We invest responsibly, securely and sustainably without losing sight of investment income. All investments are checked against the ESG criteria based on the a.s.r. SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) policy. Countries and businesses that do not make the cut are excluded. It is thanks to this investment policy that we have made great strides since 2007. Businesses using child labour or investing in the arms and tobacco industries were struck off the list. Since then, we have confined our investments to businesses that contribute to a sustainable society. And our investments reduce carbon emissions. How about that for a positive return!
We invest for you as we invest for ourselves. We do what we do best: investing in fixed income securities including overlay/LDI, equities and property. In addition, we are specialised in illiquid assets, such as mortgages and private debt.
As early as 2007, a.s.r. made the choice to stop investing in weapons, the tobacco industry and child labour. This policy was further tightened up in subsequent years and is reviewed annually, or as often as necessary. Our investment policy is aimed at sustainable and responsible investment and investing with impact. We always invest with a view to tomorrow and in a socially responsible manner. We discuss the dilemmas we encounter when making those choices with an ethicist who works in our company and who looks at a dilemma with us from different angles. Ultimately, we make a decision that suits our company.
As an investor, it has proved impossible to ensure that investment products such as weapons are only used for positive purposes, such as protecting freedom and democracy. That is why we do not want weapons in our sustainable investment portfolio. This does not alter the fact that we understand that the Dutch government invests in weapons for defence. It fits in with the mandate and obligations that the Netherlands has as a NATO member (please read also Why we don't invest in weapons directly). Because a weapon can be interpreted in different ways, we clearly show which companies we do not invest in.
Below you can download the most recent list of excluded companies.
We invest in a broad group of listed companies, including companies involved in the processing of animal products. We screen these companies on a large number of criteria, including animal welfare. More information about this can be found in our screening protocol.
We actively engage in discussions with companies that are guilty of, for example, corruption, environmental damage or human rights violations with the aim of changing their behaviour. With our engagement, we also make recommendations on how processes can be made more sustainable. This is part of our strategy as a sustainable investor.
Fur and leather
We invest in companies in various sectors and countries around the world. Energy and a sustainable living environment are particularly important to us, such as wind and solar parks. But we also invest in companies that process animal products for a specific end product, such as meat that is processed into sausage. Fur and (exotic) leather are similar animal products.
When we screen companies for animal welfare, we assess the processing of fur and (exotic) leather in, for example, a piece of clothing, the same as processing meat into sausage. The production process is the same; animals are deliberately kept for human consumption.
Fur and (exotic) leather are a specific point of attention within our commitment. A number of companies in our investment portfolio have meanwhile removed fur and (exotic) leather from their production lines. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case in all cases. Naturally, we are committed to getting all companies this far in the end. More information about the results of our engagement can be found in our library (Dutch).