a.s.r. doubts the conclusions of Fair Money Guide on climate plans

a.s.r. doubts the conclusions of Fair Money Guide on climate plans

20 March 2023 | 4 min. readingtime

a.s.r. endorses crucial role in the energy transition

The Fair Money Guide has researched the climate action plans of the 10 largest financial institutions in the Netherlands. a.s.r. emerges as the best insurer in the survey, ranking second among all 10 financial institutions. a.s.r. is however not completely satisfied with the outcome because Fair Insurance Guide did not use all the available information.

The Fair Money Guide concludes that a.s.r. is clearly committed to aligning its investments with the 1.5 degree scenario and has published an ambitious reduction target. But additional and more detailed information from a.s.r. that is available on the a.s.r. asset management website was not included in this study by the Fair Money Guide. As a result, the information assessed is incomplete and a score of 5.1 on a scale of 1 to 10 is not, in our view, an accurate reflection of a.s.r's commitment.

Our carbon reduction target and reduction pathway

The study draws two incorrect conclusions. According to the study, there is a lack of short-term reduction targets and also a lack of information on dependence on carbon offsetting. This is not entirely correct. a.s.r. has based its reduction targets on the 'P2 pathway' as formulated by the IPCC, due to its low reliance on carbon offsetting. The carbon reduction target of 65% by 2030 compared to 2015 follows a 7% annual reduction pathway, in line with scientific evidence. a.s.r. furthermore also has short-term reduction targets of at least the 7% annual trend line every year until 2030.

Read the full report here (in Dutch)

In addition, the study concludes that a.s.r. does not have a clear strategy for phasing out fossil resources. In our view, this, too, is incorrect. a.s.r. was the first Dutch insurer to publish an exit strategy for fossil investments at the end of 2021 and set clear targets for this. All our investments in coal and unconventional oil and gas producers have been sold, and a.s.r. will exclude from its investment portfolio all conventional oil and gas producers whose targets are not in line with those of the Paris Agreement no later than the end of 2024. Engagement is an essential part of this strategy, as intensive discussions will be held with the companies concerned at least until the end of 2024. a.s.r. is thus not simply seeking to decarbonise its balance sheet (through exclusion), but rather to exert its influence positively by bringing the fossil sector in line with the Paris Agreement commitments. Progress on all engagement dialogues is reported twice a year.

Today, in the future and always.

The study also shows that a.s.r. could take additional steps in scope 3 reporting and also make this scope part of the reduction targets. Although a.s.r. already measures the scope 3 emissions from its investments, this is indeed not yet reported. In addition, the reduction targets set for each asset class and emissions per sector are not made public. a.s.r. is taking these recommendations to heart and considering how it will deal with them in the future.

a.s.r. endorses the crucial role of the financial sector in the energy transition and recognises that transparency is key to credible climate action plans. a.s.r.'s climate action plan is a report on the vision, policies and progress for all its various divisions, described in a straightforward and general manner. The climate action plan is constantly evolving and a.s.r. remains committed to clear communication. Today, in the future and always.

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This is an image of Raquel Criado Larrea.

Raquel Criado Larrea

Head of Sustainable Investments

Raquel is responsible for SRI policy and implementation at ASR Nederland.

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