PFZW passes halfway point for carbon reduction target
PGGM, the asset manager of the €197bn Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW, is halfway to achieving its main client’s target of halving its carbon footprint by 2020.
In its annual report for 2017, it revealed that it had reduced CO2 emissions in PFZW’s investment portfolio by 28% relative to 2014.
The €218bn asset manager said it also wanted to reduce its own carbon footprint, which had increased 9% last year as a result of its number of staff rising from 1,322 to 1,372.
It added that an increase in direct investments had also led to more air travel by staff.
Last month civil service scheme ABP said it had hit its carbon reduction target two years earlier than expected.
Elsewhere in its annual report, PGGM detailed an initial malfunction of its invoicing system for PFZW, which had caused 3,000 of the 22,000 employers affiliated with the healthcare scheme to receive wrongly calculated invoices.
It also reported “incidents” involving two pension fund clients. Although it didn’t identify the schemes, PFZW’s annual report cited that 36,000 of its participants hadn’t received the mandatory information letters for joining or leaving their scheme in time.
PFZW said that systems and processes had been improved and that the letters had finally been sent.
Dutch regulator DNB said in April that it planned to assess the adequacy of pension fund operations.
PGGM recently warned that its IT system would not be able to cope with the Netherlands’ proposed new pension system.
Meanwhile, the asset manager said its innovation programme to reduce costs had saved €50m since it started three years ago. It also achieved PFZW’s goal of a 20% costs saving across the entire investment chain.
The asset manager added that it had recouped €3.1m of investment losses as a result of legal procedures. Currently, it is a participant in a US class action against Brazilian oil company Petrobras, which saw its market value halve in the wake of a corruption scandal. Several other European pension funds have already reached settlements with the company, including Sweden’s AP1, Dutch scheme AVH, and the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme.
PGGM posted a net profit of €2.9m in 2017, compared with €1.3m in the previous year.