We are convinced that investors make better investment decisions if they look structurally at sustainability factors and responsible business practices as this gives them a more comprehensive picture of investment risks and opportunities.
This policy requires that our investment teams actively consider relevant environmental, social and governance factors alongside considerations of return, risk and cost in a portfolio context, leading to informed and well-considered investment decisions for every industry and company we are invested in.
Based on that belief, APG, together with our clients, has developed an industry-leading inclusion policy whereby the investment universe for capital market investments is assessed based on a proprietary methodology and categorized into leaders and laggards. Investments in laggards require engagement in order to improve their sustainability performance. Engagement is therefore one of the cornerstones of the inclusion policy. We aim to invest only in companies that either perform adequately on our chosen sustainability indicators or those that we expect can make progress in these areas.
In addition to the Inclusion Policy, APG has a carbon reduction target for the equity portfolios and an investment target for Sustainable Development Investments (SDIs). APG has also continued to apply its corporate governance framework in our engagement and voting activities.
In addition to a strong focus on integration, APG has minimum standards and an exclusion policy built into its investment processes.
We expect companies to act in line with the principles of the UN Global Compact. On a regular basis we screen our equity and bond portfolio and engage with companies we think are in breach of these. Where engagement does not lead to the desired change we can decide to divest. This is a last resort and the result of an intensive process that can take several years and involves clear requirements and deadlines. In line with our clients policies, APG does not invest in companies involved in the following:
− Controversial weapons: This means we do not invest in companies that are involved in the production, sale or distribution of cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, chemical or biological weapons. We define involvement as production, sale and/or distribution of the core weapon system, or components/services of the core weapon system that are considered tailor made (or dedicated) for the weapon or weapons system and essential (key) for the lethal use of the weapons. Regarding nuclear weapons, we exclude companies involved in the production, development, sale and/or distribution of the core weapon system. We also consider companies involved in the production, development, sale and/or distribution of the company is deriving revenues of components or services that are considered tailor-made (or dedicated) for the weapon or weapon system and components or services that are considered essential (key) for the lethal use of the weapon or weapon system.
− Tobacco production: we define involvement as companies that derive revenues (i.e. > 0% revenue) from the production of tobacco products. This relates to companies engaged in manufacturing and producing tobacco products such as cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, beedi, kretek, smokeless tobacco, reconstituted tobacco leaf, snuff, snus, and chewing tobacco. It also includes companies that grow or process raw tobacco leaves
In addition to the exclusion policy on corporates, we exclude sovereign bonds issued by countries that are subject to an arms embargo by the UN Security Council.
As of January 2019 companies involved in tobacco production, and companies involved in nuclear weapons inside the Non-Proliferation Treaty are excluded from investment. The exclusion list is determined on a semi-annual basis. Per December 2019 we excluded 156 public and 119 private companies that are directly, or through ownership, involved in production of anti-personnel landmines, cluster munitions, nuclear weapons or tobacco production. We exclude 3 companies that we consider to be in violation of the UN Global Compact principles. 10 countries currently feature on the exclusion list for sovereign bonds. We apply the exclusion policy for listed and non-listed issuers, the list of private issuers is internally available and shared with our external managers.