On Aon

Focusing on Aon’s 2023 Impact Report

Episode Notes

Resilience and growth are dependent on business leaders taking action to respond to pressing global challenges and opportunities. In this episode, Aon’s Laura Wanlass, partner, Human Capital Solutions, is joined by Leslie Follmer, head of Investor Relations and ESG, for a look at Aon’s 2023 Impact Report. 

Additional Resources:

Aon’s website

Aon's 2023 Impact Report

Insurance Insider: Aon’s 3x3 plan positions firm to deliver a 'big set of answers' to clients

On Aon Insights: What Does ‘ESG’ Really Mean?

Ep 49: On Aon's ESG Impact with Leslie Follmer

Aon’s 2022 ESG Impact Report

Special Edition: Aon CEO Greg Case on 2024 and Evolving to Serve Clients


Episode Transcription


Hi everyone, and welcome to the award-winning On Aon podcast where we dive into some of the most pressing topics that businesses and organizations around the world are facing. Today we hear from Leslie Follmer on Aon's 2023 Impact Report. Now, please welcome this episode's host, Laura Wanlass.

Laura Wanlass:

Hello everyone. My name is Laura Wanlass and I'm a leader in our executive and board advisory practice within Human Capital Solutions here at Aon, and I specialize in helping companies and their boards of directors stay up to speed and navigate the topics of corporate governance, broader ESG, financial stakeholder expectations and more.

And in today's On Aon episode, we're discussing Aon's 2023 Impact Report. And what is true now more than ever, is that resilience and growth are dependent on business leaders taking action to respond to global challenges and opportunities. Our aim here at Aon is to help businesses thrive while ensuring that the communities they serve and the people they employ flourish. So, with me today to discuss this is Leslie Follmer, our Head of Investor Relations and ESG for Aon. Thanks for being here today, Leslie.

Leslie Follmer:

Thanks for having me here today, Laura, it's great to be here chatting with you again today.

Laura Wanlass:

Yes, this is our second go at this fun topic. In our discussion, we're going to walk through several questions that relate to how Aon looks at ESG internally as well as how we help clients navigate this topic. Can you talk a little bit about how we define ESG today at Aon?

Leslie Follmer:

Yeah, absolutely. I'd love to. And I think one observation that I'd make maybe before you go to ESG is that we do, you know, at Aon, we talk a lot about our three-by-three plan, which is about Risk Capital and Human Capital. And that's truly about helping companies and organizations manage risk and manage their people. And when you think about what's in ESG or environmental, social, and governance, those risks match right up against risk capital and human capital, particularly on risk capital as you think about really helping clients understand the impact of climate and really leveraging those reinsurance analytics to help commercial risk clients think through those pieces.

And then on the human capital side to help organizations think about how health and wealth and talent all come together for their people as one value proposition and how they can think about optimizing that return on investment. I think that those components of ESG are essential risks that our clients worry about and things that Aon is incredibly good at helping them deal with. And so, at Aon, that is a part of how we think about ESG, which is what we're doing for clients. But then there's a similar part around what we do for Aon as a firm that ties up against each of those ESG buckets as well. And so, it really all comes back to what we do for our firm and each other and then what we do for clients.

Laura Wanlass:

Yeah, absolutely. And those are items that you just mentioned that have been core to us being successful as a business for the history of our company. So, embedding it in culture, it's in our DNA.

Leslie Follmer:

I think that's 100 percent true. And you think about what we're trying to do with analytics, you think about what we're trying to do around risk, the data that we have around people, and we do really have core capabilities here to help our clients think about these risks in ways that really do help them make better decisions.

Laura Wanlass:

Okay. So, you just said a lot of different things in terms of the ways that we have had an impact and how we think about ESG. So, with the next question, let's quantify things a bit. If you had to pick, what would you say are the three main takeaways from this year's Impact Report?

Leslie Follmer:

Yes, love it. And I think everyone definitely needs to check out the report because we've done our best to summarize highlights. And then behind it, there's a lot of amazing stories about what we do for clients, stories about what we've done for colleagues, and then facts and stats and statistics. But I think really three things. So, the first is that we're making progress against our long-term strategy, which I'm really proud of. And that is a true team effort across the firm.

The second one's really on the disclosure and the transparency side. And I think one thing we've seen in this area is that there are increasing requirements and regulations as you go around the world. And so, we are adding information in response to things that we're being asked by regulators, things that were being asked by clients, things that we're being asked by colleagues that are really important.

And then I think the third highlight is there's so much in here and it really is all about big and small things we're doing across the firm to improve our environmental impact, to have more impact on social and community, and then to continue to drive what we do around governance. And so, I think it really is a big strategy that's enabled by lots of small and large things all across the firm.

Laura Wanlass:

So, I love all of those things. Progress. It showcases progress towards a thoughtful strategy we've taken as a firm. Transparency, trying to really explain where we are in our journey on all those different facets. And then I like the idea that there are so many big and small impacts by region that really come through in the stories this year.

Leslie Follmer:

I love it, Laura, you take what I say and make it sound even better. Thank you. And I think when you get to things like, for instance, our sustainability network, one of the things that we've done there is we've pulled together 25 colleagues that have all signed up with a passion for sustainability. Abby Neary and Jim Maskeri have had real leadership around bringing this group together. And what this group does, they meet to amplify what they're doing locally and share best practices around the world. And then they are, as we do global sustainability efforts, they are sharing those and reinforcing them locally and making sure that what we're doing gets out around the firm. And so, whether it's removing plastic from kitchens or helping to change the lights and reduce energy use, it's all kinds of small and big sustainability things that add up to a big impact.

Another piece that I'm particularly excited about is this idea of sustainability grants. And so, in the US, we donated almost $50,000 to 10 colleague-sponsored opportunities that had an environmental impact and brought Aon colleagues together. And so, two that I thought were particularly cool, there was a team that went out and did some cleanup on the Chattahoochee River, and then there was another group that helped clear debris out of the way at the beach so that sea turtles could lay their eggs. So again, small impacts, but Aon colleagues coming together with the support of these sustainability grants to really drive local impact on environmental causes that are important to them.

Laura Wanlass:

So, participation throughout the entire organization and really teamwork to execute on what is really a big strategy for the firm.

Leslie Follmer:

Yes, which is, again, it's great to see, and I would encourage anybody listening to this podcast, check out our sustainability network if you'd like to get more involved. We're always looking for colleagues that are interested and passionate and want to have an impact.

Laura Wanlass:

All right. So that's our brief coverage of the Impact report this year, Leslie. So, thank you so much for joining and explaining a preview of what all can read in the report.

Leslie Follmer:

Absolutely. Laura, thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be here with you, and I am really delighted that our report's coming out. And I hope everyone gets a chance to read and enjoy all the great progress that we're making on this essential topic.

Laura Wanlass:

Yeah, great. And in the next few months ahead, the On Aon Podcast will have even more discussions on hot topics like pay equity, construction and resilient economies, affordable health plans, and more. Again, all core to what you talked about, Leslie. So, with that, until next time, thanks for having us.


Thanks for tuning in to the latest episode of On Aon with our episode host Laura Wanlass and today's expert Leslie Follmer for a discussion on Aon's 2023 Impact Report. If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And stay tuned for our next conversation featuring industry experts bringing you the latest on topics including climate risk workforce, wellbeing ESG trends, and much more.

Be sure to check out our show notes and visit our website at aon.com to learn more about Aon.