The board of Pensioenfonds PGB has decided to take its current intensive socially responsible investment policy to a higher level by opting for an integrated sustainability policy.
Jochem Dijckmeester, chair of the Board of Pensioenfonds PGB: 'This integrated approach means that we will implement our criteria for investing in sustainable development, including our climate targets, in every aspect of our investment portfolio. We believe that as a pension fund we can have a positive impact on our environment in this way'.
Based on this conviction, Pensioenfonds PGB is now also open to impact investments with returns. These are investments aimed at positive effects on society. Financial returns remain leading, but not at any price.
Jacqueline van Voorthuizen, portfolio manager and a specialist in socially responsible investing, is very pleased that this step is taken. 'It shows that our Board is ambitious when it comes to the influence we, as an asset manager, can have on a better world. And that is also in the interests of our participants and pensioners!'
Sustainable Development Goals
In the integrated SRI policy, the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will be decisive (see picture below). These Sustainable Development Goals, signed by almost all the countries in the world, are intended to make the world a better place by 2030.
Jacqueline: 'The great thing is, many major investors have embraced these goals, as have we. One of the goals, for example, is to manage to eliminate hunger. This is something different from not investing in companies that commit fraud with their financial statements, for instance. It goes much further. And I think this is a good thing. You can no longer look away when it comes to the environment, climate, human rights and social relations. We are all responsible for these together. We too, as a pension fund. With our investments we can influence the world around us. Although that influence is modest, it is our responsibility to use it positively. That's what I call socially responsible investment'.
The participants’ choice
Pensioenfonds PGB also presented the sustainability goals to its own stakeholders. This showed which five of the seventeen goals the participants considered the most important. These are the goals in the areas of health and well-being (SDG3*), sustainable energy (SDG7), decent work and economic growth (SDG8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG9) and climate (SDG13).
Jacqueline: 'These five goals will soon receive extra attention in our investment choices, without losing sight of the other twelve. But we are not that far yet. First we are going to screen our entire portfolio carefully for the sustainability goals in general and the choice of participants in particular. To find out where we stand. Then we can steer things in the direction we deem appropriate and desirable.
*SDG = Sustainable Development Goals