The current corona crisis should not be a reason for companies and governments to weaken or abandon their sustainability ambitions. In fact, sustainability is a powerful tool to get out of that crisis.
This is stated in the so-called Green Recovery Statement that MVO Nederland has published today. Several large companies, including APG, support the statement.
There are large, green and social investment plans at both national and European level that also offer opportunities for economic recovery. The Green Deal presented last year is an example of this. Millions of green jobs can be created by investing in sustainability on a large scale. Both public and private investments are needed to get that job driver going, the statement says.
The crisis should also not be used for the Dutch economy, for example to weaken the ambitions of the climate agreement, the collective states in the statement. By investing in sustainable innovations now, we can build a competitive advantage in the Netherlands and thus also a solid revenue model for our economy.
The objectives formulated in the statement have many interfaces with APG's sustainability policy, which was presented in May. APG believes that pensions are about living, living and living together. Taking care of pensions for 5 million households is in itself already a very sustainable core activity. We live together in a world that we deal with responsibly. One of the four pillars of that ambition is to contribute to the sustainable development of ‘Corporate Netherlands’. Another ambition is to be an international leader in the field of sustainable investment. With this leading position, APG can also make an important contribution to combating the current crisis. For example, APG invests heavily on behalf of pension fund clients in Covid-19 bonds. The proceeds from such bonds are used, among other things, to fund emergency health measures and to support small and medium-sized enterprises in affected countries.
Critically looking at yourself is also part of that new sustainability policy. Practice what you preach. APG therefore takes a step forward in its own business operations. Earlier this year, APG joined the Anders Reizen coalition, a coalition of more than fifty large organizations in the Netherlands that wants to halve the CO2 emissions from business travel by 2030. APG has expressed its promise to look critically at its own travel policy.
In addition, the collective says in the statement that it sees the EU emissions trading system (ETS) as an important means of achieving its climate ambitions. That position is also fully in line with that of APG. The pension provider recently made a plea for the CO2 pricing together with the ABP pension fund.
In short, sustainability is woven into who we are as APG and what we do, emphasizes CEO Gerard van Olphen. “Supporting this initiative underlines APG's vision. The Covid-19 period has brought dark times, but also the realization that choices have to be made that create new opportunities. Choices that are good for the economy and sensible for the climate and humanity. ”