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Sustainability & ESG governance

Sustainability and ESG issues are a key focus for the Board and a core pillar of our 3x6 strategy. Effective management of climate-related risks and opportunities are essential to Bupa’s ability to execute the strategy and achieve long-term sustainable growth.

During 2021, we have strengthened our Sustainability and ESG governance processes through the establishment of the Sustainability Committee as a standing committee of the Board and the Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC) at executive management level.

Governance structure chart for sustainability and esg

The Sustainability Committee assists the Board in articulating and developing Bupa’s sustainability strategy and oversees sustainability initiatives across Bupa, in line with Bupa’s purpose, values and corporate strategy.

The Committee’s remit covers environment and climate action as well as Bupa’s contribution to society in the countries in which it operates and responsible business conduct. This includes monitoring the content and completeness of Bupa’s external statements, disclosures and other reporting on sustainability and ESG matters. This streamlines Bupa’s internal governance and oversight and sets clearly defined accountabilities, with representation at Board and executive level to ensure sustainability remains a priority for the organisation and factored into decision-making.

The Sustainability Steering Committee is chaired by the Chief Sustainability and People Officer.

It comprises the Group CFO, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Risk Officer, sustainability leads and core representatives from Bupa’s Market Units. It is accountable to the CEC to drive Bupa’s sustainability ambitions and outcomes.

It reviews the Group’s sustainability and ESG agenda, including risks and opportunities, oversees reporting, and finalises recommendations to the Group CEO, CEC, Sustainability Committee, and Board. We have increased the number of scheduled Sustainability Committee meetings to make sure that Sustainability & ESG issues are discussed regularly at the CEC level and through our global sustainability and ESG network.

Our Environment & Climate Action programme working group is chaired by the Director of Sustainability. Its main responsibilities are to:

Our materiality assessment

Our comprehensive materiality analysis helps us to identify environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics that have potential to impact the long-term viability of our business and matter most to our stakeholders.

In 2021, we completed a materiality assessment to ensure our sustainability strategy focuses on the right areas, reflecting changes to the business and the external environment.

Our materiality assessment: esg topics of highest strategic importance

Defining our material issues

The assessment was led by Bupa’s Sustainability team and undertaken by an independent consultancy.

Through an initial research phase, the assessment reviewed current trends that are most relevant to our business and reviewed our sustainability strategy to date. This led to identifying a short list of 19 material issues across ESG topics that have the greatest potential to impact the business, either as a risk or opportunity, and are important to our stakeholders.

Internal and external stakeholders were interviewed and asked to rank topics by importance.

These results were analysed, scored and plotted onto a materiality matrix relative to level of business importance and degree of stakeholder concern. These were also mapped to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and targets, analysing those which we have greatest potential to influence.

Results were validated through workshops with leadership, facilitated independently, to review the positioning of the topics and challenge the results. Final results were presented to the Sustainability Steering Committee, which includes members of the Chief Executive Committee, and presented to the Board.

Using our materiality assessment

We have used the results of our assessment to inform and guide our new sustainability strategy. These results led to our sustainability strategy focusing on the interconnection between human and planet health (referred to as One Health through the assessment process), and the interrelated topics of climate change and ‘healthy and sustainable lifestyles’ .

All three were identified as topics of highest strategic importance in the materiality assessment and through further engagement with key internal and external stakeholders, as areas with potential to significantly impact the business and highly important to our customers, people, regulators, and society. The materiality assessment also helped to define the topic areas that are considered to be foundational for us to operate as a responsible business and ensure they are captured by the sustainability strategic framework.

Material topics and definitions

Environmental topics
Employee topics
Social topics
Governance topics