EDINBURGH, Scotland, October 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Standard Life plc is pleased to announce it has earned a place in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) for the first time, joining the ranks of the top 10% of sustainable companies in the world.
This placement in the Index reflects a strong and steady increase in Standard Life's sustainability credentials over the past few years. Membership of the DJSI World Index is widely recognised as being an impartial and definitive measure of sustainability. Membership shows a good performance across a wide range of sustainability measures. However, Standard Life's score was particularly strong in the areas of stakeholder engagement, corporate citizenship and philanthropy, brand management, labour practice and for its environmental management system.
Last year Standard Life plc entered the Dow Jones Sustainability European Index for the first time. Several new initiatives over the last 12 months - to strengthen relationships with customers, further reduce Standard Life's environmental impact and to invest in the community - have now earned it a place among the best in the world, alongside companies such as Roche, BMW, Pearsons and Swiss Re.
Graeme McEwan, Group Director of Communications at Standard Life, commented: "Sustainability is vital to Standard Life and something we take very seriously. So we are proud of this achievement - we're one of only 16 companies in our sector, from across the world, to have made it into the 2011 World Index.
"One of our most improved areas was around customer relationship management. In the past year we have set up a website, Standard Life Listens, to provide a forum to exchange views and help our customers learn more about Standard Life. Listening and responding to customers is at the heart of our business strategy and our brand, so it's great to achieve an improved score in this area."
Having a trusted, differentiated and preferred brand is also vital to Standard Life. It is a strategic business imperative and the way the brand is being managed has also contributed to a strong sustainability score.
McEwan explained: "We support customers by regular analysis of their needs, the choices they make and how our products are working for them. Through this insight we are able to develop relevant and innovative products, and ensure we communicate their benefits in a way that our customers easily understand. This is something we are now doing across our group."
The work of the Standard Life Charitable Trust (SLCT) - an independent charity established by Standard Life - also helped to increase Standard Life's sustainability score. The vision of the trust is to benefit society by building capability and supporting independence. It is focused on supporting people most in need of developing skills to manage their finances. The Trust is currently working on three key projects; with the Royal British Legion to develop and deliver a new strategy that aims to improve financial capability within the Armed Forces; Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, to fund three telephone advisers who can offer advice and support via Shelter's helpline to anyone who is at risk of losing their home and Grand Central Savings, a Scottish Charity that offers financial services to people who are socially and financially excluded, by providing access to banking facilities and offering advice and assistance to people who cannot access or benefit from mainstream banking.
About Standard Life:
Standard Life is a leading long term savings and investments company headquartered in Edinburgh and operating internationally. Established in 1825, Standard Life provides life assurance, annuities, life insurance, savings products, investment bonds, tax efficiencies, pension products such as a self-invested personal pension, financial education and investment management to around 6 million customers worldwide.
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SOURCE Standard Life plc