Making things better, together

With our 2017 corporate responsibility report hot off the press, we take a look back on a year of Making Things Better, Together

Our corporate responsibility strategy, Making Things Better, Together sets out our approach to being a responsible business: running RSA in a way that puts our customers first, delivers long-term value to our environment and society, and ensures financial strength and transparency for our shareholders.



Making things better together: our corporate responsibility strategy

Making a positive impact in four areas of focus

In 2014 we set down the way we wanted to approach corporate responsibility to make a positive impact on the communities we work in and with.

We started by asking ourselves things like: what’s the impact of our operations on the local community, have we got an open dialogue with our customers, have we thought about the environmental impact of our operations, and ultimately, are we demonstrating our long-term value to society?

In answering these questions, we identified four areas of focus where we felt we could make a positive impact: safe secure world, thriving communities, sustainable future and responsible business. 

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Four pillars

Our corporate responsibility strategy is built around four areas of focus where we know we can have the greatest impact...

An extreme year

So how did we do last year? 2017 saw some of the worst weather events for decades—natural catastrophes including wildfires and floods forced people from their homes, destroying properties and livelihoods, while other parts of the world experienced tragedies as a result of terror events and devastating earthquakes.

In addition to responding to natural catastrophes through on the ground support, we’re also working with the wider insurance industry and businesses more broadly to address the risks presented by climate change. Through our partnership with WWF in Canada, we’ve convened business leaders to explore ways for organisations to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, and as members of ClimateWise, the global insurance industry leadership group, we’re working with academia and our peers to address critical sustainability challenges.

We also took actions to help our customers anticipate, avoid and prepare for risks. By offering information and education to our customers, we aim to keep them safer, whether on the road, in the water, or on the web.

Numbers of note

  • 4.3%

    reduction in carbon footprint per employee

  • £1,893,600

    invested in communities

  • 22.6m

    people reached through road safety media campaigns

Safer world through awareness...

In 2017 we ran safety campaigns across each of our regions to raise awareness of safety risks in the home, on the road and in the water, reaching millions of people through media and educational campaigns, training and product distribution.

Our road safety campaigns reached over 22 million people in Canada, the UK and Denmark. In the UK, MORE TH>N led the drive to make roads safer for everyone through its Give Your Mobile The Boot campaign, encouraging 14 million motorists to reduce risk by keeping their smartphones in their boot.

After passing their test, young drivers face a problem: it’s tough to find affordable car insurance. High accident rates for this group have meant traditional premium prices can price out many fledgling car owners.

The MORE TH>N SM>RT WHEELS product, which combines insurance and technology, puts a telematics ‘black box’ into drivers’ cars to monitor their driving styles.

Our SM>RT WHEELS, by MORE TH>N, tracks the behaviour of young drivers in real time to help them adopt safer driving practices.

...and smart use of technology

In Denmark we continued our work as part of the Safety at Eye Level coalition and taught 8,000 children about safety around large vehicles. We also distributed 90,000 reflectors to cyclists to improve their safety on the roads in our Scandinavian markets.

Our online safety campaigns reached over two million people in 2017, with a focus on promoting awareness and educating families on the risks associated with cyber security. Codan produced an educational toolkit for teachers that was made available to all schools across Denmark, and ran a series of online tutorials offering parents expert advice, reaching 75% of Facebook users in Denmark. 

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A safety campaign by Codan that aimed to help families remain safe when online reached nearly 75% of all Facebook users in Denmark.

Codan used this insight to create an educational campaign that increases parents’ awareness of the risks their children face, and develop a range of online security insurance products that help tackle malware, phishing and exposure to indecent material.

Trygg-Hansa also continued its work to keep families safe in 2017. Its summer swim schools helped 16,500 children to improve their confidence and ability in the water and as part of its Alcobuoy campaign Trygg-Hansa equipped 12 life buoys with breathalysers to enable people to assess their blood alcohol levels before swimming. A virtual reality film was used to educate a further 225,000 children about how to react to fire in their homes.

What can we expect in 2018?

We’re proud of all we’ve achieved in the past year and over the past five years of this strategy, but we can’t take our hand off the tiller. Our corporate responsibility agenda is an opportunity to create better value for our customers, employees, shareholders and society at large and we want to continue to build on our successes.

Already in 2018 we’ve been making an impact—using technology to provide support to new immigrants in Sweden, launching a new road safety campaign to tackle distracted driving in Canada, and commandeering our call centre employees in the UK to take pledge calls for BBC Sport Relief, as well as take part in the national “billion steps” campaign.

This year we are also taking the opportunity to reflect on the Making Things Better, Together strategy. We will be reviewing our future priorities, to ensure we maintain a firm focus on using our strengths to deliver sustainable positive results.

All our corporate responsibility activities, as across our business, aim to do whatever we can to make the difficult times a little easier for our customers, and to help to keep them and their communities safe.

This article was co-written by...

  • Charlotte Heiss - member of the RSA Group Executive team

    Charlotte Heiss

    Group chief legal officer and company secretary

  • William McDonnell, Group Chief Risk Officer and Member of the RSA Group Executive Team

    William McDonnell

    Group chief risk officer