Asset manager ACTIAM is excluding tobacco manufacturers from all its investment portfolios and index funds with immediate effect.
In line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, ACTIAM is further implementing the social responsibility themes of responsible investment.
Dennis van der Putten, head of responsible investment at ACTIAM, says: “With its responsible investment policy, ACTIAM aims to contribute to a world worth living in. Now and in the future. We want to make a proactive contribution to a positive future. A future in which tobacco, adult entertainment and gambling have no place. By excluding tobacco, we are making further steps towards shaping our investment policy around social themes.”
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria form the starting point of ACTIAM’s investment policy and are integrated in the way in which we invest.
ACTIAM has a fourfold approach to ESG. First, there are rules on exclusion. For instance, it does not invest in manufacturers of cluster munition. Second, it searches for companies that are committed to general ethical principles, such as the principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Furthermore, ACTIAM has special focus teams working on themes such as climate, water and land, and it also conducts impact investing.
Van der Putten says: “We have established limits in terms of human rights and labour rights, environment, corruption and integrity. We do not to exceed these limits even if this would in theory generate more profit. It is sometimes a grey area and we have therefore established a list of exclusions in various areas. However, we prefer engagement rather than exclusion, i.e. we engage in discussions with companies to encourage them to improve their way of doing business in order to achieve better results. By excluding companies, you lose influence, and the question is whether this helps to achieve the right kind of change. Companies that are excluded miss the pressure of the critical shareholder that is needed to change their ways. However, in the case of tobacco we do not harbour the illusion that engagement will lead to a good, harmless product.”