How does APG as an investor contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals? That was the theme addressed by Ronald Wuijster, CEO APG Asset Management, in his speech yesterday at the annual Junior Chamber International (JCI) congress.
Some 4000 young people from more than 100 countries came to Amsterdam to discuss the goals the UN has agreed on to make the world more sustainable.
The congress at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ was opened by UN-icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan who called on young people to raise their voices. According to Mr. Annan that is especially important in times of increasing populism. He referred to the Brexit-referendum in which many young people did not participate, resulting in the older generation having the decisive voice in leaving the EU. Besides this, Annan emphasized how important it is for the world to stand by the Paris Agreement on fighting climate change adopted in 2015. “I would say: let’s put the planet first.”
In his speech Ronald Wuijster referred to the influence Mr. Annan has had on APG’s responsible investment policy being implemented from 2008 on. As Secretary-General, Mr. Annan was the founding father of the UN Global Compact, which defines how companies must behave when it comes to human rights, labor rights, the environment, and fighting corruption. These principles still form the foundation of APG’s approach today. Wuijster elaborated how this policy has evolved in recent years. When making investment decisions not only are returns, risks and costs taken into account, but increasingly sustainability and responsible business practices, with a prominent role for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In 2020 APG wants to have at least 58 billion euros invested in Sustainable Development Investments that are not only financially attractive but also contribute to the UN-goals, such as renewable energy and sustainable real estate investment.
Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a non-profit international non-governmental organization of young people between 18 and 40 years old. It encourages young people to become active citizens and to participate in efforts towards social and economic development, and international co-operation, good will and understanding.