Investments are screened on the basis of the UN Global Compact. The principles of responsible action serve as the basis for a broad filter catalogue. This also rules out controversial weapons, such as antipersonnel mines. Before new purchases of securities are made, a check is also performed to verify the issuer's conformity with ESG criteria. Talanx has adopted separate investment guidelines for asset classes such as infrastructure and real estate that currently cannot be covered by the screening. Among other things, investments in nuclear power projects or assets with heavy environmental impacts are excluded.
"Investors, customers and employees have high expectations of our actions and our investments. The Group-wide implementation of sustainable business management is not, however, a sprint. I am all the more pleased that we are able to gain additional insights into our asset portfolio through systematic screening of the investments. We have thus put in place a good basis for deciding which investments we consider to be not suitable and wish to scale back", Herbert K. Haas, Chief Executive Officer of Talanx AG, notes. "And that is just what we are doing now. For us the sustainability of an investment is also an indicator of its long-term profitability."
ESG screening is performed quarterly by an external service provider and currently covers some 90 percent of all Group investments. Positions that are considered unsuitable are to be reduced by the end of the year. Altogether, Talanx has assets under own management totalling around EUR 110 billion. The proportion of fixed-income securities as at 31 March 2017 stood at 89 percent, the equity allocation after derivatives was just under two percent. Roughly three percent of investments were in real estate. The other shares in the investment portfolio are attributable to asset classes such as private equity, infrastructure as well as cash positions.
Infrastructure investments expanded in line with strategy
In keeping with its strategy, Talanx is consistently expanding its investments in infrastructure facilities such as wind farms, power grids and water utilities. The Group is currently invested in an amount of around EUR 1.5 billion in renewables and other core infrastructure assets. This includes new investments of roughly EUR 400 million made in 2016. By the end of 2017 Talanx intends to step up its investment portfolio in this sector to almost EUR 2 billion.
Group's second Sustainability Report is published
The sustainability strategy of the Group has been published annually since 2016 as part of the Sustainability Report. The Group has now released the report for the 2016 financial year. Along with all German locations and the WARTA Group in Poland, it also encompasses for the first time the Italian insurer HDI Assicurazioni. This means that the reporting now covers roughly two-thirds of the gross premium income and workforce in primary insurance business. Talanx is progressively integrating key companies from its core markets into the report, which is drawn up according to the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines (GRI G4) and shows the status and progress of Talanx activities in major non-financial areas.
Measures stepped up to reduce CO2 emissions
Along with sustainable investing, Talanx considers the reduction of its carbon footprint to be of crucial importance. The steps already taken by the Talanx Group include climate-neutral printing and the use of FSCcertified paper. Furthermore, in 2016 a CO2 target of 125 g/km (previously 140 g/km) was set for new company cars. Another new feature was the launch of a mobility strategy, under which employees choose between a company car, flat-rate mobility grant and a first-class BahnCard 100 railcard for use on national rail and local public transportation networks.
This news release contains forward-looking statements which are based on certain assumptions, expectations and opinions of the Talanx AG management. These statements are, therefore, subject to certain known or unknown risks and uncertainties. A variety of factors, many of which are beyond Talanx AG’s control, affect Talanx AG’s business activities, business strategy, results, performance and achievements. Should one or more of these factors or risks or uncertainties materialise, actual results, performance or achievements of Talanx AG may vary materially from those expressed or implied in the relevant forward-looking statement. Talanx AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor does Talanx AG accept any responsibility for the actual occurrence of the forecasted developments. Talanx AG neither intends, nor assumes any obligation, to update or revise these forward-looking statements in light of developments which differ from those anticipated.