Sustainable business

Balance between people, planet and profit.

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a.s.r. takes account of sustainability wherever possible.

We seek to be a leader in sustainable business practices in the financial sector, which is in keeping with our role in society. Five focus areas for the sustainability policy have been defined. These are insurance, people, investment, planet and society. 

a.s.r. engages in dialogue with all stakeholders on the principles and objectives of the sustainability policy. To this end, we maintain close contact with internal stakeholders and a broad group of external stakeholders, including customers, regulators, politicians and government ministers, and trade bodies.

Insuring

Offering security to customers is what lies at the heart of our business. Customers need to be able to rely on a.s.r. meeting its financial obligations because a.s.r.e nters into long-term liabilities such as pension contracts. That is why sustainable financial robustness is essential and one of our top priorities.

The products and services a.s.r. offers meet the needs of the customers; in addition to being subject to an in-house review, they are also assessed by consumers and employers or a selection of customers. Market surveys, social media, customer behaviour surveys and customer panels are just some of the instruments a.s.r. uses to identify about its customers' needs.

Customer Interest Dashboard

​For a.s.r. and its customers continuity and trust are of great importance. That is why we work hard on fully transparent products and services. 

a.s.r. attaches great value to offering the most transparant products and services. That is why a.s.r. is open and honest about its rating in the AFM's Customer Centricity Dashboard. This annual survey by the regulator benchmarks the extent to which Dutch financial institutions focus on customer interests in their products, services and processes. a.s.r. achieved a score of 3.4 out of 5 on the Dashboard for 2014/2015. Although this corresponds with the average score for the financial sector, it is 0.2 lower than last year when a.s.r. scored 3.6.

Customer-Oriented Insurance Quality Mark

The Customer-Oriented Insurance Quality Mark (Dutch accronym: KKV) is a mark of the quality of service and customer focus of insurerers. When an insurer holds this quality mark, customers can count on receiving clear information, insurance that meets their needs and a first-rate service. The quality mark allows insurance companies to demonstrate that customer focus is truly top-of-mind for the and that they are audited for being customer-friendly. The a.s.r., De Amersfoortse, Ditzo and Europeesche verzekeringen labels have all been awarded the quality mark. After the most recent survey by the Dutch Insurance Review Agency to continiously monitor the performance of all labels rather than once every two years.

Ardanta does not carry the Customer-Oriented Insurance Quality Mark. It did start to develop various intitiatives in 2015 to offer better client service, including featuring customer journeys such as 'Being a Customer' and 'Surviving Dependant'.

Improving processes

a.s.r. is continuously looking to improve the processes that are in place to help customers, for instance by assisting unit-linked policyholders and by simplifying the productoffering. a.s.r. is constantly making sure that prospective and existing customers can access and understand the information it provides.

In addition, a.s.r. improves its processes based on customer feedback e.f. from the closed loop customer feedback (CLF). Closed loop customer feedback is important because it enables employees to solicit feedback from customers on a continuous basis, translate it into ideas for improvement and implement targeted improvements. Another key instrument that contributed to process improvements in 2015 is that of customer journeys. By engaging with customers about how a.s.r. handled their claim, a.s.r. identified and implemented concrete improvements.

Investment

As an institutional investor, one way in which a.s.r. takes ownership of social responsibility is through the use of ethical and sustainability criteria in its investment policy. All investments managed by the Group Asset Management department are screened on the basis of the socially responsible investment (SRI) policy, focusing on aspects such as social and environmental criteria. Countries and businesses that do not meet the criteria are excluded. These include producers of controversial or offensive weapons, nuclear energy and tobacco and the gambling industry. We also require that businesses comply with international conventions on human rights and labour rights.

a.s.r. applies criteria relating to matters such as gender equality, freedom of union and the exclusion of child labour. We believe in engagement through constructive dialogue with the businesses we invest in with the aim of increasing shareholder value and benefits to society in the long term. Where a business carries on controversial activities and dialogue does not produce a positive outcome, the business is excluded from the investment portfolio. 

With regard to investments in sovereign debt, a.s.r. excludes countries that have a poor score in the Freedom in the World Annual Report and the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Socially Responsible Investment Sustainable Investing Code Fair Insurance Guide UN PRI Estate Investment Management

People

Having a talented, qualified and healthy workforce is key for a.s.r. in achieving its business objectives. That is why a.s.r. is committed to attracting, retaining and inspiring the best people, offering them extensive scope for training and development, and facilitating a sound work/life balance.

Planet

a.s.r. seeks to minimize its impact on nature and the environment. One aspect of this is the efficient use of resources, energy and water. Furthermore, a.s.r. is actively getting to grips with waste management, mobility, energy reduction and carbon emissions.

CO2 Renovation of head office Mobility policy Sustainable purchasing

Profit

In addition to sustainable business practices, to a.s.r., social responsibility also involves investing in a broad range of community initiatives, by ging a financial impulse, by encouraging emplyees to volunteer and by way of various foundations and funds. One way in which a.s.r. gives practical application to its motto 'helping by taking action' is through the a.s.r. Foundation.

a.s.r. foundation Foundations Helping by taking action

Codes and guidelines

a.s.r. has a public duty to act as a responsible insurer and investor.
As a proof a.s.r. has signed the following national and international standards and agreements: