In line with PRI, PME has formulated ten leading principles for responsible investing. They are:
1. PME seeks to generate solid and responsible investment returns. PME will invest according to ESG criteria: Environment, Social, and Governance.
2. PME will consider the social impact of its investment policy. PME seeks to prevent that its policies give rise to or exacerbate social problems. Rather, PME wants to contribute to addressing social challenges through its investments. Businesses should be aware of the impact they have on the environment, nature and biodiversity, and look for environmentally friendly processes and technologies.
3. PME seeks to contribute to economic stability and sustainable economic growth. It expects the businesses and countries it invests in to be committed to creating economic value in the medium to long term.
4. PME will engage with companies involved in bribery, corruption, cartels, extortion or any other form of market abuse, and will actively encourage them to abandon such activities. The same applies for companies that violate environmental standards, employment legislation, or human rights.
5. PME will not, directly or indirectly, invest in companies that manufacture products in violation of international treaties signed by the Netherlands. Nor do we invest in countries that breach international treaties or which are on the sanctions lists of the United Nations or European Union.
6. PME considers ESG risks when investing, where possible. If a company acts in violation of international treaties or breaches the guidelines set out in PME's responsible investment policy, Koopvaardij will actively exercise its shareholders' rights to drive improvement. These efforts will need to produce a result at some point, or else PME will sell its investment in the company or country in question.
7. PME respects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related treaties. It also subscribes to the core conventions of the International Labour Organisation of the United Nations. PME not only promotes the freedom of association and right to collective bargaining, but also seeks to ban all forms of forced and compulsory labour, child labour, and discrimination in the workplace. Koopvaardij adheres to the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, adopted in 1992.
8. PME wants the businesses it invests in to comply with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. These are recommendations on how businesses are expected to behave when doing - international -business in terms of corporate social responsibility. This bandwidths from human rights and child labour to taking responsibility for the entire supply chain.
9. PME wants the businesses it invests in to have a solid corporate governance framework in place. This involves dealing responsibly with issues such as independent oversight, having appropriate pay policies, legal and regulatory compliance, having regard to the rights of (minority) shareholders, and transparent reporting.
10. PME will make well-informed choices. In the case of any doubt or dilemma, it will make a careful and well-considered choice, based on its own responsible investment policy
PME's policy is operationalized via four pillars: Exclusion, ESG-integration, Active Ownership (engagement, proxy voting and legal actions) and Thematic/Impact Investments. Our fiduciary manager MN (also a PRI-signatory) has a dedicated Responsible Investment& Governance team (8 members) that is responsible for all these activities.
Exclusion: PME excludes companies that are directly involved in the development, production and/or maintenance of products and/or services that are not compliant with certain treaties and criteria, such as the Convention on cluster ammunition, Chemical Weapons Conventions and Biological and Toxin weapons Convention. In addition international treaties signed by the Dutch Government, and countries which have been sanctioned by the UN and EU are excluded. Also, PME excludes tobacco and tar sand investments.
ESG integration: PME believes that responsible investment is first and foremost about taking ESG factors into account in all investment decisions and in selection and monitoring of external managers.
PME believes in the co-existence of financial and social return on investments. On one hand it is our aim by conducting engagement on holdings to limit the potential negative impact of business on the environment, people and society and corporate governance (ESG). On the other hand, we also aim to leverage the potential positive impact of business within these same three themes (ESG). The key-objectives for engagement are that companies acquire the ability:
To fully participate in the low-carbon economy energy transition (E);
To protect the human and labour rights of workers in the global supply chain (S);
To reward company executives according to an adequate and balanced remuneration scheme in line with the interests of (minority) shareholders (G).
MN operates on PME's behalf on the basis of a clearly defined engagement policy. The engagement focus lies on
Significant Dutch holdings;
Significant holdings with a Global Compact violator status (downside risk);
Significant holdings that present material ESG-risks within a few key sustainability themes as prioritised by PME (thematic engagement); and
Significant holdings that present general high material ESG-risks (adhoc/incidents)
Thematic Investments (impact investments) looks at investment opportunities that are attractive both from the return point of view and from an ESG standpoint. PME invests in specific renewable energy PE-fund, also in a fund for corporate loans for SME's, energy infrastructure assets including offshore wind, onshore wind, offshore power transmission, biomass and waste to energy, and solar PV investments. Pleas refer to https://www.metalektropensioen.nl/beleggen/verantwoord-beleggen for PME's RI policy documents; PME's RI plicy can be found through https://www.metalektropensioen.nl/downloads?cms%5Bcm329%5D%5Bdownload%5D=946