Aegon is a UK-based insurance, pension and asset-management provider. The company achieved carbon neutrality in 2016. The company now aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across its default pension fund ranges by 2050.
Aegon partnered with ClimateCare - a climate advisory company - in order to select its carbon offsetting investments. The first project Aegon involved itself in was a Gold Standard project, based in China. The project involved replacing inefficient cookstoves, commonly used in cooking and heating in China. One-third of all Chinese households use inefficient cookstoves in China, which release greenhouse gases, as well as expose families to toxic fumes and contributing to respiratory diseases.
Over the last year, Aegon implemented this project, which helped around 8,000 Chinese people. Their inefficient cookstoves were replaced with new, more efficient cookstoves. The new stoves are powered with readily available local biomass waste, typically corn husks. This allows for cleaner and more efficient cooking, as well as abundant fuel supplies.
98% of people involved reported that there was less smoke in their homes after installing the new cookstoves. The use of the cookstove also allowed families to save an average of $300 in fuel costs last year. This is over 10% of the annual income per household in China.
The second project Aegon is involved in is an investment in the Kavakli renewable energy wind power plant, based in Turkey. This project is helping Turkey reduce air pollution and providing economic development. Most importantly, it is aiding Turkey in meeting its COP21 targets. The power plant is reducing CO2 emissions by over 60,000 tonnes annually.
Aegon is also committed to ensuring that it is making sustainable investments. For example, Aegon confirmed that those invested in its LifePath pension investment strategies would be more exposed to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments. More than half of the total LifePath assets, which is around £3bn, are going to be invested in ESG strategies. Overall, Aegon invested over £180 million last year in responsible investment solutions.
Aegon is highly committed to being eco friendly and helping its customers invest in a more sustainable future. Aegon demonstrates that it is possible to retain your position as a leader in your sector, without becoming too niche, and moving towards environmental sustainability and a greener mode of operating.
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