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news and press News Investors jointly call on corporates to drastically ramp up action on plastics
News Utrecht 04 May 2023 09:00 EU/Amsterdam

Investors jointly call on corporates to drastically ramp up action on plastics

a.s.r. joins 185 international investors to sign a collective statement against the use of plastics. Coordinated by the Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO), the investors, with combined assets under management of US$10 trillion, are joining forces and calling for more action to address the plastics crisis. Investors are raising concerns about the threat of plastics to the environment, climate, biodiversity, human rights and public health. The signatories are asking companies in the Fast Mover Consumer Goods (FMCG) and retail sector to make additional efforts to adopt a more radical approach to reduce their reliance on plastics.

Over 180 investors, including Dutch parties such as Achmea, ACTIAM , a.s.r. and MN, coordinated by the Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO), are calling for more action to address the plastics crisis. Companies should drastically reduce the consumption of single-use plastic packaging and introduce packaging reuse systems, phase out hazardous chemicals in plastic, and advocate for - not against - policies that support these actions. 

In a joint statement, the signatories warn that the entire life cycle of plastic poses a serious and growing threat to the world. The estimated societal costs of plastic pollution - including environmental cleanup, ecosystem degradation, shorter life expectancy and medical treatments - exceed $100 billion annually.

The signatories argue that failing to address these impacts exposes companies to financial risks that threaten value creation and investment returns, given the wave of action to tighten legislation around the world, the increasing number of lawsuits against companies, and potential threat to brand value. By signing this statement, investors are asking companies to dramatically increase efforts to address the plastic crisis. 

Raquel Criado Larrea, Head of Sustainable Investments at a.s.r.: ‘As a.s.r., we recognize the role the financial sector has in the path to a sustainable and livable world. To tackle the plastics crisis, however, we must act together. So we welcome the initiative of the VBDO. By signing this collective statement we, as the financial sector, are making ourselves heard; we must take action against this polluting plastic mountain. Ultimately, this is necessary in order to achieve the Paris climate goals. We see the challenge facing the business community, which must look for sustainable alternatives. We at a.s.r. asset management are happy to enter into discussions with companies on this, in order to accelerate the path to a circular economy. But we also ask the sector itself to accelerate its efforts.’

About VBDO
VBDO is the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development. Since their founding in 1995, they are convinced that a more sustainable and responsible capital market leads to a healthier and more just world. As an independent association they are a passionate instigator, motivator and knowledge leader for responsible investment among financial institutions and sustainable business operations at listed companies. Their members consist of institutional and private investors, as well as a number of leading NGOs. They thus represent more than 80% of the capital invested by Dutch investors and are seen as an important and respected discussion partner for the media and politicians, among others.

Press release VBDO: Investors with US$10 trillion AuM call on corporates to drastically ramp up action on plastics. 

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