Responsible investment guidelines

In addition to laws and legislation, Achmea aligns itself with several treaties, principles and initiatives that provide valuable frameworks for socially responsible investments. We decided to follow several (international) guidelines and initiatives that provide guidance on how we want to implement our investment policy. In this, we have also taken into account our own focus themes.
 

Guidelines & initiatives

Principles for responsible investment (PSI)

The insurance industry and the United Nations (UNEP FI) have laid down global agreements on sustainable insurance in the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI). Achmea is one of the initiators who signed the PSI in 2012. Wherever we can, we exert our influence for a better environment, ofhuman rights and good governance. The PSI help us to deal with social, ecological and governance risks. These include among others: the ageing population, more expensive healthcare, extinction of plants and animals, the growing gap between rich and poor and climate change. In our annual report we render account of how we implement the PSI.

Global Compact UN

Achmea uses the international guidelines of the UN Global Compact as a standards framework. These guidelines originated from internationally-accepted treaties, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the anti-corruption principles contained in the UN Convention against Corruption. The UN Global Compact requires companies to embrace, support and practise the core values relating to human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption within their own sphere of influence.

OECD guidance for institutional investors 

The OECD guidance for institutional investors provides a framework for analysing the companies in which we invest in accordance with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The guidelines describe what is expected of companies when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It offers businesses advice on dealing with issues such as supply chain responsibility, human rights, child labour, the environment and corruption.

IRBC agreement for the insurance sector 

Via the International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) agreement for the insurance sector we we are committed to work on  environmental and social themes as well as good governance through our investment policy. Insurers are expected to make a careful estimate (due diligence) of the material sustainability risks in their investment portfolios. The agreement is based on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and UN Guiding Principles for Businesses and Human Rights. Achmea incorporates the principles from the IRBC agreement into its policy, processes and reporting. Each year Achmea conducts a self-assessment and accounts for this to an independent monitoring committee appointed by the IRBC agreement for the insurance sector.

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP)

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are international standards on human rights to which countries and businesses need to adhere. These were approved by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011 and contain three pillars: protect, respect and remedy. Each pillar defines tangible, practical steps for governments and businesses to fulfil their respective obligations and responsibilities to prevent human rights violations in business operations and to provide solutions if such violations occur.

ICGN Global Corporate Governance Principles

Governance Network (ICGN). These describe the responsibilities of management boards and shareholders and are aimed at enhancing dialogue between the two parties.

Dutch Stewardship Code

The Dutch Stewardship Code explains how institutional investors can fulfil their responsibilities as active and responsible shareholders in a manner that contributes to long-term value creation by the listed Dutch companies in which they invest and in turn to the return on their investments.

Green Bond Principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA)

We assess the quality of the Green Bonds prior to any decision to invest in them. This is done using the ICMA Green Bond Principles and the guidelines (taxonomy) issued by the Climate Bonds Initiative.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

The GRI reporting framework comprises widely-accepted reporting standards for the economic, environmental and social performance of an organisation. It can be found on the GRI website (www.globalreporting.org). The report by Achmea’s Executive Board is compiled using this GRI framework.

Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)

The GRESB is an independent benchmark that rates property funds and portfolios worldwide and compares their performance on sustainability. Fund managers can use the GRESB scores to review their sustainability policy and implement improvements.

GPR Gebouw

GPR Gebouw is used in real estate investments to assess the sustainability of properties against the themes of energy, the environment, health, user quality and future value. 

BREEAM

BREEAM-NL has been the certification method for the sustainable built environment since 2009. This method enables projects to be assessed on overall sustainability.

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

The TCFD is an initiative of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) aimed at improving reporting on climate-related financial information. It provides recommendations on information that businesses can report so that investors, lenders and insurers can assess the financial risks of climate change.

International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)

The ICGN is an international organisation that contributes to developing international standards for corporate governance.

Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge

Achmea signed the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge in 2018. This creates a public platform for promoting tobacco-free financing and the importance of extensive tobacco control.

Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) Paris Proof Commitment

The Dutch Green Building Council is a national organisation that works to make the built environment future-proof.  Both Achmea Interne Diensten and Syntrus Achmea have signed the DGBC’s Paris Proof Commitment. In doing so, we align ourselves with ambitious targets to make our own properties and the real estate in which we invest more sustainable more quickly and to reduce energy consumption by two thirds, and with that the associated  carbon emissions.co control.
 

Signatures

Paris Pledge for Action 

Achmea signed the Paris Pledge for Action in 2015. The signatories expressed their support for the climate agreement signed during the COP21 meeting in Paris (the Paris Agreement). In doing so, organisations, including Achmea, confirm their commitment to a safe and stable climate in which the rise in temperatures is limited to well below 2 degrees Celsius. 

Financial sector’s climate commitment

In 2019, together with other financial institutions, Achmea committed itself via the financial sector’s climate commitment to the climate goals contained in the Dutch National Climate Agreement. The parties involved agree to measure and report on the carbon content of the relevant loans and investments. In addition, they undertake to publish action plans that contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

Finance for Biodiversity Pledge

In 2021, Achmea signed the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge. This is an initiative of a group of European financial institutions that work together under the EU Business and Biodiversity Platform based on a desire to prevent further loss of nature and biodiversity around the world.
 

Legislation

SFDR statements

The European Union has drawn up rules governing the provision of information on sustainability in the financial sector. These rules are known as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). The SFDR aims to increase transparency on the effects of sustainability by improving investment policies and investment decisions taken by financial market parties. This will make it easier to understand the role sustainability plays in the investment policy. The SFDR statements can be downloaded here.
 

Partnerships

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, is a global database containing information on the impact of organisations on the environment, such as greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and water consumption. The aim of the CDP is to improve the transparency of environmental impact data and support sustainable business practices by helping companies to measure, monitor and reduce harm to the environment.

Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF)

Via the exchange of information, the PBAF aims to contribute to a harmonised approach to assessing and measuring the financial sector’s impact on biodiversity.

Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF)

The objective of the PCAF is, via the exchange of information, to develop and enhance an open-source method for measuring the carbon footprint of investments and loans.

Climate Action 100+

Achmea has joined the Climate Action 100+ initiative. This is an investor initiative aimed at ensuring that the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases implement the necessary measures to combat climate change.

Dutch Association of Insurers

Achmea is a member of the Dutch Association of Insurers, the national sector organisation for non-life and life insurance companies. Via this association, we conduct conversations with the government (at both Dutch and European level), other (sector) organisations, supervisory authorities, social organisations and the media. Together with other members and stakeholders we work via this association on solutions to problems relating e.g. to retirement services or social security, but also to home security or the consequences of climate change. necessary measures to combat climate change.

Dutch Fund and Asset Management Association (DUFAS)

Achmea Investment Management B.V. is a member of DUFAS. DUFAS drew up a Code for Asset Managers in 2014. This code contains ten basic principles relating primarily to putting the interests of clients, a sound governance structure for asset managers and investment funds and a high degree of transparency on performance and fees first.

Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO)

The VBDO is the association for Dutch investors that focus specifically on creating a sustainable society. The aim is to represent the interests of those institutional and private investors that wish to contribute to sustainable development.

Platform Living Wage Financials (PLWF)

The PLWF is an alliance of financial institutions that encourage and monitor the companies in which they invest to bring an end to the practice of not paying a living wage in the clothing industry’s global supply chain.

Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNI)

The Access to Nutrition Foundation is an independent NGO that encourages private companies to contribute to addressing global food problems. Achmea IM is a signatory of the Access to Nutrition Index Investor Statement.thing industry’s global supply chain.

Healthy Markets Initiative

Achmea has decided to participate in the Healthy Markets Initiative. This is an initiative for institutional investors to engage with supermarkets on promoting healthy food.

Healthy Markets Initiative

Achmea has decided to participate in the Healthy Markets Initiative. This is an initiative for institutional investors to engage with supermarkets on promoting healthy food.

Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA)

Achmea joined the Net Zero Insurance Alliance in 2021.The NZIA is an initiative of the United Nations in which insurers work together on scientifically based standards and methods to measure the carbon footprint of insurance portfolios and to set reduction targets for this. Participants in the NZIA commit to insurance portfolio that have net-zero CO₂-emissions no later than 2050.lthy food.

Principles for responsible investment (PSI)

The insurance industry and the United Nations (UNEP FI) have laid down global agreements on sustainable insurance in the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI). Achmea is one of the initiators who signed the PSI in 2012. Wherever we can, we exert our influence for a better environment, ofhuman rights and good governance. The PSI help us to deal with social, ecological and governance risks. These include among others: the ageing population, more expensive healthcare, extinction of plants and animals, the growing gap between rich and poor and climate change. In our annual report we render account of how we implement the PSI.

Energy Efficient Mortgage Netherlands Hub (EEM NL Hub)

Achmea has been a member of the Energy Efficient Mortgage Netherlands Hub since 2021. This is an alliance that includes mortgage providers, investors and service institutions from the mortgage sector. The EEM NL Hub was set up to interpret regulations on sustainability, such as the EU Taxonomy and the goals of the Paris Agreement, and to apply them to the Dutch mortgage and housing market. Its objective is to develop a clear standard for green mortgages.