Aegon has signed up to several international commitments. These commitments guide our internal practices and policies, and help shape our overall approach to sustainability.
Paris Pledge for Action
Aegon signed the Paris Pledge for Action in 2015, committing us to taking action in support of implementing the Paris Agreement and accelerating the transformative changes needed to meet the climate change challenge.
In an early effort to understand the degree of action required, we undertook an internal review of our alignment with a (less than) 2°C future. It revealed the distance between our current position as a globally diversified financial services company and this ambition, helping us to understand what actions are required.
To address this gap, we initiated a multi-year program of action across the company that brings together awareness raising and education of climate change with actions and steps our businesses can take to support the low carbon transition. Click here to read how we are stepping up action on the climate change challenge
Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance
In November 2021, Aegon joined the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a UN-convened group of institutional investors committed to transitioning their portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. For Aegon, this is a commitment to transition our EUR 156 billion general account investment portfolio and we have set a clear medium-term target. By 2025, Aegon aims to reduce by 25% the weighted average carbon intensity of its approximately EUR 55 billion corporate fixed income and listed equity general account assets where it has control. Aegon will set additional targets at 5-year intervals for the period after 2025 until 2050. To reach the 2025 target, Aegon will make adjustments to its general account portfolio.
Aegon will regularly engage with those companies in its global investment portfolio that are the most carbon intensive in order to drive real-world reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Aegon will regularly update its group-wide responsible investment exclusion criteria to reflect the latest scientific findings on climate change. See page 20 of our Integrated Annual report
Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative
In November 2021, Aegon AM became a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative. By becoming a signatory, Aegon AM is committing to support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Aegon AM also commits to support investing aligned with this net zero emissions target and work in partnership with its clients on decarbonization, supporting them with their own climate ambitions.
To meet these commitments Aegon AM will look to increase the share of assets managed in-line with the attainment of net zero by 2050 or sooner – beginning with those managed on behalf of other Aegon Group companies following their own commitment to net zero. It will also prioritize reductions in the real economy by continuing its engagement program, using its influence with investee companies to encourage continued greenhouse gas measurement, targets and reduction.
Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
Climate change represents one of the biggest risks to society, the economy, and financial institutions. Mitigating climate change, including the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is a major global challenge. Aegon believes that governments, companies, and investors have a responsibility to mitigate climate change and its impacts, and facilitate a transition to a climate-resilient economy.
The present disclosure in our 2021 Intregrated Annual Report builds on earlier disclosures made since 2017. It is made on behalf of Aegon N.V., an integrated diversified international financial services group, as both an asset owner and an asset manager.
Similar to previous years, it follows the Task Force on Climaterelated Financial Disclosures (TCFD)’s four-pillar framework to facilitate disclosure. Aegon strives to continuously enhance its reporting and business practices and welcomes feedback from stakeholders on the appropriateness and relevance of this disclosure. See page 372 of our Integrated Annual Report for more
Aegon has been a CDP discloser since 2015 which encourages companies to be more open, amongst other things, about their greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about our CDP Climate Change disclosure here.
Principles for Responsible Investment
Aegon Asset Management is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment, which sets out guidelines for how investors should take into account social, environmental and governance factors when making their investment decisions. When companies do not meet the standards outlined in our Responsible Investment Policy, we engage with them. For example, we were part of the PRI collaborative engagement on human rights and the extractive industry.
UN Global Compact
In 2021, Aegon N.V. became a signatory of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), thereby committing to implement universal sustainability principles in the fields of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, as well as taking steps to support the UN goals; currently the SDGs. As a signatory, Aegon is committed to disclosing its progress annually. In addition to integrating the measurement of the outcomes under the UNGC Principles into our annual reporting cycle, we have detailed Aegon's policies and procedures to support each Principle and of how we align and implement them. For measured outcomes against the SDGs, please see 'United Nations Sustainable Development Goals' on pages 367-371. The Aegon website includes a dedicated library for our ESG policies. See also pages 353-356 'Nonfinancial policies, procedures and outcomes' for an overview of our performance against the indicators of these policies.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals cover poverty reduction, education, gender equality, climate change and health. Accompanying each of these goals is a series of targets and indicators.
At Aegon, we are committed to supporting the UN SDGs, both as a financial services provider and as an investor. We recognize that sustainable development is in the long-term interest of business and the global economy, but that a sustainable future for people and the planet will not be attainable without cooperation between the public and private sectors. Climate change and inclusion & diversity have been selected as priority themes in our sustainability vision, and as such our contributions to the SDGs relating to these themes have been detailed most comprehensively.
- SDG1: No poverty (target 1.4, 1.5)
- SDG2. Zero hunger (target 2.1)
- SDG3: Good health and well-being (target 3.4, 3a)
- SDG4: Quality education (target 4.6)
- SDG5: Gender equality (target 5.1, 5.5, 5c)
- SDG6: Clean water and sanitation (target 6.6)
- SDG7: Affordable and clean energy (targets 7.3)
- SDG8: Decent work and economic growth (target 8.3, 8.5, 8.7, 8.8, 8.10)
- SDG9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure (9.4)
- SDG10: Reduced inequalities (target 10.2, 10.3, 10.4)
- SDG11: Sustainable cities and communities (target 11.1)
- SDG12: Responsible consumption and production (target 12.2)
- SDG13: Climate action (target 13.2)
- SDG14: Life below water (target 14.4)
- SDG15: Life on land (target 15.5)
- SDG16: Peace, justice and strong institutions (target 16.1, 16.5)
- SDG17: Partnership for the goals (target 17.16, 17.17)
UN Declaration of Human Rights / International Labor Organization
Aegon is committed to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the core standards of the International Labor Organization. This is explicitly incorporated in numerous policies, such as the Aegon Code of Conduct, the Statement on Inclusion & Diversity, the Human Rights Policy and the Aegon Operational Risk Taxonomy. Aegon faces the most potential risks in indirect business relationships, which is why human rights are core to the Responsible Investment and Sustainable Procurement policies.
UNEP-FI's Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI)
Aegon is one of the founding signatories of the UNEP-FI's Principles for Sustainable Insurance. The aim of the PSI is to make sure sustainability becomes "business as usual". The PSI comprises four basic principles. Against each of these principles, we've set ourselves specific goals and targets. Click here to read about our performance for each year from 2015 to 2021.
Global Coalition on Aging
Aegon became a founding member of the Global Coalition on Aging in 2010. The Coalition seeks to raise awareness of aging issues among policymakers and the general public.
Aegon's aim in reporting is to provide a balanced overview of the Company's operations, strategy and performance, as well as our approach to long-term value creation (both financial and non-financial) for our key stakeholder groups. To these ends, Aegon's Integrated Annual Report is prepared in accordance with the standards of the International Integrated Reporting Council ‘Integrated Reporting Framework’, supported by our dedicated IIRC disclosure which maps our reporting against that Framework.
Aegon is also supportive of the objectives of other frameworks in the non-financial reporting landscape, noting the merger of IIRC and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) into the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF), and furthermore the foundation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). We have additionally published a dedicated ‘Insurance’ sector SASB disclosure for the 2021 reporting year.