Our strategy

From our origins safeguarding communities after the Great Fire of London, to modern day road and water safety, we have been helping our customers look after things that matter most to them for over 300 years.

We want to be a responsible business that makes all our stakeholders proud. We cannot do this alone. Which is why our Corporate Responsibility Strategy is called Making Things Better Together.

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This film shows how we're Making Things Better Together and meeting society's challenges in practical, down-to-earth ways.

Our Making Things Better Together vision

Today’s social and environmental challenges are complex – from greater demand for fewer natural resources to limited employment prospects for young people.

As society’s risk managers, we know that individual choices can create a more secure future for all. So as we protect customers on their journeys, we also work to make the roads safer. As we protect homes, families and businesses, we help communities to thrive. And as we support people in managing uncertainty, we try to tackle our greatest environmental threats.

Addressing tomorrow’s risks requires action today. Our vision for a responsible business that helps meet society’s challenges means we are Making Things Better Together in practical, down-to-earth ways.

Our strategy themes

Our strategy focuses on four distinct themes, all of which have a direct impact on our company. For more information on why we chose these themes, see our issues below.

  • Safe, Secure World means keeping people safe in their daily lives – on the road, in the water and in their homes and businesses.
  • Thriving Communities, shows how we are educating and inspiring future talent, supporting social entrepreneurs and dedicating time to causes our people are passionate about.
  • Sustainable Future details our commitment to aiding the transition to a low carbon future.
  • And in Responsible Business, we demonstrate that our company can operate in a way that makes our stakeholders proud.

"We know that being a responsible business starts with our impact on customers and all our stakeholders."

A message from our CEO

As is so often the case, 2015 saw many events reminding us of the societal challenges we all face and the power of humanity to come together to try and find lasting solutions to the pressing issues that impact our economy and society.

We witnessed at first hand the impact of natural forces with floods and storms in the UK in December which served as a reminder for the ongoing need to create resilient communities.

We played our role in doing this by delivering a swift and efficient claims service to those in need and by supporting Government-backed initiatives such as Flood Re in the UK which will provide affordable cover for those most at risk. We also supported the landmark UN agreement signed in Paris that will play an essential role in safeguarding our future against a changing climate.

We know that being a responsible business starts with our impact on customers and all our stakeholders. Last year was a year of significant achievement as we made key improvements in both our business and operational performance through our turnaround action plan that is now nearly completed giving us a more stable and effective platform from which to support those who rely on us.

As a result, we have reviewed our Corporate Responsibility Strategy and targets in 2015 to make sure they continue to address the issues most relevant to our business and our customers: supporting customers live safer, more secure lives; building thriving communities to alleviate unemployment particularly in the youth; and responding to changing environmental risks and opportunities. We address these issues through useful, everyday tools and initiatives with the idea that everyday actions today will have a lasting impact on the future.

Our customers remain at the very heart of our business and we are pleased that this has been recognised through a series of awards in 2015, including the Customer Experience Champion Award for our company-wide improvements.

We are helping manage our customers’ daily risks. In the last year we have run a series of consumer safety campaigns to help customers tackle fire, water and road safety. In Sweden, our fire safety game helped educate the 30,000 children who played it and our award-winning ‘Don’t Drink and Dive’ campaign engaged 250 million adults about the dangers of swimming after consuming alcohol. In the UK, we launched a film about the potentially devastating impact of driving without control which received national television coverage.

We help communities thrive by supporting entrepreneurship and enterprise and sharing our business knowledge to increase employability skills. Across the UK, we grew our successful skill-sharing workshops and our partnership with the School of Social Entrepreneurs expanded to Canada.

We remain at the forefront of efforts to develop a more sustainable future by insuring new renewable technologies, such as floating windfarms. We are also reducing our own environmental impact, focussing on our energy consumption; waste generation and business travel.

These achievements would not be possible without the dedication and support of the employees at RSA who last year donated £1,661,760 in time and money to our local communities and good causes. I remain grateful for their hard work and loyalty and look ahead to 2016 with confidence and with the expectation that we will continue to live our values and Make Things Better Together.

Our Issues

Making Things Better Together is our ambitious five-year Corporate Responsibility Strategy, launched in 2014.

It is the result of extensive consultation with our customers, colleagues, investors, regulators and industry associations to identify the most relevant corporate responsibility issues for a leading insurance company.

Guiding us to the end of 2018, Making Things Better Together sets targets across four areas of focus, addressing the issues identified as most connected to our business and where we can have the greatest impact: Safe, Secure World, Thriving Communities, Sustainable Future and Responsible Business.

Each year, we review what’s most important. For example this year, we raised the importance of climate change due to the increased number of global severe weather events and the December 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. Trust, reputation and transparency of communication will also receive greater attention.

We are experiencing rapid change in our world. Consequently, we are planning a formal review with our stakeholders in 2016 to ensure we continue to focus on the most pressing issues.

Our Targets

As our business continues to adapt, we have reviewed all of our CR targets to make sure they both remain a challenge and appropriately reflect our organisational size and focus.

Therefore this year, we are reporting our progress against our original targets set in 2013, as well as setting out how we will achieve our new targets in the future.

CR Theme Current targets New targets
Safe, Secure World Run at least one annual road safety campaign in each of the countries we operate Run at least one safety campaign every year in each core region we operate in by 2018
Thriving Communities Double our community contribution from a 2013 baseline* Run a community programme in each core region that engages and develops our people, supports our local communities and makes a difference for our customers.
Sustainable Future Reduce our group carbon footprint by 20% per full time employee to 2 tonnes of CO2e from a 2013 baseline by 2018. Reduce our group carbon footprint by 12% per employee to 1.9t CO2e from a 2015 baseline by 2018.
Sustainable Future Support our customers respond to changing environmental risks and opportunities through our products and services Deliver at least one awareness driving or support campaign every year in each core region we operate to support our customers adapt to climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2018.

*community contribution includes the value of our payments to charities, hours volunteered and funds raised for charity by our employees

Our governance approach

Our CR Strategy is managed by our Group Corporate Responsibility Function with oversight and challenge from our Director of External Communications. The Chief Executive and Group Board has ultimate accountability and is updated bi-annually on activities and progress against targets. Within each region, country-level senior management has oversight of the strategy and the implementation and delivery of activities to meet targets is managed by local CR Representatives. Regional activities are coordinated by the Group CR Function.

We are strengthening sustainability across the Group by working with functional departments such as Human Resources, Risk Management, Corporate Real Estate and Procurement to continue to integrate sustainability into our core business processes. Through collaboration, we initiate projects and drive employee engagement to encourage each and every one of us to Make Things Better Together

Our strategy is underpinned by corporate CR polices outlining our approach to human rights, the environment and community and charities. Applicable to all operating countries and subsidiaries, these policies help manage our operational, regulatory and reputational risks while putting corporate responsibility at the heart of our business

Our regional CR representatives implement our strategy and comply with minimum controls through the CR policies. Each policy has a Group Executive Owner and Group Managing Owner who, with the assistance of Local Managing Owners, ensure compliance. They do this by working alongside business experts to identify and implement key controls. A robust monitoring framework makes sure these controls are continually evaluated. The Risk function administers the policy framework and monitors adherence to each policy. If any controls are not working effectively, a remediation plan is agreed to quickly restore adherence.