ESG in the workplace

Our commitment to generating and leveraging Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) ideas and principles isn’t just incorporated into our corporate identity — it’s embedded into our DNA. These ethical corporate practices are ingrained in Voya’s company culture and critical to our long-term success. We are proud to leverage these practices to exceed expectations, while creating value for all of those we serve.

Applying ESG principles to workplace benefits

As more companies embrace ESG values in their business models, they are also doing so within their benefit plans to support employees. And implementing ESG principles into employee benefits can open the door to a number of benefits by helping to:

  1. Bolster employee engagement and retention.
  2. Amplify recruitment efforts.
  3. Drive retirement plan participation.
  4. Increase retirement plan participant savings rate.
  5. Improve plan economies and yield cost savings.

Our research tells us employees are more than interested:

The ESG Retirement Plan Certification

One of the latest advancements in the industry has been the emergence of DALBAR’s ESG-Certified Retirement Plan3. This annual process evaluates how successful a plan is at achieving retirement plan stewardship through the application of ESG principles more broadly to their retirement plan.


Voya was the first publicly traded company to attain the ESG retirement plan certification3, earning five out of five stars for Voya’s retirement plan offering to its own employees.

Reach out to your Voya Relationship Manager to learn more about earning the ESG Retirement Plan Certification.

ESG investing is here to stay

ESG investing is experiencing increasing popularity as more employers and investors utilize ESG to support investment decision making.


95% of millennial respondents are interested in sustainable investing — up 9% from 20177

Today, it’s estimated that one out of every four dollars invested in the U.S. considers ESG issues.5 Simultaneously, the U.S. is experiencing a $48 trillion intergenerational wealth transfer from baby boomers to their children.6 These younger, more environmentally and socially conscious investors want their actions to bring about a positive change in the world and desire a more transparent connection to these changes. And how this generation opts to invest their money is paramount.

Christine Hurtsellers
CEO, Voya Investment Management.

“We are exploring how to maximize the economic benefits of ESG investing to help clients meet all their investment objectives. To advance the integration of ESG factors into our investment processes, we are strengthening our governance structure and enhancing our firm-wide ESG investment philosophy. While our main focus is on integration, we have a select range of new ESG solutions and capabilities that enable clients to align their portfolios based on ESG values and investment goals.”

— Christine Hurtsellers, CEO, Voya Investment Management

A different kind of company doing business in a different way

While ESG is usually thought of in an investment management context, we — as a leading retirement and workplace benefits provider — are thinking more broadly about ESG standards can be applied in all aspects of the workplace. Here are a few ways we’ve incorporated ESG principles throughout all of our businesses.


Encouraging sustainable practices at home and the workplace

  • Green supply chain procurement initiative
  • Paper use reduction
  • Reduction of energy use

Aligned social purpose and empowering individuals

  • ESG retirement plan certification, ESG investment solutions, ESG investment integration, Active ownership
  • Investing in communities and diversity inclusion initiatives
  • Driving retirement outcomes through holistic financial wellness

Robust, independent oversight aligning business with shareholder interests

  • Gender parity on Board of Directors
  • Independent Board of Directors
  • ESG Board Committee
  • Robust ownership and incentives alignment for management

And the industry has taken notice…

Read More About Our Awards



“Our commitment to ESG is woven throughout our enterprise and guides many of our decisions, with both a top-down and bottom-up approach. While we have made strides, the market continues to mature and companies are being held more accountable — further raising the bar. As such, we are harnessing our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) efforts along with our continuous improvement DNA and long-standing culture of conducting business responsibly and ethically, as we evolve our ESG philosophy. We continually build on these successes across our organization to meet the growing demand and align with customer values.”

— Charlie Nelson, Vice Chairman and Chief Growth Officer, Voya Financial

Voya’s ESG Commitments

ESG resources and tools for employers and intermediaries

To help employers, consultants, advisors, TPAs, and other financial intermediaries embrace the benefits of ESG principles, we’ve compiled a helpful library of articles, resources and tools.

Businesswoman using digital tablet at office desk

1: Based on results of a Voya Financial survey conducted through AYTM – Ask Your Target Market online research platform between Jan. 18-26, 2021, among n=750 Americans age 18+ who are full-time employees and actively contributing to their employer-sponsored retirement plan, balanced by age and gender to reflect the U.S. population.

2: Voya “ESG Principles & Investing” study conducted through Voya’s Online Consumer Community with n=101 consumers balanced by age and gender (June 2020).

3: DALBAR, Inc., is a leading financial services market research firm that performs a variety of ratings and evaluations of practices and communications, committed to raising the standards of excellence in the financial services and healthcare industries. DALBAR is a separate entity and not a corporate affiliate of Voya Financial®. The DALBAR ESG Certification criteria fall into three categories: Environmental (Paper Suppression, Automatic Enrollment, Online Capabilities), Social (Premature Withdrawal Options, Matching Contributions, Phone Center Capabilities, Pre/Post Retirement Support) and Governance (Reasonable Plan Fees, Compliance with Applicable Regulations, Sound Investment Policy, Investment Review, 3rd Party Requirements). There is an annual fee for ESG Plan Certification, which is uniform for all participants in the program and based on the number of participants in the plan (<1,000 participants is $500, 1,000 - 10,000 participants is $2,500, >10,000 participants is $5,000). The DALBAR ESG Certification does not reflect actual client experiences or outcomes and is not indicative of future performance. While Voya provided assistance to DALBAR in developing the ESG certification, Voya plays no role in the evaluation process. This fact has been disclosed to the extent it may be perceived as a possible conflict of interest.

4. Voya Consumer Insights and Research, July 2020.

5. Global Sustainable Investment Review, Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, 2018.

6. Cerulli Associates, The great wealth transfer, March 2019.

7. Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, Sustainable signals, July 2020.

Products and services offered through the Voya® family of companies.

Charlie Nelson is a Registered Representative of Voya Financial Partners LLC (member SIPC).