Eleven Dutch banks and asset managers including APG, PGGM and MN have established a platform to develop a standard to measure the impact of their investments on the climate.

Participants in the Carbon Accounting Platform for Financial Institutions (PCAF), which also includes PMT and PME, said reaching an agreement on how best to reduce their carbon footprint would be the first step in their efforts to tackle climate change.

They also called on negotiators at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris to consider institutional investors’ potential role in achieving climate targets.

Piet Sprengers, head of sustainable policy at ASN, which came up with the idea for the PCAF, has been appointed chairman of the platform.

He estimated it would take at least one year to develop a uniform measuring method that would enable the platform to set out its climate objectives.

The PCAF said it would base its standard on the protocol of the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the global standard for measuring greenhouse gas emissions. 

Meanwhile, in other news, MN, the asset manager for PMT and PME, has joined the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC), a joint initiative by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Sweden’s AP4 and Amundi. 

MN said it joined the PDC due to the potential for co-operation through its international network, as well as the transparency of its participants on their targets and results.

Karlijn van Lierop, head of sustainable investments at MN, said: “Since this year, we have gained insight into the carbon footprint of our equity portfolios, so we know the companies responsible for the largest emissions.

“We will encourage the largest ‘polluters’ to switch to sustainable technology and start using clean energy.”

PMT and PME added that, in light of the “carbon-intensive” aspect of the metal industry, embracing new energy technology and sustainability could make a “real difference”.

The PDC, which initially set itself a target of decarbonising $100bn (€94.3bn) of assets, recently announced it was on track for $230bn after attracting 23 signatories managing $2.2trn.

The PDC’s asset-owner signatories include the UK’s Environment Agency Pension Fund, KLP of Norway, the Church of Sweden’s pension scheme and France’s ERAFP and Fonds de réserves pour les retraites.