Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development

Responsible investment by pension funds? Still too noncommittal

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Publication: Benchmark Responsible Investment by Pension Funds in the Netherlands 2017 | Investing for the future

View the adjusted scores on the Benchmark Pension Funds here.

The 11th edition of the VBDO Benchmark Pension Funds shows that the trend towards a growing responsible investment portfolio has continued this year. Pension funds increasingly incorporate environmental and social criteria into their investment analysis and are also increasingly transparent about this. However, 57% of the pension funds have not yet set any sustainability policy objectives, making sustainable investment too non-committal for many funds.

The performance of both the best-performing funds and the lowest-performing funds has remained virtually unchanged in the past year. What mainly improved this year is how pension fund boards take account of responsible investment and how transparent they are. Despite the higher score on transparency, there remain major differences in the quality and depth of reporting on sustainability.

The VBDO encourages the Dutch pension funds to accelerate this trend towards a growing responsible portfolio, mainly because combating climate change is becoming an increasingly urgent issue. The best performing pension funds this year are Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn, the Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioenfonds, BPL Pensioen, Bedrijfstakpensioenfonds voor de Bouwnijverheid and Pensioenfonds voor Woningcorporaties.