Learn more about our ESG strategy and our tangible goals:
In this first edition of the ESG Update Report we inform you about the progress of the 20 goals from our ESG Strategy. What have we worked on in 2020 and which milestones have been reached? We publish an update of this Report annually.
Ideas or suggestions to give even more substance to Meaningful Investing? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
New European regulations recently came into force requiring financial market participants to report how they approach sustainability in their investments. These requirements are set out in the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
The SFDR is part of a broader tranche of European legislation for the financial sector. The purpose of this legislation is to mobilise capital for the European Green Deal, which aims to achieve a sustainable economy. These goals are being pursued in a comprehensive package of sustainability legislation in several phases. The SFDR is also being implemented in phases: Level 1 and Level 2.
Level 1 of the SFDR is effective from 10 March 2021. From that date onwards, Syntrus Achmea complies with the Level 1 obligations. Other relevant parts of the SFDR and related legislation such as the Taxonomy Regulation are being implemented with effect from 1 January 2022.
Syntrus Achmea believes in sustainability as the basis for good and stable returns. That is why we incorporate sustainability risks in our investment decisions and services.
Translating the new requirements into the various products and services of Syntrus Achmea means virtually all products include environmental and/or social characteristics, and that good governance practices are followed.
We use various measurement methods to determine how sustainable our investments are and inform our clients about this through various (fund) reports.
Our policy will of course take account of the future requirements that we and our customers have to meet. For example, we will soon be implementing Level 2 of the SFDR and the new Taxonomy Regulation.
The full explanation of how Syntrus Achmea incorporates sustainability risks in investment decisions is available in our description 'Incorporation Sustainability Risks in Investments'.
As investment manager, we take into account the adverse effects of our investments on the planet. That way, we can make a difference for future generations. Based on our long-term ESG strategy, we provide information about the adverse effects of our real estate and mortgage investments on sustainability factors.
Sustainability factors include environmental, social and employment issues, respect for human rights, and combating corruption and bribery. We take these insights into account when considering investments. Based on the ESG strategy, for example, our portfolio and fund managers apply various ESG targets to the portfolios they manage and include them in the portfolio plans.
More information about this is provided in our 'Statement on Adverse Effects on Sustainability'.
In our ESG strategy we have defined 4 issues up to the year 2030:
1. Investing in tomorrow’s world
2. Focusing on closer relationships with stakeholders
3. Achieving highest level of services and products
4. Promoting innovation
Our ESG strategy contains 5 pillars which follow out of the business strategy of Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance:
1. We aim to make a positive impact on society by investing in liveable cities.
2. We achieve social and financial returns for investors.
3. We offer our employees a dynamic, sustainable and healthy workplace.
4. We endorse attractive and sustainable real estate.
5. We have a strong reputation asa provider of sustainable mortgages.
Our ESG themes will be presented in the video below:
In 2019, CO₂ roadmaps were created for all Syntrus Achmea’s residential portfolios.
Different scenarios were calculated to reduce the CO₂ emissions in the portfolios.
Based on these scenarios, CO₂ reduction targets were established for 2030 and 2050, which are in line with the Paris Agreement. The CO₂ dashboard, delivered in 2020, monitors the actual CO₂ emissions in the residential portfolios. This provides insight into whether we are on course of the agreed targets or whether adjustments are needed. In 2019, CO₂ roadmaps were created for retail and office portfolios. These portfolios will also be included in the CO₂ dashboard.
Two real estate funds of Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance have achieved the highest rating in the international GRESB benchmark. The Achmea Dutch Residential Fund (ADRF) and the Achmea Dutch Retail Property Fund (ADRPF) have been awarded five stars for their sustainability performance. Seven other funds and portfolios under management at Syntrus Achmea have been awarded four stars.
As in 2019, Syntrus Achmea has participated with ten funds and portfolios in GRESB, which stands for Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark. On average, the Syntrus Achmea funds scored 81 (maximum is 100). The same as in 2019. The average score of all participating funds worldwide dropped by 2.8% to 70. All Syntrus Achmea funds score higher than this global average.
GRESB has changed its scoring methodology considerably for 2020. In particular the scoring weight of the Performance Indicators (the reports on energy consumption, CO₂ emission, water consumption and waste flows) has increased significantly. The ratios within the Performance Indicators have also changed. As a result, the final results achieved are lower in general. With an unchanged methodology, the Syntrus Achmea funds would have scored an average of 6.3% higher this year.
The Achmea Dutch Health Care Property Fund has been awarded first place in the GRESB Resilience Module. This is an optional module which is separate from the regular GRESB Real Estate Assessment. In time, it will be possible to include elements from the module in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment. Of the 412 international parties that took part in the Resilience Module, Syntrus Achmea was the only one that achieved the maximum score of 100 points for the ADHCPF.
The GRESB Resilience Module assesses how real-estate funds prepare for the possible effects of climate change and how the funds assess and anticipate long-term climate trends. The 2020 Resilience Module is divided into four sections, in line with the recommendations of the ‘Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure’ (TCFD): Leadership and Governance, Risk Assessment, Business Strategy and Performance Metrics and Targets.
The GRESB Resilience Module addresses two dimensions of climate risks: transition and physical risks. Transition risks are risks related to the transition to a low-CO2 society, which is necessary to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement of the UN. Physical risks are risks related to the current changes in the climate, such as drought, heat, and flooding. In addition to these two dimensions of climate risks, GRESB also takes into account the social aspects of climate change, the so-called social risks.
Syntrus Achmea is making huge strides to integrate climate risks in its business operations. For instance, road maps have been developed for all real-estate portfolios to ensure they will be CO2-neutral in 2050. The physical risks for the real-estate funds have also been mapped out.