AUM in Action

Philips Pensioenfonds Integrates UN SDGs into EM Equities

Philips Pensioenfonds, one of the largest Dutch corporate pension schemes with €17 billion AuM, has integrated UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its €370 million (US$395.5 million) emerging markets equity portfolio. The collaboration with index and analytics provider Qontigo and asset manager BlackRock aims to align investment strategies with SDGs to promote positive environmental and social impact. The portfolio, managed by BlackRock, now tracks a customised Qontigo equity benchmark, the iSTOXX PPF Responsible SDG Emerging Markets Index. This approach enables the targeting of SDG exposure by overweighting securities in emerging markets that contribute to four specific SDGs: good health and well-being (SDG 3), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), and climate action (SDG 13). The equity portfolio constitutes approximately 2% of the total assets of the pension fund. A similar solution for developed market equities was implemented in December 2021. The iSTOXX PPF Responsible SDG Emerging Market Index methodology favours companies that positively contribute to the selected SDGs. The index increases exposure to companies that generate at least 10% of their revenues from these SDGs, resulting in a minimum five percentage point increase compared to their standard benchmark weighting. Additionally, the methodology excludes companies that hinder the progress of SDGs and targets a 30% reduction in carbon intensity compared to the benchmark. Data from ISS ESG and the Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP) inform the selection process.

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