ABN AMRO a human rights and transparency leader, says VBDO

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VBDO, the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development, has just completed its annual investigation into the sustainability performance of 38 Dutch listed companies. The results have been published in its research report Sustainability Performance of Dutch Stock Listed Companies: Walk the Talk. The research, based on companies’ annual reports and questions posed at their Annual General Meetings, focused on three themes: living wages, natural capital and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These are themes that also feature in ABN AMRO’s annual report. Within the financial sector, ABN AMRO earned top scores on two of the three themes, namely living wages and natural capital. With regard to the SDGs, the bank ranks third. The report was officially presented to ABN AMRO CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen on 3 July 2017.

Human rights and living wages

VBDO chose to put ABN AMRO in the spotlight because of the clarity of its reporting on human rights risks and its actions to address them. ABN AMRO outstrips all its peers when it comes to transparency, VBDO believes. Moreover, the association points out, ABN AMRO is the first bank to publish a dedicated report on the implementation of its human rights policy. As VBDO Executive Director Angélique Laskewitz puts it, "ABN AMRO is a human rights and transparency leader. Its reporting clearly reflects the importance the bank attaches to payment of a living wage, and the impact that it achieves with this stance. An impact that extends not only to its own employees, but also to its subcontractors and clients."

Natural capital

In VBDO’s view, ABN AMRO aims high when it comes to transparency on natural capital. The bank provides insight into its responsible approach to natural resources. For example, ABN AMRO has started to measure the impact it has on water shortage and soil contamination in the cocoa supply chain. 

Kees van Dijkhuizen observes, "We’re delighted to have been honoured by VBDO, and particularly proud of its recognition of our efforts in the area of human rights. In 2016, we were the first bank to publish a human rights report, and VBDO has now identified that as a Good Practice."


Regarding natural capital, ABN AMRO plans to follow up on VBDO’s recommendations for improvement. The bank will also keep working to improve its performance on living wages by engaging with clients and suppliers on this theme. As for the SDGs, the ones most relevant to the bank will be restated in more concrete terms and linked to strategic goals.

Click here to download VBDO’s report Sustainability Performance of Dutch Stock Listed Companies: Walk the Talk.

Click here to read more about the ABN AMRO’s human rights report.


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