Sustainable engagement in the food industry

Sustainable engagement in the food industry

21 March 2019 | 2 min. readingtime

Opting for the long term does not always mean saying no to what is currently affecting the climate. Engaging in dialogue and taking responsibility to bring about change can also be a choice. Choices that a.s.r. vermogensbeheer also makes. Our purpose is to raise issues and exert influence as a company shareholder. Engagement, in other words, to create returns for today as well as tomorrow. For shareholders as well as for society.

“We do not invest in coal but we do invest in solar energy.”

Marjolein Meulensteen Portfoliomanager responsible investing

Climate impact of food production and consumption

People who invest their assets through a.s.r. know that we do not invest in coal but we do invest in solar. That we opt for green energy but not army green. It may seem logical to also avoid the food industry. After all, we are increasingly confronted with the evidence that the way food is produced and consumed adversely affects the climate. And yet we do invest in that industry.

Drawdown: the food sector also offers solutions

Because where there is a major impact on the climate, more can be done to contribute to a healthy climate. This holds particularly true for the food industry. The recently published book ‘Drawdown’, which presents 100 solutions to reverse climate change, shows that 12 of the top 20 measures are related to food and agricultural land. So a vote in the food industry opens the door to engagement with that sector.

Letter to McDonalds

And that is exactly what a.s.r. does. Take our recent letter to McDonalds, for example, to convince them to use their influence in the meat production sector. The way meat is produced today entails major climate and water risks. As millions of people worldwide consume fast food every day, the impact of that food production is immense. A global player like McDonalds can play a significant role here.

Agreements as returns for tomorrow

Our purpose is to exercise our influence wherever we can. And as an investor, we do this through engagement. It starts with a letter like the one just mentioned, but is often followed by discussions in which we agree on objectives to initiate change. Results that we expect companies to deliver, since they are returns for tomorrow.

  • Sustainability


This is an image of Marjolein Meulensteen.

Marjolein Meulensteen

Portfoliomanager responsible investing

Marjolein has been working on a sustainable a.s.r. for many years, and has been doing so for a.s.r. vermogensbeheer since 2018.

Contact us