Engagement: talking to companies

Achmea encourages good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility by talking actively to companies in whose shares or corporate bonds it invests. The process usually takes three years. Achmea Investment Management (Achmea IM) carries out the engagement policy. Through the dialogue with companies that Achmea IM undertakes on Achmea’s behalf, we try to enhance investment value and sustainable conduct and quality of governance. Active, engaged ownership of shares or bonds can cover human rights, working conditions, environment and ethics, but subjects such as changes in the corporate structure, controlling rights or remuneration policy are also addressed. A condition is that the company’s management can influence the issue.

Achmea and the dialogue

We enter into dialogue from many angles:

Themed engagement

Achmea enters into talks on an ESG theme as the owner of shares or bonds with companies and tries to increase investment value and improve sustainable conduct and the quality of governance.

Normative engagement

Achmea believes it is important to talk with companies which breach widely-supported international standards such as the Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This normative engagement is undertaken by Achmea IM. The aim of the dialogue is to bring an end to suspected or confirmed violations of human rights, working conditions, environmental or anti-corruption standards.

Focus engagement

A focus engagement can be started if the theme where we believe a company must improve its performance is a core theme for Achmea—human rights, working conditions, nature and environment, health, climate change—and Achmea wants a specific profile vis-à-vis that company.

Issue engagement

If an NGO tackles Achmea on an issue where it is thought that Achmea can have a positive influence on a company through its investments, we start talks on it.