We have chosen to make responsible investing part of our investment policy
First of all, the Pension Fund has to ensure sufficient certainty and return in order to be able to meet its obligations. We also want to contribute to a decent future for current and forthcoming generations. In our investments therefore, we take account of issues such as employment and human rights, care for the environment and good governance at the companies in which we invest. This is known as responsible investing or ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance).
We have chosen to make responsible investing part of our investment policy. This means that the various aspects of responsible investing will be considered in all major investment decisions. We believe this is in the interests of both the Pension Fund itself and its members. Taking account of these aspects actually contributes to mitigating the risks for the Pension Fund, such as risks arising from corruption or involvement in undesirable activities. A focus on sustainability also helps to protect the value of our investments in the longer term.
What we invest in
In our investments we focus on people, the environment, social relations and good governance. Of course we do not invest in activities that are prohibited by law or international treaties.
We invest in bonds (loans from governments and businesses) (70%), equities (15%) and real estate (15%). Our sustainable approach invests partly in equity funds from Northern Trust, which performs an in-depth ESG screening of the companies in which we invest. Sustainability is also a factor determining the attractiveness of a company in the bond funds from Robeco and M&G. Lastly, M&G is working actively on improving the sustainability of our real estate portfolio.
What we do not invest in
If a company does not meet certain sustainability criteria, it will be excluded from the Pension Fund portfolio. For example:
- Companies involved in the production or distribution of weapons;
- Companies in breach of the Global Compact;
- The coal industry;
- The tobacco industry.
We act as an engaged shareholder by exercising influence on the companies in which we invest. Northern Trust does this on behalf of the Pension Fund by using our voting rights at shareholder meetings and engaging in dialogue with companies as a shareholder.
Execution of the investments
We do not execute investments ourselves, as this is delegated to several specialist asset managers. These are:
- Equities: Northern Trust:
- Bonds: Robeco and M&G
- Real estate: M&G and CBRE Real Estate
The criteria set by the Pension Fund with respect to responsible investing also apply to these asset managers and the Pension Fund expects them to report on the conduct of their ESG policy.
Frequently asked questions
What are the criteria set by the Pension Fund for responsible investing?
In all our major investment decisions, we consider sustainability criteria as well as other criteria, such as the quality of the asset managers and the investment teams. Our decision to invest in funds means that responsible investing cannot always be cost-effective. We do however continuously look at how we can select more sustainable investments without losing sight of our primary objective: to realise a return that is sufficient to meet our pension obligations.