How we enhance climate consciousness

We know our people are capable of great things, and it’s up to us at AXA IM to give them the environment and development tools they need to truly grow their potential and push their boundaries. As a responsible business and employer, we are committed to support our colleagues in taking a more conscious role in the fight against climate change. As part of our strategy to embed a deep culture of self-directed learning and development, we offer training focused on climate issues, such as the AXA Climate Academy.

Mathieu Halgand, Head of Talent Development for AXA IM

In this interview published in April 2022, Mathieu Halgand, former Head of Talent Development for AXA IM, explains more about our climate learning initiatives and, more broadly, what career development means at AXA IM.

Can you give details on the climate learning week organised last year?

During a full week, all AXA employees were invited to participate in learning sessions about climate change. It was the kickoff of our program to educate every employee about this important topic. We also had internal experts talking about how to decarbonise an equity or a real asset portfolio; a zoom on the data side of climate change; debate about offsetting; and our partner World Land Trust talked about ecosystem preservation. Multiple 'Climate Fresk' workshops were delivered, and I think we all felt a lot of energy and enthusiasm from the participants. The ultimate objective was to help people understand the science behind climate change, and the impact for them as individuals, as well as more broadly for our industry and society.

What have been the immediate results of the climate learning week?

I was impressed that more than 250 of my AXA IM colleagues actively participated in our sessions. At Group level, more than 8,300 AXA Climate Certificates were delivered, meaning 8,300 trees were planted.

Why is it crucial to enhance climate awareness as an employer and business?

Climate action, and embedding ESG, brings transformation that will impact all companies and their value chains. It is therefore crucial that our people receive a clear understanding of what is at stake, so that they are empowered to act in the right direction, and can make an impact.

What are the next actions to go further?

We will continue to deploy the AXA Climate Academy program through the business, with the ambition of 80% of our employees to be certified by mid 2022. And since early 2021, the ESG Academy has been upskilling our people in ESG fundamentals (more than 80 people are in the process of getting certified), to run expert classes about net zero investing, and we will continue to broaden the offer in 2022 with the ambition to make AXA IM the best place to grow sustainability skills.

What does career development mean to you and to AXA IM?

To me career development is about anticipating what could be my potential next moves to remain relevant and engaged, and then, to develop myself to get there. 

At AXA IM it is about enabling people to grow their potential to meet their professional aspirations, whether they want to pursue an expert track or climb the ladder up, whether they are starting their professional journey or looking for a new challenge after 30 years of service.

How do you help the adoption of learning by your colleagues?

On one side there is a common understanding that continuous learning is vital; on the other side learning is often a mid to long term investment so it is competing with short term priorities. Learning has to be considered as a change journey. People need to understand the context: why it is important to learn that skill, then they need to want to learn. We need to activate the right driver for the individual to be willing to invest their time into learning. Once that’s done we can start the learning activity. The “desire to learn phase” is often underestimated. The “value for time” ratio and timeliness are two key factors to maximize adoption.