AG has over time built a very strong reputation for sustainable and responsible investment. In 2020, its approach to Socially Responsible Investments (SRI) was further enhanced, driving deeper engagement with those companies that AG invests in. With some 6 billion invested in sustainable assets, transparency has never been more important.
Our approach, based on Ageas’s SRI framework, continues to evolve. It starts by laying out those activities AG chooses not to invest in, so those explicitly excluded from the portfolio. These include among others the weapons industry, tobacco, tax havens, thermal coal, and financial embargoes. Next, we integrate ESG into our analysis going beyond the financial figures to consider the environmental, social and governance risks of our investments. And in 2020 we went a step further, promoting a more proactive dialogue with the companies we invest in. We demand transparency on environmental, social and governance data and push hard for more commitment to sustainable objectives focusing in particular on the energy sector and major investments. The framework is applied to all assets including traditional and sustainable products.
Of the EUR 6 billion currently invested in sustainable assets, EUR 2 billion is invested in infrastructure projects of which more than EUR 400 million is in renewable energy such as offshore windmills and solar panels. On the latter, AG Real Estate and Heylen Warehouses joined forces in 2020 to invest in the world’s most powerful sunroof with a combined capacity of more than 18-Megawatt peak sitting on the roof of the VE Commerce Campus in Venlo in the Netherlands. In addition, some EUR 3.7 billion is invested in social housing loans. And finally, some EUR 700 million is invested in green, sustainable and social bonds.
Click here to read more about Ageas's SRI framework
AG also offers a broad and increasingly large range of sustainable products including pension products, long terms savings and unit linked products. Some 95% of these have attracted external certification such as the Towards Sustainability label. AG is the only insurer in the market to be able to offer fully certified Branch 21 (Life insurance with guaranteed return) sustainable products with the Towards Sustainability label. Some 14 new sustainable products have been added to the sustainable products range this year bringing the total amount to EUR 11 billion.
We are particularly proud to be the only Belgian insurer able to legitimately market truly Branch 21 sustainable products that carry this important mark of authenticity and excellence – the Towards Sustainability label. Securing so many new labels in the past year has been a major achievement and a major step forward in our evolving SRI strategy.
*Disclaimer: Towards Sustainability certification is awarded for a period of one year and is reviewed every year. For B23 structured funds, certification is awarded for the duration of the fund. Towards Sustainability is a quality standard under the supervision of the Central Labelling Agency of the Belgian SRI Label (CLA). This standard sets a number of minimum requirements that sustainable financial products must meet, both at the portfolio level and in the investment process. More information about the certification can be found on www.towardssustainability.be/en/quality-standard.
Earning this certification does not mean that this financial product meets your own sustainability objectives or that the certification fulfils the requirements of future national or EU regulations. You can find more information on this subject at www.fsma.be/fr/finance-durable (in French).