Kempen Capital Management (Kempen) has published its Annual Stewardship and Sustainability Investment Report 2021, which details the significant progress made towards embedding sustainable investing across the firm’s investment strategies.
Kempen’s annual report provides information on its ambitions to reduce the carbon footprint of assets under management.
For the first time, all portfolios of which Kempen is in direct control will be managed with the dual objectives of traditional risk/return and targeting to decrease the carbon footprint of portfolios by 7 per cent annually until 2030.
In 2021 Kempen voted at 437 distinct company meetings, with 14% of votes cast against management. Kempen withheld or abstained on at least one point in 66% of meetings. Furthermore, Kempen voted against management on 56 out of the 102 shareholder proposals tabled at the general meetings, including on gender pay gap (5), lack of independent chairperson (5), climate change (10), social proposals (12), shareholder rights (19) and political lobbying disclosure (5).
In 2021, Kempen engaged directly with 132 companies on environmental, social and governance themes. Of these, 90 engagements were for change carried out by the firm’s portfolio managers and sustainability team. Kempen also engaged with an additional 204 companies in collaboration with peers.
Kempen’s three priority themes within sustainability are ‘Climate Action & Biodiversity’, ‘Smart & Circular Economy’ and ‘Living Better for Longer’. In 2021, the firm published its latest Biodiversity Policy, joined the Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF) and signed the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, committing to set concrete targets by 2024.
Kempen also launched its Kempen SDG Farmland Fund in 2021, which has started investing in agricultural assets which offer attractive returns while contributing to sustainable food production.
In 2021, Kempen continued the roll-out of its proprietary Sustainability Spectrum framework, which scores external managers across public and private markets, while defining client sustainability preferences. The framework helps investors define whether a financial product or service aims to be responsible, or whether it has more ambitious goals and aims to be sustainable or generate impact.
By the end of 2021, Kempen has applied the Sustainability Spectrum scoring methodology to 387 internally – and externally – managed funds, representing more than 57 per cent of Van Lanschot Kempen’s AUM.