NN Group excludes investments in oil sands
10-10-2018 | NN Group excludes investments in oil sands
NN Group has further strengthened its responsible investment policy. Together with its asset manager NN Investment Partners (NN IP), NN Group has made the decision to place investment restrictions on companies involved in oil sands. In addition to NN’s own assets, these restrictions will apply to all funds managed on behalf of customers.
Oil sands, also known as tar sands or crude bitumen, is a form of heavy oil found in sand and rock. Oil sands development poses environmental and social challenges. This is because the greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing fuels from oil sands are higher than conventional crude oil. Furthermore, the production of oil sands and its transport via pipelines generates significant human rights concerns, and is a serious cause of local environmental pollution.
Dailah Nihot, member of the NN Group Management Board: ‘Climate change presents a risk to our investments, but can also provide opportunities if business models are timely adjusted. Although our preferred approach is to engage with companies to support them in the transition to a low-carbon economy, we also want to direct our efforts to those sectors where we believe that our engagement can be most effective. If global warming is to be kept below 2 degrees in line with the Paris Agreement, we believe oil sands should not be developed. After evaluating the oil sands sector, we concluded exclusion sends an important signal in support of the quest for alternatives.’
The policy applies investment restrictions on companies whose business models are dependent on the extraction of oil sands. This is defined as a share of oil sands higher than 30% of the total oil and gas average production in barrels of oil equivalent per day. Companies with less than 30% share of oil sands will be monitored, and evaluated in two years’ time. Furthermore, pipeline operators are also restricted when involved in oil sands transportation projects that are in dispute, and when engagement is not expected to achieve the desired results.
The restricted companies have been placed on our publicly available Exclusion List. This means that we will divest the equity and fixed income holdings that are held within mutual funds managed by NN IP. With regard to NN IP’s client assets that are managed in a discretionary way, we will encourage our customers to follow our decision. The restrictions also apply to NN’s proprietary assets, which are currently not exposed.
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