04 February 2019 | 4 min. readingtime
Investing money unthinkingly? We don’t do that, but surely you don’t either? If you entrust your pension capital to us, you can rest assured that we will invest it in a socially responsible way – a future-proof way, in other words. This way we are working today on tomorrow’s world. How? Let us explain:
We do not invest in child labour, the tobacco industry or the arms trade. But our investment policy does perform in line with the market, as these figures show. A handsome return, therefore, both financially and socially. That is what we call the other return. Other, but just as attractive.
The term ‘sustainable’ has become so commonplace that it no longer needs explaining. Still, it made its appearance only quite recently. Not so at a.s.r. vermogensbeheer. We greatly expanded our sustainability criteria in 2007, excluding child labour, arms and the tobacco industry. And this solid SRI policy has continued to develop ever since.
‘Practise what you preach, and hide nothing’ – that is our motto, and that is why we are transparent about our sustainable investment approach and performance. And it is appreciated, as shown by our top ranking in the Fair Insurance Guide since 2014. The object of the Fair Insurance Guide is to convince insurance companies to pursue a more sustainable investment policy and bring about genuine improvement on this front. Our investment policy achieved the highest scores of all insurance companies examined, including the maximum score possible for our policy on the issues of arms, health, labour rights and human rights.
We invest the assets of all our clients sustainably. No matter whether they are insurance companies that are already part of the a.s.r. group of companies, such as Ditzo and De Amersfoortse, or institutional investors such as pension funds, donor-advised funds or insurance companies. The future belongs to all of us, so our approach for the long term should benefit all of us, too.
It is not something we mention all that often, but animal welfare also has a place in our investment policy. And this has not gone unnoticed: VBDO calls us an “example of an insurance company that sets high standards for animal welfare”. Illustrative of our policy on this issue is our signing of the BBFAW, a specific animal welfare benchmark, calling on companies to respect the Five Freedoms of animals. We have also engaged with a number of companies in the luxury goods sector to banish the use of fur and exotic leather.
Sustainable investments are investments for the future. And that also means investing in the research and development of new, innovative and better medicines. To this end, we have teamed up with experts who select promising biotech companies for our investments in new devices, medicines, treatment methods or technologies. One such example is the Neuravi equipment for the treatment of cerebral infarction.
The exclusion of companies that use child labour does not guarantee that labour rights are fully respected. That is why we look beyond that, to decent wages. This means that the companies in which we invest must pay at least a living wage and ensure that their supply chains do the same. On this issue, too, we have included strict criteria in our SRI policy. That is why we score 10 out of 10 in the Fair Insurance Guide on the issue of labour rights.
Our SRI policy consists of clear guidelines for determining our general direction, with ongoing adjustments being made whenever necessary. We are confident that this approach will result in long-term financial and social returns for us, our clients and the planet. And that matters greatly to us. As well as to our clients whose assets we manage. Together we are working on tomorrow’s world.