The €200bn Dutch asset manager PGGM is to work with a local provider of social impact management metrics to boost its understanding of the social impact of its portfolio.

To date, the Amsterdam-based provider, Sinzer, has largely worked with Dutch charities and family offices, but its work with PGGM comes after the manager’s main client, the €179bn PFZW, pledged to quadruple its exposure to sustainable investments – including investments meant to improve food security and combat food scarcity

Cedric Scholl, corporate trainee at PGGM said: “The co-operation with Sinzer enables us to improve registration of impact data reported by companies.”

According to Scholl, PGGM will work on new metrics for impact measurement, “including reduction of the carbon footprint or the amount of water saved by new technology”.

He added that PGGM already has monitored many areas, such as production of healthier food, but that companies sometimes were unable to produce the relevant data.

PGGM wants to involve approximately 40 companies earmarked as providing solutions, because of their positive impact on environment, water, food or health, the focus points of PFZW’s policy for impact investing.

At the moment, PGGM has combined impact investments in listed companies of €1bn for PFZW, whereas the asset manager’s total stake in investments in such solutions stands at €9bn.

Impact investments and measuring their effect are to play an increasing role in PGGM’s investment policy, as noted by Piet Klop, the manager’s senior advisor, responsible investments. 

Speaking as the Global Impact Investing Network launched a report on the business value of impact measurement, Klop said that measuring impact had numerous benefits, including motivating PGGM’s staff, but also allowing its clients to demonstrate how pension savings were being used for societal good.

PGGM sees impact measurement – and its standardization – as an important step towards the impact we are really after: signaling to our peers, our investees and the market as a whole that institutional investors are interested in positive, tangible impacts and that those impacts can be brought about at market-rate returns,” he said.

PGGM aims to have deployed €20bn into the area by in 2020.