A study by the Dutch Association of Investors in Sustainable Development finds that pension funds prefer the SDGs that relate to climate and affordable clean energy, and that the SDGs are easier to understand and less abstract than environmental, social and governance criteria.
In addition, the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands published its first report on progress made on the SDGs by Dutch companies, finding that they contribute most often to SDGs 8, 12 and 13.
December 2018: A limited number of large Dutch pension funds have been able to incorporate the SDGs into their investment policies, according to a survey undertaken by the Dutch Association of Investors in Sustainable Development (VBDO). The survey looked at the 42 largest pension schemes, and notes difficulties faced by smaller funds in particular. Also in the Netherlands, the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands has published its first report on progress made on the SDGs by Dutch companies.
VBDO acknowledged that the lack of clarity regarding financial consequences and the measurability of progress has limited the SDGs’ uptake by pension funds. While just seven of the participating schemes reported SDG-related investments or policies, approximately 17% of the participating schemes never discussed the SDGs, and one-third did so once a year, mostly discussing how to meet poverty- and climate change-related SDG targets.
The SDGs are easier to understand and less abstract than ESG criteria, the study finds.
The VBDO study finds that:
- Pension funds prefer SDGs that relate to climate and affordable clean energy;
- A dozen additional pension funds are expected to start implementing and reporting on the SDGs in the near future;
- The SDGs are easier to understand and less abstract than environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria; and
- Pension funds already involved in SDG implementation could educate other schemes.
The Global Compact Network Netherlands published its first report on progress made on the SDGs by Dutch companies. The report titled, ‘Companies on Their Way to 2030,’ which was released on 30 November 2018 at a SDGs-Business Network event, shows that Dutch businesses contribute most often to three SDGs: SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (climate action).
During the launch, Global Compact Network Netherlands Chair Jan-Willem Scheijgrond reported that more Dutch companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are taking action on the SDGs. He said that in 2017, around 89% of members were contributing to the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles and the SDGs.
Scheijgrond signed an alliance with Steef van de Velde, Dean, Rotterdam School of Management of the Erasmus University, to accelerate sustainable development and underline the necessity of a more intensive cooperation between companies and academia to enhance knowledge-sharing. [VBDO report page] [Investment & Pensions Europe News Story] [Publication: Pension Funds and Sustainable Development Goals: Be smarter, speak louder, push harder!] [UN Global Compact News Story] [Global Compact Network Netherlands] [Progress Report (in Dutch)]