ABP: accelerating sustainability with investments

By William Girling
Dutch pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP has expressed a desire to break away from ‘dirty’ investments and focus on sustainability instead. I...

Dutch pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP has expressed a desire to break away from ‘dirty’ investments and focus on sustainability instead.

In a press release on the company’s website, ABP set out its goal to reduce its investment portfolio in high CO2 emitting industries (coal mines and tar sands) by 40% by 2025. Concurrently, the company intends to invest €15bn in sustainable energy instead.

With an overall strategy aimed at gradually weaning off companies that use fossil fuels to generate electricity, ABP aims to have stopped this entirely by 2030 and have an entirely carbon-neutral portfolio by 2050.

Additionally, ABP would seek to place 20% of its total assets into the Sustainable Development Goals - a blueprint for a globally sustainable future set out by the United Nations.

A holistic transformation

ABP’s decision to overhaul its portfolio isn’t just limited to the aforementioned; the company is developing a full-spectrum transformation of the way it does business. 

Corien Wortwann, Chairwoman of the Board, said that providing finance to the companies enabling sustainability was the best way forward.

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“As a pension fund, we want to contribute through investments in these three transitions to

achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”

“In addition to climate goals, we are also working on circularity and digitisation,” she said. “We are going to invest more in companies that are working on the reuse of raw materials and responsible food production and in companies that are seeking digitisation solutions to combat climate change and scarcity of resources.”

Technology and the circular economy

Aware that investment of capital is only part of the solution, ABP is also dedicated to ensuring that cultural shift and technological enablement are being given proper consideration.

Circular economic theories are being introduced to curb the increasing strain on natural resources, with the company pledging to establish assessment criteria for supplier companies in order to encourage circularity. 

New, revolutionary technologies such as 3D printers, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are all envisaged by ABP as playing a part in the future of sustainability. Their collective ability to create value and generate solutions to problems will be invaluable, the company says, in the ongoing mission to achieve carbon-neutrality globally.

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