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Three insurers lead the Dutch pack in responsible investment policy

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The nine largest insurance groups in the Netherlands have improved their responsible investment policies on topics such as corruption, gender equality, weapons and climate change, according to the latest assessment by the Fair Insurance Guide NL.

ASR, Vivat and Achmea lead the pack of 9 in the latest policy comparison, followed by NN Group which has shown the most policy improvements since the last assessment in 2018. Trailing behind are Allianz, Aegon, VGZ, Menzis and CZ.

"NN Group has made good progress with many improvements in its investment policies" says Titus Bolten of the Fair Insurance Guide. "In the previous policy study in 2018, NN Group only achieved a satisfactory score on one theme, with 20 unsatisfactory marks. Now NN Group scores satisfactorily on nine themes. Even though there is a way to go, it is already apparent there is good improvement here. " says Bolten. "We encourage NN Group to continue this positive trend, and hope laggards like CZ and Menzis also improve quickly."

The Fair Insurance Guide periodically assesses the investment policies of the nine largest
insurance groups in the Netherlands against 21 important social themes such as environmental impact, human rights, and corruption. Achmea, Aegon, Allianz, ASR, CZ, Menzis, NN Group, VGZ and Vivat are assessed on the criteria and policies they apply to their investment decisions, to help ensure they do not finance businesses with harmful practices.

Key findings:
• All nine insurance groups have shown policy improvements since the previous assessment in 2018, with 44 higher scores across the 21 themes assessed. 
• NN Group implemented the most (55) policy improvements, including their decision to stop investing in companies that derive more than 30% of their turnover from the production of thermal coal or oil sands.
• Aegon and Vivat both achieve higher scores on eight themes. Aegon has improved their tax policy, and Vivat improved their score for gender equality from 1 to 6 as they now require companies they invest in to pay men and women equally.
• VGZ receives five higher theme scores, Achmea and Allianz both four, ASR two. 
• CZ and Menzis both received a higher score on one topic - transparency.

The Fair Insurance Guide was established in 2013, and is a partnership between Amnesty International, Milieudefensie, Oxfam Novib, PAX and World Animal Protection. This research was conducted by Profundo.

For more (in Dutch) see the Fair Finance NL Insurance Guide where consumers can compare insurers' scores on investment policy and investment practice, and take action by sending a complaint or compliment to their insurer.

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