Our responsible investment approach
Aviva is not just an insurer but an investor in the economy, investing in buildings, infrastructure projects and companies around the world to help our customers save for their future.
We do this, in part, through Aviva Investors (AI), our global asset management company Aviva Investors is our global asset management company, with £349 billion (as at 31 March 2021) assets under management in equities, fixed income, property and multi-asset.
Aviva Investors has a heritage in responsible investing dating back to the early 1970s. We invest responsibly with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations a central pillar of our investment process because we believe it can minimise risk and allows us to spot opportunities for our customers. This process includes areas like climate change, biodiversity, human rights, plastics and gender diversity.
Demonstrating the depth of our ESG work, AI received the highest grade in the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment’s (UN PRI’s) 2020 annual assessment of A+ for our ESG strategy, governance and active ownership (i.e. engagement and voting).
During 2020 AI continued to enhance their responsible investment processes. This work has included:
- Targeting £10 billion of investments into UK infrastructure and real estate projects over the next three years, as pension funds and insurers continue to increase their appetite for such investments.
- Embedding our responsible investment philosophy, which sets out our responsible investment commitments as a business;
- Continuing to implement specific ESG integration policies for each of our investment functions: Credit, Equities, Multi-Asset and Macro, Real Assets and Solutions;
- Continuing the development of new products and solutions that meet the specific needs and values of our clients, including building a Sustainable Outcomes Funds Range linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and
- Working with Aviva France and Aviva UK Life to design funds and solutions for customers looking to integrate ESG considerations further into their investment proposition, including the AVSD 2.0 (Aviva Vie Solutions Durables) project in France.
We also continue to play our role as a responsible asset owner engaging with the companies, projects and assets we own on issues such as climate change, human rights and diversity. For example, as part of Climate Action 100+, Aviva Investors co-filed a resolution at BP to provide clarity on how the company’s strategy is consistent with the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement.
As a result, BP committed to being net zero for oil and gas extracted, significantly reduce carbon intensity for traded energy, and outlined a roadmap including a 40% reduction in oil and gas over the next decade while increasing new energy capex by ten times to £5 billion.
In 2020 we undertook 2,328 engagements with 1,740 individual companies and voted on 72,025 resolutions at 6,457 shareholder meetings on ESG matters. We voted in favour of 82% of shareholder resolutions on climate change.
We recognise the need to encourage change not just with the companies we invest in, but in our industry and economy as a whole. Aviva is a founder member of the United Nations Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance, which advises global policymakers on how to generate greater investment in sustainable development.
In October 2020, Amanda Blanc, Aviva Group CEO, attended the annual GISD meeting and talked about the coalition Aviva is leading to create an International Platform for Climate Finance (the IPCF) to bridge the gap between public financing needs and large scale private sector investment on climate change, as well as about the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA).
We co-founded the WBA alongside the United Nations Foundation and others to establish public, transparent and authoritative league tables, ranking companies on their contribution to the SDGs. In 2020, the WBA published a suite of rankings addressing food and agriculture, digital inclusion and gender equality and empowerment.
Find out more about responsible investment at Aviva Investors.