Utrecht – Pensioenfonds Detailhandel strives for a good pension for its participants and is convinced that sustainable investment will also create value in the longer term. Pensioenfonds Detailhandel encourages the companies in which it invests to treat the environment, society and employees responsibly.
To further develop this vision, Pensioenfonds Detailhandel worked with index provider FTSE Russell and asset manager BlackRock on a new sustainable benchmark (index) for the Pension Fund’s ‘developed markets’ equity portfolio with a value of approximately € 5.8 billion.
The index* has been designed to align a broad public equity benchmark with aspects of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Weightings of investments in companies within the index are adjusted based on the results of ESG screening by FTSE Russell on themes such as climate change, human rights and working conditions **. The characteristics of a passively managed portfolio are retained.
This new adjusted index has been developed on the basis of validated sustainability models by FTSE Russell, with an emphasis on the four SDGs which are included in SRI policy of Pensioenfonds Detailhandel:
- Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8)
- Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12)
- Climate action (SDG 13),
- Peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16)
Henk van der Kolk, Chairman of Pensioenfonds Detailhandel: “Pensioenfonds Detailhandel wants to minimise the risk of its investments and at the same time achieve the highest possible return in a sustainable manner. The creation of this unique SDG-oriented index is an important first step towards making the entire portfolio more sustainable in a way that is in line with the ESG themes and SDGs that our participants consider important”.
Monique Donders, Country Manager of the Netherlands, BlackRock: “Many of our clients are reconsidering how their portfolios are built up and are looking for solutions that express their sustainability goals. We are very pleased to have been able to initiate and implement this new benchmark with Pensioenfonds Detailhandel, which will ensure that the Pension Fund can achieve its sustainability objectives through this new investment solution. ”
Waqas Samad, CEO FTSE Russell: “FTSE Russell strongly supports the efforts of Pensioenfonds Detailhandel to implement its ESG strategy by working together with them and BlackRock to create a unique equity benchmark that is aligned with the UN’s sustainable development goals. With this innovative approach, we support investors in their choice to include sustainable investment targets in all aspects of their portfolio. I am looking forward to further developing our co-operation.
An under- and overvaluation in the weighting of companies that perform well or perform less well in terms of SDGs 8, 12, 13 and 16 provides a benchmark for Retail resulting in a portfolio that shows a clear improvement on the selected SDGs in terms of sustainability scores. For example, CO2 production and oil reserves will decrease by about 50%, while ‘green revenues’ will increase by approximately 10%.
The targets have been selected from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The topics with pension participants: Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), Climate action (SDG 13), Peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16).
* FTSE custom developed ex-Korea SDG Aligned Net Tax (DSDG) Index
** The FTSE SDG Aligned index has been designed to help investors align a broad market benchmark with selected UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular the targets 8, 12, 13 and 16. Company weights within the index are adjusted on the basis of the sustainable investment themes that have been identified and tailored to specific aspects of the four SDGs. These themes are: Anti-corruption, Climate Change, Human Rights & Community, Labour Standards and Pollution and Resources. With respect to SDG 13, climate change, companies are assessed on three main climate change considerations: carbon emissions, fossil fuel reserves and green revenues. The index applies exclusion based on the United Nations Global Compact principles and on companies involved in controversial weapons.
Over Pensioenfonds Detailhandel
Met meer dan een miljoen pensioendeelnemers en een vermogen van EUR 21 miljard is Pensioenfonds Detailhandel een van de grotere pensioenfondsen van Nederland. Het pensioenfonds belegt zijn vermogen in aandelen, obligaties en onroerend goed. Deze investeringen zijn langdurig, zodat in de toekomst (en over meerdere generaties) een goed pensioen kan worden uitbetaald.
About Pensioenfonds Detailhandel
With well over one million participants and assets of 21 billion euros, Pensioenfonds Detailhandel is one of the larger pension funds in the Netherlands. The assets of the pension fund are invested in shares, bonds and real estate. This is done for the longer term in order to be able to pay out a good pension in the future (and over several generations).
BlackRock helps investors to build a better financial future. Based on our commitment to serve our clients’ interests the best we can, we offer investments and develop technology to support them in achieving their key financial goals. As of 31 December 2018, BlackRock has been managing securities with a total value of approximately USD 5,980 billion on behalf of investors around the world. For more information, visit www.blackrock.nl.
About FTSE Russel
FTSE Russell is a worldwide global index leader offering innovative benchmarking, analysis and data solutions to investors. FTSE Russell calculates thousands of indices that measure and benchmark markets and asset classes in more than 70 countries, covering 98% of the investable market worldwide. The expertise and products of the FTSE Russell index are widely used by institutional and private investors worldwide. Approximately $16 trillion is currently benchmarked against FTSE Russell indices. For more information go to:https://www.ftserussell.com
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Pensioenfonds Detailhandel – Tine van Heerikhuize, firstname.lastname@example.org, M 0624887027
BlackRock – Astrid Overeem, email@example.com , M 0651062500.