It is the process and outcome of ensuring “that citizens have the opportunities and resources necessary to participate fully in economic, social and cultural life and to enjoy a standard of living (…)” (European Commission, 2004). This entails having access to the labor market, quality education, and being able to express oneself culturally, as well as many more important capabilities. The opposite is social exclusion, which is linked to a whole host of societal problems, such as increased crime rates and poor health.
Social inclusion not only allows individual citizens to reach their full potential through the fulfilment of these capabilities, but it also benefits society as a whole by fostering resilience. Resilience means the ability to cope with and overcome threats. Through social inclusion, fewer citizens are vulnerable to external risks while societal bonds are stronger.
With the challenges of risks such as climate change, migration, and conflict, resilience is extremely important as it ensures increased stability, both for business and civil society, and being better able to face these challenges. That’s why social inclusion is a key aspect of our Corporate Responsibility Strategy. Through addressing this topic, we actively contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including Quality Education, Reduced Inequality, and No Poverty.
All along the value chain of our business, we already contribute to social inclusion through our core roles in society as an insurer, investor, and employer.