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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Sun Life

How ethical is Sun Life?

Owned by Phoenix Group Holdings Plc, Sun Life is a brand which provides pensions. Sun Life unfortunately does not reach The Good Shopping Guide’s minimum Ethical Benchmark. As it is one of the lower-ranking pension providers on the Ethical Pensions Ratings Table, it cannot be classed as an ethical brand.

Despite not yet meeting our minimum benchmark, we still encourage Sun Life to apply for Ethical Accreditation. If it applied, The Good Shopping Guide would supply Standard Life with a thorough assessment and some suggestions on how to raise its Ethical Rating to become one of the most ethical and best pension providers.

Have a look at the Ethical Pensions Ratings Table to see how Sun Life compares to other brands within the Ethical Pensions sector. The Ratings Tables can help you to learn more about the criteria that a brand must reach to meet our minimum Ethical Benchmark.

The Good Shopping Guide encourages all brands to follow the example set by our top-rated brands to introduce more ethical practices and apply for Ethical Accreditation.

In which areas does Sun Life perform well?

Within The Good Shopping Guide, Sun Life is awarded a top score for its Environmental Report. Sun Life’s parent company Phoenix Group has a thorough Sustainability Report which includes objectives for reducing carbon emissions, as well as evidence that previous targets have been met.

Details on its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the objective of reaching Net Zero are also included in Phoenix Group’s Sustainability Report. This information means that Sun Life meets our criteria and receives a top score for The Good Shopping Guide’s Carbon Disclosure and Reduction Targets category.

What scores does Sun Life need to improve upon?

Sun Life receives a middle score for its Responsible Investment Policy. Its parent company Phoenix Group has a Responsible Investment Philosophy which mentions Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) integration. There is also an Exclusions Policy which rules out investment in companies involved in tobacco production or controversial weapons, but it allows a 20% threshold for coal, oil sands and arctic drilling. However, the policy does not mention gambling or conventional weapons which is why it receives a middle rating.

What can Sun Life do to improve its score? 

Sun Life’s below benchmark score within The Good Shopping Guide is the outcome of a calculation of multiple ethical criteria.

If Sun Life were to work on its low ratings, including its middle score for its Responsible Investment Policy, it could see its score rise on the Ethical Pensions Ratings Table and become one of the best pension providers.

Despite having a below benchmark score, The Good Shopping Guide still recommends that Sun Life apply for Ethical Accreditation. By doing so, we can offer it some guidance on how to improve its score.

Would your pension brand benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Visit The Good Shopping Guide’s Ratings Tables to see which other brands within the Ethical Pension sector are using our Ethical Mark and have been awarded our ethics and sustainability certification. To find out more, get in touch or fill out a rapid initial assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Environmental Destruction


  • Carbon Disclosure & Reduction Targets



  • Irresponsible Lending


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Responsible Investment Policy


  • Other Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating