One of the most significant ways Aegon can have an impact on sustainability topics is via responsible investment.
We recognize our responsibility to limit the negative impacts of our investments on society or the environment. We apply this ethos to our own general account investments and use our influence to encourage similar standards in the investment decisions made by our customers. By taking an active approach to responsible investment, we seek to reduce the risks to our business and explore ways to serve the interests of our customers and society at large.
- As a long-term investor in a wide range of companies, sectors and countries, we take our responsibility as both an asset owner and manager of our client assets seriously.
- For topics such as ESG integration, we take a “do no significant harm” approach whereas this policy will drive proactive steps through targets, engagement, and exclusions. The policy applies to all general account investments where Aegon has full management control.
- We are an asset owner signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investments (PRI) with a commitment to take its practices onboard when reviewing our Aegon NV Responsible Investment Policy and maturing our overall Group-wide approach to responsible investment.
Responsible Investment Policy
At Aegon, we recognize our responsibility to limit our investments’ negative impacts on society or the planet. The RI Policy is founded on the concepts of good stewardship and active ownership. We believe we can influence the behavior of investee companies through engagement where we reward companies that intentionally pursue RI principles and encourage companies to make positive changes to their operations and products for the benefit of wider society and the environment.
Our RI Policy draws heavily on the ideas and principles found in the UN Global Compact, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Our framework approach is built on four pillars: ESG integration, engagement and voting, exclusion, and reporting. By taking an active approach to responsible investment, we seek to minimize risks to our business and explore ways to serve the interests of our customers and society at large.
Aegon's Responsible Investment Policy spells out the basis on which Aegon's proprietary assets should be managed consistently. That means aligning with our sustainability objectives and relevant laws and governance standards. The policy is supported by an Exclusion list.
Key responsible investment activities in 2022
- In 2022, the responsible investment landscape continued to evolve rapidly, with climate action as the primary concern and with extensive regulatory change taking place to drive increased transparency, monitor progress, and address greenwashing. We continued to innovate investment solutions through Aegon Asset Management’s active global investment business.
- Much of the focus was on managing climate-related risks and accelerating the low-carbon transition, areas that are increasingly becoming integral to our investment and stewardship processes. We evolved our Short Dated Investment Grade Bond Fund to focus on the transition to a net-zero global economy. The fund was renamed as the Aegon Global Short Dated Climate Transition Fund and is classified under Article 8 of the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. It provides clients with a clear targeted approach, including historical and forward-looking analysis, to ensuring their portfolios are aligned with the climate transition and net-zero objectives.
- Our prioritization of responsible investment was further reflected in the steady progress of important capacity building projects during the year. For example, Aegon AM enhanced its ESG materiality framework together with Aegon’s Credit Research team. We also strengthened our policies, procedures, and practices to better align with new disclosure requirements in the European Union.
Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
In November 2022, Aegon became an asset owner signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), following Aegon Asset Management's longstanding asset manager signatory status. The PRI sets out guidelines for how investors should take into account environmental, social and governance factors when making their investment decisions. Going forward, we will take these practices onboard when reviewing our Aegon NV Responsible Investment Policy and maturing our overall Group-wide approach to responsible investment.
As of 2024, you will be able to read about our progress in our transparency report, which we will publish on our website.