APG and other global investors have established the Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP). Applying pioneering technology, the platform enables investors to assess companies on their contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals, set by the United Nations in 2015, aim for a better, more prosperous world by addressing global issues such as clean water, good healthcare, and protecting the environment.
APG and PGGM, which announced their cooperation to set up the SDI Asset Owner Platform in September 2019, have recently been joined by AustralianSuper and British Colombia Investment Management Corporation (BCI). Collectively, the launching partners have over US$ 1 trillion in assets under management.
Solving data challenges
Investments in companies whose products or services contribute to the realization of the SDGs are called Sustainable Development Investments (SDIs). An increasing number of global investors aim to understand the contribution they make, through their investments, to the Sustainable Development Goals. But a lack of quality data to identify contributions to the SDGs has been an impediment for them. The SDI Asset Owner Platform’s measurement framework helps investors to imbed the SDGs into their investment processes and allows them to shift more capital to the SDIs. It also enables them to report to their clients and external stakeholders transparently and consistently.
“Launching this standard with asset owners from three continents shows our commitment to contribute to the SDGs”, says Claudia Kruse, Managing Director and heading up APG’s Global Responsible Investment & Governance team. “This is part of our commitment to our clients on whose behalf we invest in order to provide affordable pension in a sustainable world.”
The SDI Asset Owner Platform provides a common definition, taxonomy, and data source for investments in the SDGs.
Powered by Artificial Intelligence technology, data science company Entis generates SDI classifications for 8,000 companies to date. The SDI definition and taxonomy are public and equally applicable to private market investments. The SDI classifications will be available through Qontigo.
Commitment to the SDGs
APG co-launces this initiative on behalf of its pension fund clients. Our two largest clients have set ambitious targets for investing in the SDGs; Dutch civil service pension fund ABP aims to invest 20% of assets under management in the SDGs by 2025 whereas Dutch builders pension fund bpfBOUW targets to have €12 billion in SDIs by the end of 2020.
“Together we are leading the way in sustainable investing”, says Claudia. “The SDI AOP welcomes investors across the globe to subscribe, creating a critical mass of investors who together define the meaning of investing in the SDGs.”