Candriam divests from coal and tobacco

CANDRIAM announces that it will extend the scope of controversial activities exclusion for all its assets to thermal coal, tobacco and chemical, biological and white phosphorus weapons.

CANDRIAM’s exclusion policy, which has been successfully implemented for nearly 20 years for SRI-invested assets, and which has enabled the company to become an industry leader in this field with €30 billion in AUM on pure SRI strategies, is now extended to all the company’s active, smart-beta, indexed and alternative strategies (€113bn as of June 30, 2018). The new measure will be fully implemented by 31 December 2018.

Commenting on the decision, Naïm Abou-Jaoudé, CEO of CANDRIAM and Chairman of NYLIM International, said: “Excluding coal and tobacco from our mainstream investments is part of our commitment and shows our ambition of being a sustainability leader. Coal is the most polluting energy source and the first stranded asset in an energy transition pathway, while the harmful effects of tobacco are increasingly exposed. We recognise the important role asset managers play in tackling major global issues such as health and climate.”

Scope of the exclusion

CANDRIAM will introduce homogeneous exclusion thresholds for the full scope of its assets under management. The exclusion of thermal coal is based on an exposure level (direct and indirect) of maximum 10%. Furthermore, CANDRIAM will ban all companies launching new coal projects. Exclusion of tobacco targets manufacturers as well as their suppliers.

A leader in Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI) since 1996, CANDRIAM has built over the years one of the largest dedicated teams in Europe and the broadest range of SRI strategies in Europe. Candriam’s strong commitment to SRI has led the company to always integrate ESG criteria throughout the investment processes of its mainstream products. More recently, CANDRIAM decided to donate 10% of revenues from its SRI funds to initiatives related to research and education on SRI and social inclusion projects.

The exclusions are aligned with recent engagements and commitments made by CANDRIAM, such as the World No Tobacco Day, the Montreal Carbon Pledge, the Climate Action 100+ or the Investor Agenda Initiative. Candriam strongly believes that long-term sustainability trends can have a major impact on the performance of companies and is committed to allocating capital towards sectors that do not contribute to adverse effects on society.

Vincent Hamelink, Chief Investment Officer – Investment Management concluded: “Over the years we have witnessed a growing concern over involvement in a range of controversial activities. At CANDRIAM we believe that the health, social and environmental costs are key in a risk-return analysis. Extending our divestment strategy to our mainstream funds is a logical next step as investments in these companies are increasingly incompatible with our long-term risk/return objectives and our sustainability targets such as the 2 Degrees Initiative.”