuring transparency around climate-related risks and opportunities.
  • United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI Initiative)
    We are a signatory of the PSI Initiative. It serves as a global framework for the insurance industry to better understand, prevent and reduce environmental, social and governance risks, and better manage opportunities to provide quality and reliable risk protection. PSI is a part of the insurance industry criteria of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and FTSE4Good.
  • Wharton's Initiatives for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL)
    Our Environmental practice sponsors Wharton business schools' IGEL initiative, which promotes knowledge for business sustainability with a focus on environmental matters. Our involvement includes to raising awareness through speaking engagements, meetings and corporate networking, panel moderation, topical blogging, joint white papers and coordination with other Willis Towers Watson resources.

Inclusion and diversity

Inclusion and diversity (I&D) have a direct impact on our ability to grow and succeed. This is why we at Willis Towers Watson are committed to creating an inclusive work environment where everyone is heard and respected. We believe that building a diverse workforce that leverages our best thinking and efforts will be the key to sustaining our competitive advantage, today and in the future.

Learn more about Inclusion and Diversity at Willis Towers Watson

Highlights include the following:

Our enterprise-wide I&D priorities

  • Build a robust pipeline for underrepresented talent
  • Meaningfully increase the level of overall diversity – including the number of women – in leadership
  • Promote an inclusive culture that respects each other's differences and celebrates what's unique about each of us

A key underlying theme of these priorities is a sharpened focus on our female talent and a commitment to increase gender balance in leadership levels across the company. This focus directly supports the commitment Willis Towers Watson made when we joined the Paradigm for Parity® (P4P) coalition in 2016. Comprising business leaders, board members and academics, P4P is committed to reaching gender parity in leadership by 2030.

I&D councils and networks

Our commitment extends beyond words and is put into practice throughout our organization every day.

  • Our global I&D council, sponsored by CEO John Haley, and Anne Donovan Bodnar, chief administrative officer and head of human resources, sets the standard for our I&D initiatives globally. It is driven by geography-led I&D councils that provide local perspectives and help translate our global priorities into actions that will deliver the greatest impact within each region. These councils – with members from our various businesses and corporate functions – drive our I&D activities around the world, ensuring that initiatives are directly embedded within our ongoing performance and aligned with our priorities.
  • Our colleague Inclusion Networks are at the heart of how we engage and inspire colleagues in our offices. We have inclusion networks established across the globe that include Gender Equity, LGBT+, Multicultural, Workability and Young Professionals. Each of our inclusion networks is sponsored by a member of our operating committee or senior leader.

I&D diversity awards

We are honored to have been recognized for our commitment to inclusion.

I&D calendar

Our global I&D calendar provides a consistent framework for us to mark various events across the cultural spectrum that celebrate the diversity of our company and the broader society in which we operate.

I&D partnerships

Highlights of some of our partnerships:

  • Diversity project
    We are members of the diversity project, an industry-wide initiative to champion a more inclusive corporate culture, attract and retain diverse talent, and raise awareness of diversity issues (of all kinds) within the investment industry.
  • International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA)
    Willis Towers Watson participates in IABA's annual conference, sponsors a scholarship and connects with promising actuarial candidates for internships and full-time roles. We also serve as a member of their Corporate Advisory Council to help set the agenda and focus of the IABA.
  • Stonewall
    Willis Towers Watson is a member of Stonewall's Diversity Champions program, Britain's leading best-practice employers' forum for sexual orientation and gender identity equality. We are featured in Stonewall's Starting Out Careers Guide and can post job listings on Proud Employers, the U.K.'s only professional LGBT job site. Since 2014, we have taken part in Stonewall's annual Workplace Equality Index, a benchmarking tool that helps us assess our LGBT equality progress against Stonewall's best practices and others in our sector.

Investment and stewardship

Sustainable investment is about helping improve investment outcomes – seeking better returns and lower risk.

It is about finance-driven, long-term strategies that integrate ESG factors and effective stewardship. We believe this reflects good risk management, supports a robust investment industry and is central to successful long-term investment strategies.

At Willis Towers Watson, we have long believed in the importance of sustainable investment. We also believe that integrating sustainable investment into the entire investment process from setting the mission and objectives through asset allocation, portfolio construction and manager selection, to monitoring and reporting, is the best way to realize its full value. Therefore, it is fully integrated and embedded in our research, client advice and solutions.

Our Fiduciary Management and pooled solutions give clients access to our best sustainable investment ideas and implementation, and are naturally where the full effect of our sustainable investment research can be felt.

Below are some of the many external initiatives and partnerships Willis Towers Watson is engaged in to achieve long-term sustainable investment:

  • Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT)
    We have partnered with the UK Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) and the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) in their efforts to stimulate investment consultant support for trustees after the Pensions Regulator issued guidance on the consideration of long-term sustainability and ESG factors by the trustees of defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute
    Our global head of investment content, Roger Urwin, continues to engage with the CFA Institute to raise the profile of sustainability as a topic in the curriculum and as strategic director of the CFA Future of Finance initiative, which works to shape a trustworthy, forward-thinking investment profession that better serves society.
  • Hermes Equity Ownership Services (Hermes EOS)
    We partner with Hermes EOS to undertake public policy engagement on our and our clients' behalves. Particular topics we have encouraged are stranded assets, corporate ESG disclosure and board governance. More recently, we appointed Hermes EOS to conduct corporate engagement and provide voting advice on holdings in our flagship equity pooled solution, which targets equity out-performance through high conviction, concentrated, long-term mandates.
  • International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)
    To promote communication about value creation as the next step in the evolution of corporate reporting, we are currently on the integrated thinking task force for the IIRC.
  • MasterTrust LifeSight and MSCI
    We have collaborated with MSCI in the development of a new core equity strategy that integrates ESG scoring and ESG momentum within a low-cost solution suitable for both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) schemes. The strategy's seed investors included the MasterTrust LifeSight.
  • Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
    We are a signatory of the PRI, the world's largest proponent of responsible investment, and an active member of the working group for ESG/Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Strategic Asset Allocations. This work aims to identify the ways in which ESG, the SDGs and sustainability in general can be incorporated in the strategic asset allocation decision making process. We have also partnered with PRI to produce a report on megatrends (long-term, transformative changes that will affect and influence the economy, society and the environment) including social, technological, economic, environmental and political issues.
  • Secure income and multi-asset pooled solutions
    As part of secure income and multi-asset solutions, we have invested in a range of high quality opportunities that are compelling investments in their own rights, are supported by long-term sustainability trends, and also benefit from having attractive societal and environmental impacts.
  • Examples include:

    • Advanced greenhouse for sustainable agriculture
    • UK's largest energy-from-waste project – incinerating non-recyclable waste to generate electricity
    • Specialist temporary accommodation for vulnerable families and housing for disabled adults
    • Renewable energy such as Japanese solar, Scottish hydropower
    • Venture capital to harness world-leading scientific research
    • Insurance linked securities supporting climate resilience
    • Private equity investment in areas such as healthcare education and cyber security
  • Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI)
    We are official supporters of the TPI, a global investor initiative led by asset owners that assesses companies' preparedness for transition to a low-carbon economy. Led by academic research from the Grantham Research Institute and London School of Economics, TPI is supported by more than 40 investors globally with combined assets over $13 trillion.
  • UK Stewardship Code
    We are a signatory to the UK Stewardship Code, recognizes and promotes the value and importance of effective investor stewardship in our own activities, as well as in those of our clients and partners.

Philanthropy

We recognize that a big part of being a good corporate citizen is caring about our communities and taking steps to help reinvest in and strengthen them now and for the future.

Our philanthropy outlets include:

  • Business and office giving: Our local business leaders are empowered to support charities.
  • Matching gifts: We match the donations of individual colleagues up to $2,500 cumulatively per year to charitable causes.
  • Volunteer day: We support colleagues who donate their time and talent by offering one paid day per calendar year for volunteering with an organization that supports and enhances our communities.

Colleagues share how they are making a difference in their communities through a forum on our company intranet.


Research and thought leadership

Willis Towers Watson is a global leader in research and thought leadership. Our subject matter experts provide insights on a broad range of risk related topics, in addition to partnering with leading academia, Government and non-government organizations.

  • Capital, Science and Policy (CSP) practice
    Our CSP practice engages directly with the World Bank, the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, governments, regional trade associations, banks and other non-governmental organizations with the mandate of mobilizing the analytical capabilities of the insurance industry to confront large-scale challenges of risk, including climate change.

    Specific examples of these engagements include:

    • Co-sponsoring events with the British Consulate in the US to advance insurance and related analytical tools and innovative finance approaches. These include the Congressional Briefing at the US Capitol on Natural Hazards and Resilience Roadshow 2.0 for North American coastal communities working to invest in adaptation and sustainability.
    • Organizing a community resilience finance summit in Washington DC to assemble leaders across a range of disciplines, sectors and levels of government to explore innovative mitigation and adaptation finance approaches to support infrastructure investment and a sustainable and resilient recovery from disasters.
  • Sustainability CYMPLX Leadership Forum
    We are a member of the Sustainability Leadership Forum, which engages sustainability leaders of global companies on environmental sustainability implementation challenges. Through collaboration, forum members identify and design viable change initiatives for their organizations.
  • Thinking Ahead Institute (TAI)
    The Thinking Ahead Institute, sponsored by Willis Towers Watson, promotes a purposeful, inclusive and sustainable investment industry that works for the benefits of the individuals that it serves. As a global not-for-profit innovation hub, it brings together some of the world's largest asset owners, asset managers and service providers to create positive change. Past working groups include understanding purpose and value creation, long-term investing, and sustainability portfolio construction. The institute also works in partnership with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Santa Fe Institute, Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge and does project work with the University of Oxford.
  • Tomorrow's Capital Markets
    We were contributors and signatories to this influential report, which set out an evolving role capital markets can play in channeling resources more productively for long-term human development.
  • Willis Research Network (WRN)
    The Willis Research Network (WRN) is a collaboration between academia and our insurance and reinsurance experts seeking to integrate public science with the risk management community to enhance our collective ability to understand, evaluate and manage climate risk (including extreme natural catastrophes, climate variability and emerging risks) and to provide credible scientific expertise to improve decision-making across the industry.

    The WRN is currently working on programs and projects across more than 50 science partners worldwide, to confront the full spectrum of analytical challenges in this domain, with outputs that include data, models, applications, peer reviewed journal articles, financial instruments and conferences, all of which enhance our collective understanding of climate-related risks and supports integration of these risk into investment strategies over time.