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.