Sustainable Investment Awards 2022

Pension fund of the year: ABP

The Netherlands' ABP pension fund made waves in October when it said it would sell investments in assets receiving more than 1% of turnover from producing oil, gas and coal – a segment of its portfolio valued at €15 billion ($17 billion) and representing 3% of its total assets.

ABP, which manages total asset of about €530 billion and provides pensions to workers in the Dutch government and education sectors, vowed to sell most of the assets covered by this definition by 2023.

The fund's managers said the decision was motivated by "groups of ABP pension participants and employers having shown broad support for this decision".

It said it did not expect this decision to have a negative impact on long-term returns. At the same time, it said it would increase its investments in renewable energy "where possible".

The move was welcomed by investors and climate campaigners alike.

"We think this will have a ripple effect among investors all over Europe and the world", Liset Meddens, director at Dutch activist group Fossielvrij told Environmental Finance at the time. "It sets the precedent for other pension funds on how to divest, invest and make proper climate policies."

Also in 2021, its asset manager, APG, made an "initial investment" of about €1 billion in a family of listed, 'responsible' equities indexes that includes an index of stocks that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. APG said it would be available to existing APG clients. ABP is the main client of APG.