Aegon commits to group-wide net-zero emissions objective by 2050
The Hague, November 2, 2021 - Aegon announces today that it has committed to transition its EUR 156 billion general account investment portfolio to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This is an important step in the strengthening of Aegon’s group-wide approach towards corporate sustainability. In this context, Aegon will join the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a UN-convened group of institutional investors committed to transitioning their portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
To ensure progress towards this 2050 commitment, Aegon has set a clear medium-term target. By 2025, Aegon aims to reduce by 25% the weighted average carbon intensity of its approximately EUR 55 billion corporate fixed income and listed equity general account assets where it has control. Aegon will set additional targets at 5-year intervals for the period after 2025 until 2050. To reach the 2025 target, Aegon will make adjustments to its general account portfolio.
Furthermore, Aegon will regularly engage with those companies in its global investment portfolio that are the most carbon intensive in order to drive real-world reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Aegon will regularly update its group-wide responsible investment exclusion criteria to reflect the latest scientific findings on climate change.
"Climate change is one of the most urgent environmental and social issues of our time, and Aegon is committed to helping transition to a net-zero carbon economy,” said Lard Friese, CEO of Aegon. “With today’s announcements, Aegon is embarking on a journey to transition its investment portfolio to net-zero emissions by 2050. To live up to this commitment, we have set a first medium-term target, underpinned by concrete action plans. I am convinced that bybuilding a sustainable company, we can create lasting value for all our stakeholders.”
Additional actions are underway in local markets. For its Dutch business, Aegon will commit to an extended 2050 climate action plan to include separate account assets and off-balance sheet investments, next to general account assets. Earlier this year, Aegon UK announced its commitment to a 50% carbon reduction in its standard funds for workplace pensions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Complementary to Aegon joining the Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance, Aegon Asset Management will join the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative.
Aegon’s roots go back more than 175 years – to the first half of the nineteenth century. Since then, Aegon has grown into an international company, with businesses in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Today, Aegon is one of the world’s leading financial services organizations, providing life insurance, pensions, and asset management. Aegon’s purpose is to help people achieve a lifetime of financial security. More information on aegon.com.
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The statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following are words that identify such forward-looking statements: aim, believe, estimate, target, intend, may, expect, anticipate, predict, project, counting on, plan, continue, want, forecast, goal, should, would, could, is confident, will, and similar expressions as they relate to Aegon. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Aegon undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which merely reflect company expectations at the time of writing. Actual results may differ materially from expectations conveyed in forward-looking statements due to changes caused by various risks and uncertainties. Such risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to the following:
- Changes in general economic and/or governmental conditions, particularly in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom;
- Changes in the performance of financial markets, including emerging markets, such as with regard to:
- The frequency and severity of defaults by issuers in Aegon’s fixed income investment portfolios;
- The effects of corporate bankruptcies and/or accounting restatements on the financial markets and the resulting decline in the value of equity and debt securities Aegon holds; and
- The effects of declining creditworthiness of certain public sector securities and the resulting decline in the value of government exposure that Aegon holds;
- Changes in the performance of Aegon’s investment portfolio and decline in ratings of Aegon’s counterparties;
- Lowering of one or more of Aegon’s debt ratings issued by recognized rating organizations and the adverse impact such action may have on Aegon’s ability to raise capital and on its liquidity and financial condition;
- Lowering of one or more of insurer financial strength ratings of Aegon’s insurance subsidiaries and the adverse impact such action may have on the written premium, policy retention, profitability and liquidity of its insurance subsidiaries;
- The effect of the European Union’s Solvency II requirements and other regulations in other jurisdictions affecting the capital Aegon is required to maintain;
- Changes affecting interest rate levels and continuing low or rapidly changing interest rate levels;
- Changes affecting currency exchange rates, in particular the EUR/USD and EUR/GBP exchange rates;
- Changes in the availability of, and costs associated with, liquidity sources such as bank and capital markets funding, as well as conditions in the credit markets in general such as changes in borrower and counterparty creditworthiness;
- Increasing levels of competition in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and emerging markets;
- Catastrophic events, either manmade or by nature, including by way of example acts of God, acts of terrorism, acts of war and pandemics, could result in material losses and significantly interrupt Aegon’s business;
- The frequency and severity of insured loss events;
- Changes affecting longevity, mortality, morbidity, persistence and other factors that may impact the profitability of Aegon’s insurance products;
- Aegon’s projected results are highly sensitive to complex mathematical models of financial markets, mortality, longevity, and other dynamic systems subject to shocks and unpredictable volatility. Should assumptions to these models later prove incorrect, or should errors in those models escape the controls in place to detect them, future performance will vary from projected results;
- Reinsurers to whom Aegon has ceded significant underwriting risks may fail to meet their obligations;
- Changes in customer behavior and public opinion in general related to, among other things, the type of products Aegon sells, including legal, regulatory or commercial necessity to meet changing customer expectations;
- Customer responsiveness to both new products and distribution channels;
- As Aegon’s operations support complex transactions and are highly dependent on the proper functioning of information technology, operational risks such as system disruptions or failures, security or data privacy breaches, cyberattacks, human error, failure to safeguard personally identifiable information, changes in operational practices or inadequate controls including with respect to third parties with which we do business may disrupt Aegon’s business, damage its reputation and adversely affect its results of operations, financial condition and cash flows;
- The impact of acquisitions and divestitures, restructurings, product withdrawals and other unusual items, including Aegon’s ability to integrate acquisitions and to obtain the anticipated results and synergies from acquisitions;
- Aegon’s failure to achieve anticipated levels of earnings or operational efficiencies, as well as other management initiatives related to cost savings, cash capital at Holding, gross financial leverage and free cash flow;
- Changes in the policies of central banks and/or governments;
- Litigation or regulatory action that could require Aegon to pay significant damages or change the way Aegon does business;
- Competitive, legal, regulatory, or tax changes that affect profitability, the distribution cost of or demand for Aegon’s products;
- Consequences of an actual or potential break-up of the European monetary union in whole or in part, or the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union and potential consequences if other European Union countries leave the European Union;
- Changes in laws and regulations, particularly those affecting Aegon’s operations’ ability to hire and retain key personnel, taxation of Aegon companies, the products Aegon sells, and the attractiveness of certain products to its consumers;
- Regulatory changes relating to the pensions, investment, and insurance industries in the jurisdictions in which Aegon operates;
- Standard setting initiatives of supranational standard setting bodies such as the Financial Stability Board and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors or changes to such standards that may have an impact on regional (such as EU), national or US federal or state level financial regulation or the application thereof to Aegon, including the designation of Aegon by the Financial Stability Board as a Global Systemically Important Insurer (G-SII); and
- Changes in accounting regulations and policies or a change by Aegon in applying such regulations and policies, voluntarily or otherwise, which may affect Aegon’s reported results, shareholders’ equity or regulatory capital adequacy levels.
Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting Aegon are described in its filings with the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, Aegon expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Aegon’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
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