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APG, PGGM Bolster Sustainable Investing Efforts

“Together we can change the world to make to make it a better place to live and retire in,” Dutch pensions declare.

Two of Europe’s largest pension funds have expanded their collaboration in sustainable investment ahead of a United Nations (UN) conference in Singapore.

“In the coming 15 years, we will need all hands on deck, and we will need a contribution from major institutional investors to achieve these goals.”In a joint open letter to institutional investors gathering at a UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) conference this week, the CIOs of PGGM and APG said they were “closely collaborating” on investment projects with other Dutch asset managers and Sweden’s four main public pension funds.

“Our clients are explicit about the specific societal goals they want to align with; where they want to invest their beneficiaries’ money—not just where they don’t want to invest,” wrote PGGM’s Eloy Lindeijer and APG’s Eduard van Gelderen, who together oversee more than €600 billion ($675 billion). Dutch pensions are keen to invest in areas such as education and health care, the pair added, “without compromising on the financial result.”

Fund managers MN, Actiam, and Kempen have all “worked intensively” on such themes, alongside Sweden’s AP1, AP2, AP3, and AP4.

“In the coming 15 years, we will need all hands on deck, and we will need a contribution from major institutional investors to achieve these goals,” Lindeijer and van Gelderen said.

The CIOs highlighted the importance of being able to measure the contribution made by each investment towards sustainable development goals—which could also help attract and retain customers. “This is work in progress, both for companies and investors,” they said. “Simultaneously, it is also a source of innovation and motivation.”

The “PRI in Person” conference in Singapore, which began on September 6, has featured contributions from major asset owners including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the New Zealand Superannuation fund, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, and Australian funds HESTA and Cbus.

“Together we can change the world to make to make it a better place to live and retire in,” Lindeijer and van Gelderen concluded.

Last month, investors representing more than $13 trillion called on the G20 to implement high-level goals aimed at mitigating climate change.

Related: A $13T Ultimatum on Climate Change & ESG’s Image Problem

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