The VBDO is convinced that a more sustainable and responsible capital market leads to a healthier and more just world. As an independent association, we have been a passionate driver, motivator and knowledge leader for responsible investment. We have been anchoring sustainability in companies since 1995.
We use respect and expertise to help organizations make choices that look beyond financial gain, but also consider social, environmental, and governance aspects.
Progress through knowledge sharing is central to VBDO. We give substance to our mission by publishing benchmarks and theme studies, organizing round tables and seminars and asking the right, critical questions at shareholders’ meetings. We embrace doing these activities in collaboration with other parties. Our members are made up of institutional and private investors as well as leading NGOs. We represent more than 80% of the capital invested by Dutch investors and are regarded as an important and respected discussion partner by the media, politicians and others.
Driving change through engagement
As a lobby organization, VBDO maintains an active and committed dialogue with the largest Dutch listed companies. We attend approximately 40 AGMs (General Meeting of Shareholders) every year, where we ask critical questions about their sustainability performance. During these meetings, a VBDO spokesperson requests specific commitments on environmental, social and governance issues. By means of engagement, we put sustainable business operations high on the agenda of the board and we encourage companies to keep raising the bar.
Motivate with benchmarks
As a watchdog of the financial sector, the VBDO has a leadership position in the development and implementation of benchmarks. These comparative studies make the performance of companies in the field of responsible and sustainable investment clear and transparent. Benchmarks utilize the competitive strength of the market. This means that organizations are motivated by public assessment of a benchmark to continuously improve their performance in relation to each other and themselves. Our benchmarks are also issued in English. The best-known examples are our annual benchmark Responsible Investment by Pension Funds, the VBDO Tax Transparency Benchmark and our bi-annual benchmark Responsible Investment by Insurance Companies.
Knowledge sharing via thought leadership
As a network and knowledge center, the VBDO is always up to date with the latest developments in sustainable investment. We share this knowledge by organizing events such as round table discussions, seminars and masterclasses.
Our thematic studies, white papers and other publications are made publicly available and appear regularly in the national media and trade journals.
The VBDO is an association and thus promotes the interests of its members. Our members consist of institutional and private investors and NGOs; they have a vision of the world that firmly affiliates with our vision.
Several times a year we organize a platform meeting for our members in which new insights, initiatives and collaborations are discussed.
During our annual general meeting, all members can ask questions about and weigh in on the association.
Local & international networks
VBDO is affiliated with several local & international projects and networks, including:
Bottom Line! is a partnership from IUCNL NL that focuses on three forest landscapes of critical value to global biodiversity. These are the Tompotika forest in Indonesia, threatened by nickel mining; the Atewa forest in Ghana where there are plans for bauxite mining; and Tampakan in the Philippines where indigenous communities are resisting large-scale copper ore mining in a vulnerable watershed.
ERIN (European Responsible Investment Network)
ERIN is an initiative of ShareAction. The European network, together with more than 30 organizations from 12 countries, advocates a sustainable investment system. The network provides a collaborative approach to capital market campaigns, provides a strong counterpoint to the financial lobby and encourages investors to improve their investment practices.
The VBDO is part of the ERIN steering group and participates in a working group on human rights.
The European organization of Sustainable Investment Forums (SIFs) aims to make the European financial markets more sustainable. The VBDO is part of the Eurosif board.
Link to website: https://www.eurosif.org/
GSIA (Global Sustainable Investment Alliance)
GSIA is a global sustainable investment collaboration. GSIA regularly publishes a report on trends within the sustainable investment market: the Global Sustainable Investment Review.
Link to website: http://www.gsi-alliance.org/
Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA)
The UN-initiated Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) is an ambitious group of asset owners. The alliance has made a public commitment to transform investment portfolios towards Net-Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The VBDO was proudly appointed as official supporter of the NZAOA in 2021 by the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).
Link to website: https://www.unepfi.org/net-zero-alliance/