FAQs – Sustainability and ESG

Answers to some common questions about how we approach and address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.


Sustainability at MetLife means living our purpose—Always with you, building a more confident future—for the long term. We are adapting to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world and we are strengthening our commitment to address critical challenges such as climate change, gender and racial inequity, and disadvantaged communities. MetLife is committed to promoting a more secure future for individuals, families, and communities around the world. The Company demonstrates its commitment to operating responsibly through the security MetLife provides customers, the claims MetLife pays during times of need, its activities and investments in the communities that the Company serves, and MetLife’s long-term investments in the broader economy. Sustainability is about managing responsibly and delivering long-term value for all stakeholders. For MetLife, sustainability is about achieving a positive societal impact while improving the long-term sustainability of the Company.

MetLife’s comprehensive sustainability strategy highlights the Company’s strategic approach to monitoring and managing ESG issues.

MetLife’s sustainability efforts focus on prioritizing five of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), given their relevance to MetLife’s business. The Company leverages its products and services, workforce, investments and community to drive progress of these five SDGs.

MetLife’s Sustainability function is part of MetLife’s Corporate Affairs function, and consists of staff dedicated to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy, management and reporting. MetLife’s Sustainability efforts are led by the Chief Sustainability Officer and overseen by MetLife’s Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Affairs, who reports directly to the CEO. The Chief Sustainability Officer periodically reports to the Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee. The Sustainability function has responsibilities relating to, among other things:

  • MetLife’s sustainability strategy, commitments, policies and key performance indicators;
  • MetLife’s annual sustainability report;
  • MetLife’s index of disclosures aligned to key reporting frameworks, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD); and
  • MetLife’s monitoring and managing of material ESG issues.

MIM has a long history of responsible investing. We define responsible investments as those that achieve both a market financial return and promote social and/or environmental benefits. MIM’s responsible investments focus on the following core areas:

- Green investments
- Infrastructure
- Municipal bonds
- Affordable housing
- Impact investments

MIM may periodically refine or otherwise modify its definition of responsible investments and the components thereof based on data availability or other factors. In the current year MIM updated the definition of responsible investments to reflect the addition of certain assets in the green investments and infrastructure investments categories. As a result, the responsible investments data for the current year includes certain responsible investments originated or purchased in prior years. MIM has not updated the responsible investments data for prior years to reflect the updated definition.

MetLife defines impact investments as those investments made with the intent to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return, in alignment with The Global Impact Investing Council (GIIN) industry definition. MetLife’s impact investments are focused on financial health and inclusion in alignment with broader corporate social responsibility activities, including the MetLife Foundation. Impact investments are a part of our broader responsible investments categorization.

MIM believes that material ESG factors have an impact on investment performance and are important considerations to effectively manage risk and achieve MetLife’s, as well as MIM’s institutional investment management clients’, investment objectives. ESG integration has always been a part of MIM’s disciplined risk management culture that has incorporated financially material ESG considerations into our investment processes as part of our fundamental, bottom-up credit analysis.

Learn more in MetLife Investment Management’s ESG Investment Policy >

Guided by our purpose statement, MetLife examined its approach to environmental stewardship and commitment to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our customers, employees and stakeholders in the communities in which we operate. To better align our investment portfolio to our core corporate values, MetLife’s general account portfolio will no longer invest in, and is in the process of divesting from: 1) manufacturers of automatic and/or semi-automatic assault weapons intended for sale to civilians; 2) direct producers of controversial weapons, including cluster munitions, landmines, biological and chemical weapons; and 3) manufacturers of finished tobacco, e-cigarette and vaping products. Additionally, MetLife’s general account portfolio has committed to not make new investments in: 1) miners or utilities deriving 25% or more of their revenue from thermal coal; and 2) companies that hold at least 20% of their oil reserves in oil sands. 

Carbon neutral, or carbon neutrality, means eliminating or offsetting all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across a company’s operations. For MetLife, in 2021, this goal applied to GHG emissions from all of MetLife’s owned and leased properties across the world, as well as its fleet of automobiles (Scope 1 and 2 emissions). The goal also applies to the company’s employee business travel (Scope 3 emissions).

MetLife has a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, and we are proud to be the first U.S. insurer to achieve carbon neutrality — an achievement we have maintained for the past six years.

For us, carbon neutrality involves both immediate action on climate change and a long-term transition to a low-carbon economy. Every year, we make significant progress toward reducing our energy and greenhouse gas emissions and continue to explore additional ways to mitigate climate change while making a positive impact on our communities around the world. An example of this includes implementing energy efficiency and energy reduction projects across our global facilities, such as completing lighting upgrades, setting automatic timers for electronics, installing energy-saving window coatings, and calibrating computers to low power settings.

To offset the GHG emissions that we cannot reduce in the short term, we support third-party certified carbon reduction projects in markets where we operate around the world. Each project helps empower local economies and support sustainable development.

In 2022, MetLife, Inc. made the commitment to take the company’s carbon neutrality commitment a step further by targeting net zero emissions for global operations and its general account investment portfolio by 2050 or sooner. The net zero commitment applies to GHG emissions from MetLife, Inc.’s owned and leased offices across the world, automobile fleets, employee business travel and assets in MetLife's general account investment portfolio, which includes the general accounts of MetLife, Inc.’s wholly owned insurance company subsidiaries, where data and methodologies are available. Emissions are tracked and reported in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Read more about MetLife’s climate commitments online. Additional information about MetLife’s general account investment portfolio is available here.  MetLife is committed to identifying, measuring and analyzing climate data, as well as risks and opportunities, as measurements and standards evolve. While the exact technologies, policies and strategies to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions are not known at this time and many uncertainties remain, MetLife will continue to strive to be a force for good in the world.

We communicate progress on sustainability year-round using multiple channels including our annual sustainability report, social media engagement, news releases posted on MetLife.com, and active engagement at both in-person and virtual events, as well as thought leadership.

Please visit our ESG Data Center for all ESG-related statements, policies, definitions, and more.