APG reduces equities’ carbon footprint by 28% in 2018
Written by Sunniva Kolostyak
Dutch pensions asset manager APG has reduced the carbon footprint of its equity portfolio by 28 per cent and increased investments in companies contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with €13.9bn in 2018.
By the end of 2018, APG had invested €69.2bn, around 15 per cent of assets under management, in SDG-supportive investment, compared to €55.3bn in 2017. This was revealed in the Responsible Investment Report 2018, published today.
Its two largest pension fund clients, ABP and bpfBOUW, have specific targets for Sustainable Development Investments (SDIs) in 2020 and APG, together with PGGM, have developed a framework for determining which companies with their products and services contribute to sustainable development.
The reduction of the equity investments’ carbon footprint decreased by 28 per cent against the reference year 2014, bypassing the pension fund clients’ ambition to reduce emissions by 25 per cent.
Furthermore, APG’s investments in renewable energy amounted to about €3.25bn, 11 per cent of total investments in the energy sector.
The asset manager said in a statement on the report: “APG wants to enable the pension fund clients to provide their beneficiaries with a good pension in a liveable world. By looking at more than just financial factors, APG believes it can make better long-term investment decisions and, at the same time, contribute to a sustainable future.”
In 2018, APG has also taken significant steps forward with the ‘inclusion policy’. This means that
All shares and bonds APG can invest in are also being assessed by an ‘inclusion policy’, in terms of risk, return, costs, and how responsibly they operate. APG can invest in about 10,000 companies, and by the end of the year, APG had assessed 7,700 companies (2017: 600) on the basis of these criteria.
“Our clients have indicated that, from 2020 onwards, they only want to invest in companies that meet all criteria, or that can reasonably be expected to improve as a result of investor engagement,” APG said.
The manager also noted that research by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) found APG to be the only asset manager in the world with an AAA-rating when it comes to taking into account the effects of global warming on investments.