Netherlands Network Partner Zwitserleven recently won a prestigious Gouden Schilden 2011 award for corporate social responsibility (CSR). The Gouden Schilden (Golden Shields) are presented to companies that have performed exceptionally well in the Dutch financial services industry.
According to the awards jury, Zwitserleven distinguishes itself from other pension providers by the attention it pays to CSR in both its products and operations. Zwitserleven has a distinct profile thanks to its investment policy, as well as initiatives such as Zorgen met Gevoel, which lets employees work for social institutions and organisations one day a year during working hours. Every year, hundreds of employees take part in the scheme.

Socially responsible investment

Zwitserleven’s assets are managed by SNS Asset Management (SNS AM), the asset investment division of SNS REAAL, a pioneer in socially responsible investment management. This means that pension capital is not invested in companies whose activities are detrimental to people or the environment. Zwitserleven also refuses to purchase government bonds from countries that do not meet its social responsibility criteria.

Investments must meet ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria, and Zwitserleven and SNS AM set specific requirements for investments:
- Avoidance of (involvement in) human rights violations, child labour and forced labour
- Avoidance of serious forms of corruption
- Avoidance of serious environmental pollution
- No involvement in the production, development, use, or trade of controversial weapon systems
- Respect for the generally accepted ethical fundamentals that apply to a humanitarian society

Zwitserleven also encourages companies to exercise corporate social responsibility through active dialogue and using its vote at shareholder meetings to foster ethical policies.

Proven by independent research
The Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) has assessed the sustainability of the investment policy of the biggest Dutch insurance providers. Zwitserleven and our parent company SNS REAAL achieved the highest overall score in 2009 and 2010.

According to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), SNS AM, Zwitserleven’s investment manager, is among the top socially responsible investment management companies. This year, UN PRI compared SNS AM with 345 investment managers worldwide, and found that SNS AM scores well in all areas (in the top quartile) and far surpasses its competitors for individual scores. In a number of areas, such as integrating aspects of ESG into investment management, collaborating with other signatories, being an active shareholder, and reporting, SNS AM even received a perfect score of 100%.

Eurosif quality mark
Eurosif (the European Sustainable Investment Forum) is a pan-European network and think-tank whose mission is to develop sustainability through European financial markets. Zwitserleven is the first pension provider in the Netherlands to meet the strict requirements of Eurosif and to be allowed to carry Eurosif’s quality mark for all its funds.

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Phone: 0031-205783982