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news and press News a.s.r. recognized for iys efforts to protect and conserve biodiversity
News Utrecht 19 May 2022 10:00 EU/Amsterdam

a.s.r. recognized for its efforts to protect and conserve biodiversity

The Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer (“The Fair Insurance Guide”) looked into the biodiversity policy and actions of the Dutch insurance sector. With this research, the Fair Insurance Guide wants to contribute to, among other things; influencing the intentions of insurers, reducing the negative impact on biodiversity, and reducing the pressure on biodiversity and recovery. a.s.r. scores the highest of the nine assessed insurers with a 10 and is therefore recognized for its current policy on biodiversity and impact investments.

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The Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer, which has been examining the investment policy of insurers on a number of sustainability criteria since 2013, chose the theme of biodiversity this year with a focus on food systems. When it comes to biodiversity, people often look at relatively well-known deforestation raw materials, such as palm oil and soy. In this study, however, the Fair Insurance Guide chose to investigate raw materials that hardly receive any attention: maize, salmon aquaculture and cocoa. They examined nine companies that have a major impact on the ecosystems of these raw materials. Insurers were assessed in the survey on their policy (20%), investments (60%) and nature-positive investments (20%) with regard to these sectors.

a.s.r., Achmea and Athora Netherlands belong to the leading group of insurers surveyed. With an average score of 10, a.s.r. received the highest score overall, partly thanks to the investments in companies that stimulate biodiversity.

a.s.r. asset management invests in five of the nine companies surveyed. Within these companies, a.s.r. practices a clear engagement policy, which means that a.s.r. encourages companies to improve policies and actions on biodiversity. In addition, a.s.r. invests in companies that can combat biodiversity loss, an example of this is the investment in Novameat, a company that produces cultured vegetable meat.

Jack Julicher, CEO a.s.r. asset management: ‘We are proud to be recognized by the Eerlijke Verzekreingswijzer for our commitment and engagement to biodiversity. We acknowledge that insurers play an important role in driving the transition to their preservation and restoration. In 2020 we therefore committed ourselves to the ‘Finance for Biodiversity Pledge’, the pledge with which we put the rapidly declining biodiversity on the agenda of financial institutions. For example, we have taken various steps, both in our own investment process and with various publications, to inform and inspire other financial institutions. This kind of research contributes to keeping biodiversity on the agenda and to stimulate it.’

About de Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer (The Fair Insurance Guide Netherlands)
The Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer is a coalition of the following organisations: Amnesty International, Milieudefensie, Oxfam Novib, PAX and World Animal Protection. The Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer aims to encourage corporate social responsibility by insurance companies. Fair Finance Guide Netherlands is part of Fair Finance International (FFI), an international civil society network with over 100 CSO partners and allies in fifteen countries, that seeks to strengthen the commitment of banks and other financial institutions to social, environmental and human rights standards. For this specific study, the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands was a content partner.

About a.s.r. asset management and the Biodiversity Pledge
At a.s.r. asset management, we are taking steps in the field of biodiversity in several areas. For example, we are involved in various companies where we place the loss of biodiversity on the agenda. We do this at Bunge, among others, which is currently the largest processor of oilseeds such as soybeans worldwide. Bunge is committed to Zero Deforestation and aims to achieve this across the entire supply chain by 2025. We speak to them about this and closely follow the developments and their efforts in this regard. Another company we are involved with is Mondelez, a major player in the cocoa industry. Cocoa farming has a direct impact on deforestation due to the low income for cocoa farmers. Emphasizing a living income reduces the need to establish more cocoa plantations. Mondelez has this high on the agenda and we discuss their approach in this. For more information on our asset manager, visit a.s.r. vermogensbeheer.


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