BSM/Investment Management

Achmea’s role as an institutional investor means that responsible investing is an inseparable part of our investment strategy. As investing the premiums entrusted to us is a major part of our business, Achmea wants to do this in a socially responsible way: with respect for people and the local environment but also based on an open dialogue with our stakeholders. Achmea wants its responsible investment policy to make a positive contribution to ‘People, Profit & Planet’.
Emissions of greenhouse gases are putting the equilibrium temperature on Earth under ever greater pressure. The Paris Climate Agreement, which was signed by almost every country in the world at the end of 2015, is designed to ensure that the global increase in temperatures is limited to 1.5 to 2°C over the next few decades. Achmea wants to contribute, in part through its investments, to achieving that target.
 

Climate

Climate is a major theme for Achmea. Partly because of our role as an insurer facing higher claims as a result of more and fiercer rainfall and storms and, partly because of our role as investor and the associated obligation to have a responsible investment policy in which we tackle the climate issue. An example of this is reducing the CO2 emissions of companies in our investment portfolios. By using instruments such as engagement, we want to achieve a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions by all the businesses we invest in.

Carbon footprint

One subject we are tackling is measuring and, based on that, reducing the level of CO2 emissions (carbon footprint) of the companies in our portfolios. In 2017 we started measuring the carbon footprint of a large portion of the equity investments held on our own account and risk. From 2018 we are also doing this for our corporate bond portfolio. And in 2019 we further expanded this with our investments in government bonds and mortgages. With this we have mapped the CO2 footprint of almost 60% of our investments for our own account and risk.
By adjusting the composition of the portfolios in respect of companies emitting CO2 (giving less weight to those with high CO2 emissions and more to those with low CO2 emissions), we are achieving a reduction in the carbon footprint of the equity and corporate bond portfolios.
 

Voting at shareholders’ meetings

Achmea can influence companies by the way it uses its voting rights at shareholders’ meetings. For the climate change theme, this is mainly by voting on or submitting shareholder resolutions. In the first half of 2019, Achmea supported climate resolutions on a 2-degree scenario and transition to a low-carbon business model at an e-commerce company and three fossil fuel companies.
 

Engagement

Engagement
Dialogue with companies is a key part of Achmea’s responsible investing policy. Since 2015 we have entered into dialogue on reducing greenhouse gas emissions with companies in the real estate sector, utilities, the automotive industry and oil and gas. At the end of 2017, this dialogue resulted in Climate Action 100+, an initiative by investors with the aim of engaging with the companies with the highest greenhouse gas emissions in the world. It also has the aim of improving governance in respect of climate change, limiting emissions and increasing the transparency of climate-related financial reporting. This initiative has now been signed by more than 450 investors representing a total of USD 40 trillion in assets under management.

In early 2019, Achmea worked on sixteen engagement projects on a wide range of subjects with companies around the world. These range from making the meat and fish industry more sustainable to breaches of anti-corruption arrangements and ESG risks and opportunities in the bio-pharmaceutical industry. There is more information about this in the half-year reports.

Exclusion of coal and tar sands

Since 2019, Achmea has excluded companies that generate more than 30% of their revenues from coal or extracting oil from tar sands, or from the use of coal or oil from tar sands for the production of electricity.

Impact investing

Currently we are investing in renewable energy, including via infrastructure funds and green bonds. We are examining whether we can significantly increase these investments on acceptable terms.