Sustainable investing for people, planet and society at large

Most people invest to generate a tidy return. However, investors are increasingly also led by concerns for the environment, people and society as a whole, which is why many of them like investing in sustainable companies. ABN AMRO is eager to help.

What is sustainable investing?

Investing in equities, bonds and investment funds with sustainable policies. ESG investing might be a more apt description, as it stands for environmental, social and governance, the criteria we apply when looking for sustainable investments. The Sustainalytics research agency helps us to arrive at the ESG ratings of companies we select for our clients to invest in, drawing on around 150 specially developed indicators. But we also take on board other factors, such as how future-proof a company is and how agile in terms of implementing change.

Are our clients interested at all?

They are. In fact, we find that our clients consider sustainability increasingly important. Sustainable investing has been around for quite a while now, but it has really taken off big time in the past few years, with 30 per cent of our clients now investing sustainably. Managing over €13 billion in sustainably invested assets, ABN AMRO is the biggest bank in sustainable investing in the Netherlands, and our aim is to grow this figure to €16 billion by 2020. Incidentally, the long-term financial returns on our sustainable investment portfolios are no less good than those on traditional investments, and opting for responsibility does not preclude financial returns.

EUR 16 billion sustainably invested by 2020 – how?

We’ll pull it off in three ways. Firstly, sustainable investing is now the default option for new clients. For existing clients, meanwhile, we provide insight into the effects of their investments on people, the environment and society as a whole, with such impact reporting helping clients to see that they can really make a difference by investing responsibly. And the third way is through our offering: we engage with companies and investment funds that do not yet meet our sustainability requirements, and together investigate how to bring about change. We also seek out fresh collaboration with companies and investment funds that already meet our sustainability criteria.

Would you like to know what else we do to build a sustainable, better world?

Check out our sustainability page.

Jan Raes

Jan Raes

Sustainability Advisor +31 (0)20 383 1753