Enhancement of our sustainable investment approach

Kim Berrendorf
March 15, 2021
We understand responsible investment as the inclusion of selected sustainability criteria in our investment decisions. As well as incorporating ESG criteria, exercising our voting rights and excluding selected industries, our approach is now being enhanced and strengthened to include a climate strategy and an Active Ownership Strategy.

Why we invest responsibly

A long-term focus

Our investment strategy has a long-term focus, which is the nature of the insurance business. Due to the long-term obligations arising from life insurance contracts or occupational pension contracts, short-term profit maximisation is not the main focus.

When it comes to investing insurance and third-party customer funds, we align our investment strategy with the needs of our customers. The ultimate goal of our investment strategy is to obtain a result which is as great and sustainable as possible. Within this goal, we integrate the principles of responsible investment into our investment process. We are convinced that this will have a positive impact on the risk/return profile in the long run

Sustainable investment is a key principle for our activities in the area of sustainability, which is an integral component of our business strategy. This is why we are constantly aiming to enhance our approach. We aim to use these efforts to make a positive contribution to protecting the climate and to society at large, as well as to reduce any negative effects on society and the environment.

The funds we invest responsibly 

Since the start of 2019, Baloise Asset Management has been making new investments for all insurance funds based on the defined responsible investment policy, our responsible investment approach. 

Our responsible investment approach now extends to liquid investments, bonds, alternative investments such as senior secured loans and real estate. This means that around 80 per cent of our investment volume is currently invested responsibly.

Enhancement of our sustainable investment approach

Our responsible investment approach still consists of three strategic pillars. The “Exclusion” and “Integration of ESG factors” pillars have been added as new aspects with the climate strategy. The previous “Proxy voting” pillar has been enhanced and elaborated with the help of the “Active Ownership Strategy”. This means that Baloise’s responsible investment approach has become more comprehensive as a result.

Enhancements as a result of our climate strategy

Our new climate strategy came into force on 1 February 2021 and strengthens the focus on climate and climate protection matters within our responsible investment approach. This allows us to make a contribution to Sustainable Development Goal No. 13 (combating climate change). Our climate strategy consists of four areas:

Enhancements as a result of our Active Ownership Strategy

Our Active Ownership Strategy came into force on 1 March 2021 and allows us to use our financial strength to convince company management teams to adopt a conscious approach to managing ESG risks and to exploit opportunities in these areas. This allows us to promote the transition to a sustainable economy.

As mentioned above, our climate strategy and our Active Ownership Strategy complement each other. One new aspect is the direct dialogue we will be engaging in with companies, also on the topic of climate change as one of our focal issues in collaboration with other investors. This allows us to bundle the interests of various investors, meaning that we can exert more influence over the companies we want to invest in. We also use memberships of associations to enter into dialogue with the public sector on ESG issues in connection with specific regulatory projects and continue to exercise our voting rights at the annual general meetings of companies whose shares we hold in our insurance portfolio.

The activities described above that make up our Active Ownership Strategy can be summarised using three terms: collaborative corporate dialogue, political engagement and exercise of voting rights. Within these three activities, we concentrate on certain focal issues to increase our impact and bundle our resources. These focus issues are reviewed on an annual basis, and adjusted where necessary:

baloise.com/sustainability

We create sustainable value.