APG wants to make sure that our pension funds are able to provide their participants with a good pension. At the same time, we also want to contribute to a sustainable world with good quality of life. For current and future generations. These two pursuits actually go very well together, so we know from experience. To be able to offer people an attractive pension - now and in the future - we invest participants’ pension premiums in a way that is responsible.
Responsible investing does by no means mean compromising on returns.
For every single investment, regardless of the investment category, we weigh the ESG criteria, meaning that we decide on whether or not to go ahead with an investment based on environmental impact, social impact, and good governance. These criteria are just as important to us as returns, costs, and risk. This empowers us to make better investment decisions, especially since we invest for the long term.
Engage or exclude
In recent years, our investment specialists have been assessing companies consistently on their sustainability credentials and conduct in the area of corporate social responsibility. These assessments enable us to make conscientious investment choices. We invest only in companies that meet our criteria of sustainable and responsible practices. But what about the companies that do not? We place those on our exclusion list, which had 159 companies on it in 2019. Or we engage with them, which we did with 716 companies in 2019, as we tried to get them to make their operations more sustainable. This latter option is the one we prefer. It potentially has a more positive effect than merely excluding or disposing of a certain investment, which would see our influence disappear altogether.
Let us know what you are doing
At APG, we have fully integrated sustainability criteria into all our investment decisions. We share information about these criteria both with our customers and with the outside world. Aside from that, in our asset management we take our lead from the way in which our customers, the pension funds, want to pursue responsible investment. Are there specific areas (for example renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, and hydro) that the fund particularly wants to invest in? Does the fund exclude any industries? We help pension funds in their communications with their participants, legislators, and the media to get their responsible investing message across.