Aegon Asset Management has published its 2017 Responsible Investment report. The report demonstrates our commitment to integrate environmental, social and governance factors into our investment decision-making, and our support for sustainable finance. While in recent years the willingness to embrace sustainability across the financial industry has been growing, significant shifts in the way investments are made have yet to take place.
Global challenges, as summarized in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, remain and the expectations for investors to contribute to solving them are ever higher. Aegon Asset Management is committed to contributing to these solutions. Although the company realizes it is something no investor, no single player, can achieve on its own. It needs to join forces globally to have a true impact.
“We are transparent and active in the climate debate. In 2015 we signed the pledge in support of the Paris Climate Agreement. We are actively engaging with companies on climate related issues and have established a working group that takes into account the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure. More importantly, we combine dialogue with action. We also continue to look for clean energy investment opportunities,” says Sarah Russell, CEO of Aegon Asset Management.
Highlights in 2017
- Aegon N.V. installs 539 solar panels on the roof of its main offices in The Hague, The Netherlands, providing an opportunity for local residents to benefit from clean energy tax incentives.
- Kames Capital signs statement on conflict minerals urging the US Securities and Exchange Commission to maintain legislation restricting financing of militia groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Aegon Asset Management joins a USD 2 trillion coalition organized by FAIRR to tackle increased resistance to antibiotics.
- Aegon Asset Management participates in ShareAction engagement asking banks to manage and disclose their exposure to climate risks.
- Aegon Asset Management joins a group of 15 investors and insurers urging the G20 to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2020
- Aegon Asset Management invests EUR 40 million in green loans issued by German filter maker to finance improvements to its facilities’ environmental performance.
In engagement, Aegon Asset Management has seen good results by focusing on a small number of themes and sectors, working collaboratively with other investors but also with industry representatives. In impact investment, the company believes it can make a large contribution by sharing its investment expertise to adapt the design of investments that it will allow investors with different risk and return profiles to invest, and allowing new flows of capital to areas where they are needed most.
Given the increasing importance clients place on these topics, Aegon Asset Management also recognizes the need to have the appropriate capacity, capabilities and tools to incorporate these factors into our investment processes.
Finally, Aegon has a role in the wider industry debate. Therefore it strongly endorses the “new way of working together” that has been proposed by the European Commission – to help find projects and solutions that improve wellbeing of people and the transition to a more equitable, sustainable world.