news and press News a.s.r. receives recognition by VBDO for commitment to biodiversity
News Utrecht 30 June 2022 09:00 EU/Amsterdam

a.s.r. recognized by VBDO for its comprehensive biodiversity strategy

Research by the Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) into biodiversity, working conditions in the chain and diversity, shows that a.s.r. performs well on all these three themes. Of the 38 listed Dutch companies included in the survey, a.s.r. is the only insurer to score this high.

The Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) again this year examined the policy of Dutch listed companies – this time there were 38 – on three sustainable themes. The themes of working conditions in the chain and diversity had already been included in the survey two years earlier. The theme of biodiversity was new.

Angélique Laskewitz, director of VBDO, says: ‘In the periods 2003-2005 and 2010-2013 we already looked at the extent to which biodiversity was on the agenda of the business community. Actually, we see that Dutch companies hardly paid any attention to it at the time, although many were, and still are, dependent on it in one or more respects. Preserving biodiversity is therefore extremely important, and decrease poses a real risk to them.’ as stated in the press release.

According to the research, a.s.r. scores within the category 'leading' on all three themes - the other two categories are 'learning' and 'lagging'. For the themes of diversity and biodiversity, a.s.r. is the only insurer that ranks among the top.

In the study, a.s.r. is praised for its comprehensive biodiversity strategy. For example, a.s.r. plays a leading role in discussions with food producers about the importance of the protein transition from animal to vegetable. a.s.r. has also committed itself to the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge: by 2024 at the latest, a.s.r. will have insight into the positive and negative impact of its investments on biodiversity and objectives have been formulated. As a partner of the Biodiversity Pledge, a.s.r. is putting the theme of biodiversity on the agenda of financial institutions.

Jack Julicher, CEO a.s.r. asset management: 'As a.s.r. we are pleased with the recognition we are receiving for our commitment to biodiversity. The qualification 'leading' is a confirmation that we are on the right track with our current efforts and strategy. In addition to climate change, we see the conservation and restoration of biodiversity as an important challenge and we recognize that the financial sector plays a crucial role in bringing about change. This kind of research contributes to keeping it on the agenda and stimulating attention for biodiversity.'

Main conclusions of the AGM engagement report 2022: Keep Up  
• For 85% of Dutch companies conservation of biodiversity is seen as important;
• Financial institutions in particular are putting pressure on companies for improvement;
• Only 26% of the companies surveyed have concrete objectives for preserving biodiversity

Please find the original press release from VBDO: Biodiversity found to be important theme for Dutch listed companies

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.

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