Our responsible investment policy (RI policy) is an integral part of the global corporate responsibility strategy of Baloise Group. Baloise Asset Management is responsible for the general account (insurance assets) as well as for third party assets. We aim to apply wherever meaningful and desired one policy for our assets. Currently the scope of the policy refers to the general account insurance equites and bonds including loans which reflect nearly 60% of the insurance assets under management. In addition all self-managed money for third part investment is in scope of the RI-Policy.
Our responsible investment policy consists of three strategic pillars, as illustrated in the graph. We exclude companies on the basis of their business activities in the field of controversial weapons and their involvement in the coal sector (where this accounts for at least 30 per cent of their entire turnover). We also incorporate sustainability factors in our investment analysis, whereby companies must have at least a B rating (according to the data from the MSCI) to be included in the investment universe. We exercise our statutory voting rights too.
Our guiding principles for responsible investment
– Responsible investment requires collective measures. As of 2018, we are a signatory of the six principles of the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI).
– A long-term, holistic investment horizon is essential in investment analysis for a positive risk/return profile. We therefore integrate ESG factors in the investment process.
– We regularly review completed investments to ensure that all our various insurance units comply with the responsible investment policy.
– We take our voting rights seriously. As a responsible shareholder, we exercise our statutory voting rights for Swiss stocks by following the principles of good and ethical corporate governance.
– We report on our activities in a transparent and proactive manner.
Baloise Asset Management also includes the Real Estate division. Baloise is one of the largest property owners in Switzerland. For us as a responsible investor, sustainable real estate investments and long-term returns are closely linked. For the benefit of our policyholders and investors, we use responsible property management to secure our earning power on a sustainable basis and improve the value of our properties.
Real estate consumes about 40% of the available primary energy and produces about 1/3 of CO2 emissions.1 In order to optimize the energy efficiency of our building stock, we strive to reduce energy consumption primarily through the renovation of older buildings and replacement buildings, in addition to the acquisition of properties, portfolios and new construction projects. Our tenants benefit from lower operating costs. This can help to retain existing tenants and, on the other hand, to attract new tenants.
Our investment decisions combine financial goals, ecology and social challenges. We are convinced that demographic change (ageing of the population and reduction of household sizes) and new technologies (digitalisation) will lead to changing tenant needs and corresponding demand in the market. Through forward planning, we continuously review these needs in our investment decisions (e.g. small apartments) and maintain tenant satisfaction.
In the case of new construction projects, we strive for certification - in the case of renovations, this is checked on a situational basis. For this purpose, the consumption figures (energy and water consumption) of the properties are systematically recorded and evaluated. With the help of the cantonal building energy certificate (GEAK), the energy efficiency of each property is determined and concrete measures for improvement are derived.