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 intend to initiate 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
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.
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)
Aegon believes that governments, companies and investors have a responsibility to mitigate the impacts of a changing climate and facilitate a transition to a climate-resilient economy. The 2019 disclosure builds on earlier disclosures made for 2018 and 2017 which can be found in the corresponding Responsible Investment reports published by Aegon Asset Management.
The disclosure is made in respect of Aegon N.V. in its multiple roles as an asset servicer, an insurance provider, and an asset manager. It follows the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure's (TCFD) four-pillar framework to facilitate disclosure and the business integration of risks and opportunities resulting from climate change. 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 427 of the Integrated Annual Report for more.
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 November 2021, Aegon became a signatory to the UN Global Compact. We intend to advance the pact and its principles as part of the strategy, culture and day-to-day operations of our company, and to engage in collaborative projects which advance the broader development goals of the United Nations, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals. Going forward, you will find our Communication on Progress in both our Integrated Annual Report, as well as on the UN Global Compact’s website.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
The UN adopted new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. These goals cover poverty reduction, education, gender equality, climate change and health. Behind each of these goals is a series of targets and indicators. At Aegon, we have identified the following targets as most relevant to our business:
- SDG1: No poverty (target 1.2)
- SDG3: Good health and well-being (target 3.4)
- SDG7: Affordable and clean energy (targets 7.2, 7.3 and 7a)
- SDG8: Decent work and economic growth (target 8.10)
- SDG13: Climate action (target 13.2)
We believe we can best support the international sustainable development agenda by focusing on these targets. The choice of these targets is aligned with how we approach responsible business. It takes into consideration the nature of our business as a provider of financial services and our geographical footprint as the majority of our businesses are located in developed economies. See page 30 of our Integrated Annual Report 2020 for more details.
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 2019.
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.