FINANCE - WEALTH MANAGEMENT

ESG

Amundi centres 2025 plan around sustainable finance



For Amundi, the acceleration of its ESG commitments will be its first growth lever. Photo: Shutterstock.

For Amundi, the acceleration of its ESG commitments will be its first growth lever. Photo: Shutterstock.

The asset manager Amundi is launching a societal action plan for 2025 with the ambition of increasing its commitment to ESG through savings and investment solutions offered to its clients or its engagement policy with companies.

Amundi, which was created from the merger of the asset management activities of the French groups Crédit Agricole and Société Générale, has made responsible investment one of its founding pillars since its creation in 2010. Of the €1.811bn under management at the end of September 2018, 800 are managed with an ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) approach.

In 2018, the company launched a three-year plan to adopt a 100% responsible approach.

Following this plan, Amundi has strengthened its shareholder activities by encouraging the companies in which it has taken stakes to go further on their engagements regarding climate issues and social cohesion. The firm claims to have engaged in extensive dialogue with 472 companies with regards to energy transition and climate change. By 2020, Amundi would have exercised its voting rights at 4,000 general meetings while maintaining these values.

In terms of product offering, all open-ended active management funds include ESG criteria with the objective of achieving an ESG rating higher than that of the benchmark index. Responsible investment assets under passive management have risen from €19bn to €80bn during this period. Assets dedicated to specific initiatives promoting the energy transition or social cohesion rose from €10bn to €31bn. Finally, the Amundi Solidarity fund doubled its investments in the social economy between 2018 and 2021.

Amundi has also launched an advisory service dedicated to institutional investors and distributors to assist them in their ESG transition.

Making way for “Ambition 2025”

With the “Ambition 2025” plan, Amundi wants to go further with a triple objective: to increase the level of ambition in terms of responsible investment of its savings solutions; to encourage as many companies as possible to define credible alignment strategies with the Net Zero 2050 objective and to ensure the support of its employees and shareholders in its new ambitions. On this point, the remuneration of its main executives will be indexed up to 20% on the achievement of ESG objectives and a climate strategy will be presented to shareholders at the 2022 general meeting.

In terms of savings solutions, portfolios will overweight those companies that have made the most efforts in their energy transition. Secondly, 40% of the passive fund range will be ESG funds. And thirdly, the assets of impact funds that invest in companies or finance projects with a positive environmental or social performance will have to reach €40bn.

By 2025, Amundi Technology will develop Alto Sustainability, a technological solution to analyse and help investors make decisions on environmental and social issues.

With regard to its actions towards companies, Amundi is committed to excluding from its portfolios, as of 2022, companies that generate more than 30% of their activity from unconventional oil and gas production. The fund manager will also strengthen its dialogue with companies so that they define credible strategies for reducing their carbon footprint, have them voted on at general meetings and have their managers commit part of their remuneration to these strategies.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.