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Environmental protection

Aegon's main operations, which account for 80% of our emissions, are carbon neutral. We are also reducing environmental impact by mitigating carbon risks in our investment portfolio, and calling governments to take action.

Carbon neutral

During 2016, our main operations, which are responsible for around 80% of our emissions became carbon neutral. Of this, the US accounted for 87% of emissions, the UK for 3%, and the Netherlands for the remaining 10%.

Other country units will continue to take responsibility for reducing their own carbon emissions and for the local purchase of renewable energy. It is our intention that these units will also become carbon neutral in the future.

Aegon will continue to reduce its consumption of electricity, gas and air travel, but since air travel and a certain level of gas consumption is unavoidable, carbon offsets will provide a practical and globally-acknowledged solution.

Carbon offset programs were chosen in countries where we operate, and where the programs would deliver the most impact, in line with UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Aegon has selected two programs, one to reduce indoor air pollution in China, and the second to improve clean energy infrastructure in Turkey. Both projects significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as creating a whole host of development benefits.

The cost of the offset programs backed by Aegon is in the region of €200,000 per year. Both programs will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Indirect environmental impact

As a company with revenue generating investments of approximately EUR 750 billion we are able to make the biggest impact on CO2 through our investments. The majority of our attention will continue to be focused on understanding and mitigating the carbon risks in our investment portfolio. For example, in 2017 we joined forces with other investors to vote in a resolution calling for ExxonMobil to be more transparent about climate change risks in its business.

Furthermore, we are actively involved in calling various bodies, including governments, to action. During the last year we supported the Paris COP21 agreement, and teamed up with other large organizations to lobby G20 on this subject.

In 2016, we also committed to divesting our investments in publicly-listed equity and bond holdings in coal mining companies,  and to make no new investments in companies that derive 30% or more of their revenue from the sale of thermal coal – the type of coal used for power and heat generation.

Environmental Policy

Aegon has an Environmental Policy; this policy stresses the importance of respecting the environment, conserving energy and eliminating waste. Our offices in the UK and the Netherlands are ISO14001-compliant. In the US, we use an internal system to manage our impact on the environment.

We also have programs, often in line with local regulations, to recycle plastics, paper and other waste like IT equipment in 100% of our operations. In the Netherlands, our IT waste goes to the Close The Gap initiative for re-use in developing countries. In the Netherlands and the UK, we put in place initiatives to help employees reduce their own carbon footprint, suggesting ways of saving energy, recycling food waste and taking public transport instead of driving to work themselves.

updated April 28, 2017

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