Hartford Business Journal

September 16, 2019 — Connecticut's Healthiest Employers

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www.HartfordBusiness.com • September 16, 2019 • Hartford Business Journal 3 Yafit Cohn | Chief Sustainability Officer, Travelers Cos. By Sean Teehan steehan@hartfordbusiness.com T o Yafit Cohn, the concept of sus- tainability includes environmen- talism, but goes much further. Travelers Cos. last month named Cohn its inaugural chief sustainabil- ity officer. Under her leadership the company launched a sustainability website, which includes top- ics like climate strategy and eco-efficient op- erations, but also things like cybersecurity and capital risk management. "Sustainability is not simply about environmentalism," Cohn said. "Rather, we take a holistic view about how the company creates long-term shareholder value." Since joining Travelers in 2017, Cohn has spent a significant amount of time familiarizing herself with the developing environmental, social and governance (ESG) ecosystem at Travelers, she said. She's done that through research and extensive conversations with gover- nance professionals, sustainability lead- ers and the company's stakeholders. What will your role as chief sus- tainability officer involve? My key areas of focus will be con- tinuing to engage with our stake- holders regarding our approach to sustainability and our many related initiatives, as well as continuing to guide the compa- ny through the constantly evolving and increasingly complex ESG landscape. Re- latedly, I also plan to further contribute to the ongoing public dialogue surround- ing sustainability and ensuring Travelers remains a thought leader in this space. Why is it important for Travelers to have a chief sustainability officer? Sustainability is something that has been ingrained in our company for decades, but we've recently taken our efforts to the next level. By creating this new role, we're better positioned to deepen the sophistication of our sus- tainability efforts, tell our story more effectively and engage more broadly in the public policy dialogue. How does environ- mental sustain- ability fit in with Travelers as a com- pany and brand? We are commit- ted to a long- term sustainable approach to help protect the envi- ronment, balanc- ing environmental considerations and social responsibility with our overall business goals. We continuously look for cost-effec- tive ways to minimize our impact on the environment without compromis- ing on our promise to customers and employees. We also offer products, services and discounts designed to encourage environmentally conscious activities, such as fortified home con- struction, green building and the use of hybrid/electric vehicles. What role and responsibility do corporations have when it comes to environmental sustainability? As stewards of our shareholders' capital, we have the responsibility to maximize the value of the company over time. We believe that fulfilling that responsibility requires us, by defini- tion, to take a thoughtful approach to all risks and opportunities that could impact our business, including those relating to the environment. How will you track and quantify your success or failure in this role? Our success will be apparent when our stakeholders appreciate Travelers' deeply-rooted recognition that long- term success depends on a commit- ment to all stakeholders. For us, sus- tainability is not a branding exercise — it is how we conduct business and create shareholder value. Newsmakers Yafit Cohn "Sustainability is not simply about environmentalism. Rather, we take a holistic view about how the company creates long- term shareholder value." "With the right partner, dreams become a reality." Lynne Stanley, AVP Cash Management, Windsor Federal Savings Tony Karlowicz, Co-Founder, Back East Brewery George Hermann, President & CEO, Windsor Federal Savings WindsorFederal.com – Tony Karlowicz, Co-Founder, Back East Brewery @windsorfederalsavings @windsorfederal

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