Sustainable Investment Awards 2021

ESG engagement initiative of the year: ACTIAM

Bringing together nine financial institutions, representing €1.8 trillion ($2.2 trillion) in assets under management, ACTIAM's satellite-based engagement initiative towards no-deforestation aims to take action to end deforestation in companies' supply chains and enhance supply chain traceability.

Partnering with Dutch satellite imaging company Satelligence, the engagement initiative unveils deforestation cases directly linked to individual companies that source commodities from specific areas through satellite imagery and artificial intelligence, going beyond existing methods and data tools which are only able to track certain areas and commodities without linking it to specific companies.

"The engagement programme initiated by ACTIAM uses innovative tools such as satellite imagery and data analysis to assess the progress made by the engaged companies. This award also stimulates us in our growing commitment to biodiversity and to expanding this initiative to more regions and more soft commodities," said Dennis van der Putten, director of sustainability and corporate strategy of ACTIAM.

ACTIAM believes the engagement targets a data gap that the financial sector is struggling with, namely to quantitatively measure the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss. It aims to have zero deforestation by 2030, measured in hectares of deforested land. The initiative is able to track progress on that target with the deforestation data provided by Satelligence.

The Environmental Finance Sustainable Investment Awards judges were impressed with the measurable outcomes of the initiative. One said it is a "highly innovative engagement with enormous potential to revolutionise supply chain management to end deforestation, pioneering a new, very effective, model for monitoring and company engagement on a range of environmental impacts".

The initiative was launched last year and so far includes ACTIAM, Achmea Investment Management, Aegon Nederland, a.s.r. Asset Management, Aviva Investors, Fidelity International, Nomura Asset Management, Robeco and Zwitserleven.

ACTIAM is confident more investors will join the coalition in future rounds.

Satellite image showing land cover and new incidences of deforestation in Indonesia