Session videoSDGs

The SDGs in action

The SDGs are a framework for looking at the broader global challenges the world needs to solve. This session looks at case studies of how investors are using SDGs to shape a view of the future and incorporating that into an investment framework.

Speaker

As managing director global responsible investment and governance Claudia Kruse is part of the management team of the investment function reporting into the chief investment officer on the board of APG Asset Management. APG manages pension assets of 515 billion euro (April 2020) on behalf of Dutch pension funds. The 20 people strong global RI and governance team based in Amsterdam, New York and Hong Kong, safeguards the implementation of the clients’ responsible investment policies across all asset classes.
Before joining APG in 2009, she worked on the buy and sell-side in London for almost a decade. She is an experienced non-profit board member and serves on the board of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN). Since 2016 she has been appointed to the German Corporate Governance Code Commission, and she was a member of the EU Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (2017) whose recommendations inspired the EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance. In 2016 she was voted CIO Europe’s Next Generation CIO Award winner.
Claudia co-chairs the Principles for Responsible Investment’s Advisory Committee on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and APG is also a member of the UN initiative Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) which seeks to advance investment into the SDGs.
Claudia studied International Management & Chinese, and has an MSc Tourism & Development (UCL, London). She has lived in Germany, China, the UK and now the Netherlands. She has inter alia published on the Governance of Sustainability and the integration of sustainability into remuneration which reflects her strong belief in the connection between good governance and sustainability.

Moderator

Tate has been an investment industry media publisher and conference producer since 1996. In his media career, Tate has launched and overseen dozens of print and
electronic publications. He is the chief executive and major shareholder of Conexus Financial, which was formed in 2005, and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
The company stages more than 20 conferences and events each year –
in cities which have included London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Beijing, Sydney and Melbourne – and publishes three media brands,
including the global website and strategy newsletter for global
institutional investors www.top1000funds.com. One of the company’s signature events is the bi-annual Fiduciary Investors Symposium. Conexus Financial’s
events aim to place the responsibilities of investors in wider societal, and political contexts, as well as promote the long-term stability of markets and sustainable
retirement incomes. Tate served for seven years on the board of Australia’s most high profile homeless charity, The Wayside Chapel; and he has underwritten the
welfare of 60,000 people in 28 villages throughout Uganda via The Hunger Project.

Key takeaways

Claudia  

  • We are actively engaging with Amazon to influence their corporate behaviours.
  • We need to be transparent about what we do and how we do it.
  • We actively seek stakeholder feedback to enable us to become better investors.
  • Given our asset class focus, we have a specific focus on contributing to the sustainable city SDG.
  • We are currently focused on the contribution to the SDGs and are moving ever closer to an analysis of outcomes.

Andy

  • The SDGs are part of the pathway out of the crisis, however the SDGs existed before the crisis and they will exist after it. The crisis rallied action around the SDGs.
  • Some of the countries most impacted by COVID-19 have been the countries which suffer from the greatest social tension and inequality. These root causes need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
  • Ironically, climate change gets a disproportionately large amount of airtime and yet is one of the easier items to understand and measure.
  • We need to be very clear about what we are trying to achieve and about how we are communicating and targeting that objective.
  • Fundamentally, tackling the SDGs means change. Some companies and industries will not survive this change. Investors have the opportunity to support those committed to undertaking the change journey. This is an incredibly complex challenge. It will serve us all well to collaborate to get the best outcome. Targeting the SDGs is not a philanthropic endeavour, it is an investment question and a question of ensuring the allocation of client capital is aligned to the direction in which the world is moving.
  • The world of the future will look different. ‘You don’t arrive at the future by looking through the rear view mirror.’ We need to look forward and turn the SDG conceptual framework into a tangible strategic imperative.

Poll results

Are you aligning your investments with the SDGs?

  • No, but plan to in the next 12 months
  • No, our board is still unconvinced
  • No, this is not our fiduciary duty
  • Unsure, due to political and ideological differences in the organisation
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