Scope: This commitment statement defines what AQAN means by sustainability. It applies to all wholly owned subsidiaries of AQAN. All employees and contractors are required to work to the boundaries of this commitment. The Board and Executive Committee of AQAN are responsible for signing off on this commitment statement. Each individual employee is responsible for working within the boundaries of the commitment. The statement supports all other AQAN policies, notably the Code of Conduct and the Corporate Governance Framework.
A RESPONSIBLE APPROACH: AQAN’S SUSTAINABILITY COMMITMENT
AQAN’s purpose is to help people build and protect their dreams.
Our approach to sustainability is to minimise our negative impacts and maximise our positive ones for the long term benefit of all of our stakeholders.
We are committed to making life easier, to helping the community, aiming to do no harm, and to protecting our precious environment. We try to balance the needs of our stakeholders. We operate within the law and strive to go above minimum requirements. We are concerned about the environment and are working hard to integrate these concerns into our business for the benefit of all. We know that we don’t know everything and we are willing to listen. We always aim to be honest, trustworthy, caring, respectful, fair and courageous.
These are our values and purpose and they underscore the way we do business.
We define sustainability as considering the future of our stakeholders in the way we do business today.
We aim to focus, in the short term, on our internal practices and procedures to ensure we are able to back up our commitments. Once we are confident that what we are doing is consistent with the approach set out in this document we will then focus on our external position and stakeholders. We realise that big changes are underway in our communities and in our environment. Rather than just talk about the issues we want to provide practical solutions to our stakeholders and help them get ready for inevitable changes. Ultimately, we want to help people to be more sustainable.
For our customers we are a sustainable organisation if they trust what we do, want to do business with us, recommend us to others and have the opportunity to benefit from our relationships with suppliers.
For our employees we are a sustainable organisation if they are proud to come to work, want to be at work, feel they have enough time to be with their families and friends and encourage them to work with us and they are able to fulfil their ambitions.
For our shareholders we are sustainable if we provide them with an acceptable level of profit and growth.
For our communities and suppliers we are sustainable if we minimise our environmental impact, support causes which align to our values, deal fairly with our suppliers to enable them to be successful and sustainable, and add to public policy debates in an open and honest way for the benefit of all.
Human Rights, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Capital
We work with people, for people and alongside people. Protecting people is a large part of our business. We commit to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and uphold these standards as the minimum to which we will abide.
We appreciate and applaud diversity and will work to ensure that our workforce reflects the rich diversity of the communities in which we operate. We will not tolerate discrimination, which is evidenced in our Code of Conduct, and our Equity and Diversity Policy, backed up by our values and our behaviour.
We also recognise the importance of supporting and interacting with segments of our society that have little or no financial literacy leading to poor financial means and security. We will work with partners to determine how we might best assist these groups to improve their financial health.
Being a financial institution we have an obligation to lend responsibly, assist our customers in understanding their insurance risks and helping to build healthy communities through our products, in the societies in which we operate. We will strive to provide products and services that have a social purpose and provide high social benefit and provide transparent and honest customer assistance.
Our culture and heritage is linked to working collaboratively with our communities. We strive to work in collaboration with community partners that share a commitment to our values and purpose. Through community collaboration we want to find creative solutions for persistent problems as well as support groups and individuals who excel in their fields. Our people enthusiastically volunteer to help community organisations in their areas and we will continue to support them to do so.
As individuals and as a business we all contribute to the environment- not always in a positive way. At AQAN we are dedicated to reducing our impacts on the environment in the way we do business, engage suppliers and relate with our customers. This works in concert with the financial goals of the organisation.
We will also work with our people to minimise impacts on the environment in their own lives. We strive to use our resources efficiently and do not knowingly choose products that adversely damage the environment. We embrace the precautionary principle- applying a “commonsense” approach to decisions when assessing potential environmental harms in the absence of the full scientific facts. We will abide by and, where possible, exceed local and national environmental regulations. We will also monitor and report on our environmental performance and set and work towards annual targets that are challenging but achievable.
The focus for our environmental management include: energy use; water use; waste production; air travel; fuel consumption; and paper use.
We will report on our carbon emissions publicly and have tied reduction of CO₂ to our Group scorecard to drive performance improvement. Wise resource consumption will reduce costs and minimise our contribution to climate change. Furthermore we will proactively manage business risks and opportunities associated with our changing climate.
We support and are signatories to:
– SDG Publishers Compact: This Compact is designed to inspire action among publishers. Launched in collaboration with the International Publishers Association, the Compact aims to accelerate progress to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
-the UN Global Compact committed to responsible business practices for positive change
-the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPS) promoting gender equality
-the Terra Carta, committing to rapidly accelerating the world’s transition towards a sustainable future
We recognise that these commitments will require amendments as our business grows and the world changes. We will review this statement on an annual basis and ensure that Board sign off is provided for any material changes.