Five steps towards responsible investing
We apply a five-step process when putting Achmea’s socially responsible investment (SRI) policy into practice. Promises are made in each step. We use a range of instruments to fulfil those promises.
- Measurement. We measure the social risks and impact of our investment portfolio.
We want to know what is happening at the social level with our investment portfolio. Consequently, the starting point of our SRI process is measuring the social risks and impact. We do this for climate change by measuring the carbon footprint of our investment portfolio. In broader terms, we have our portfolio screened for exposure to actual or threatened violations of international standards such as the UN Global Compact, OECD guidelines and UN Guiding Principles.
- Setting standards. We exclude irresponsible activities from our investments and reduce their negative impact.
We set minimum social standards that our investments have to meet. By definition, some commercial activities, such as tobacco and controversial weapons, do not suit Achmea. Also, by definition, we do not invest in countries that structurally violate international standards. Other economic activities with a negative impact, such as burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, are still required for our daily life. We exclude the coal companies with the largest greenhouse gas emissions and the companies that cause the most serious environmental pollution. See the Exclusion Policy. We reduce the negative climate impact of our investment portfolio by reducing its carbon footprint.
- Influence. We are an engaged investor and exercise our influence to resolve social challenges.
As a large investor, we can exercise a lot of influence over the policies of companies we invest in. Ideally, we work with the companies in our portfolio to find solutions for social problems by entering into dialogue (engagement) with those where we have identified social challenges. We also attend shareholders’ meetings and vote according to our guidelines. See Engagement and Voting at shareholders’ meetings.
- Making an impact. We invest with a positive social impact.
The previous steps are focused mainly on avoiding or reducing adverse impact but in this step we turn this around. Some of our investments have the explicit aim, apart from a responsible investment result, of making a positive impact on the local environment. We are specifically aiming to make a real impact. We believe that an impact is only real if it is intentional and measurable. We take account of social challenges in ESG integration when selecting individual investment instruments. See Impact investments and Integration of ESG criteria.
- Reporting. We are transparent and explain what we stand for and what we do.
Here, on our website, we set out at length what we do. We explain our policy and present various reports. Achmea also speaks regularly with stakeholders, such as social institutions, the government and our customers and we are, for example, a member of the Agreement for International Responsible Investment in the Insurance Sector. We assess our SRI policy by the UN PRI, Fair Insurance Guide (Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer) and the VBDO.
Achmea embeds its SRI policy in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, specifically SDGs 3 (Good health & well-being), 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and 13 (Climate action). Our policy is focused, in line with these SDGs, on five core themes:
▪ Human rights
▪ Labour standards
▪ Nature & Environment
See Achmea’s responsible investment policy (Dutch) for more background information and explanations and the accents we have introduced to it.
Achmea is a major insurance company and pension fund manager and, as such, a large investor. We invest the resources we receive from our insurance activities, such as premiums, for our own account and risk. Achmea has set an objective to make these investments in a socially responsible way and uses several responsible investing instruments for this. This report sets out the latest position on the way these instruments are applied in practice.
Download the 2021 first half-year report here (Dutch).
Download the 2020 first half-year report here (Dutch).
Download the 2020 second half-year report here (Dutch).
Earlier reports are available on the ‘Publications’ page.