A new step towards a better world

08-02-2024 | At PFZW, we stopped investing in oil and gas companies that still do not have a convincing plan that supports the Paris Climate Agreement goal. And unfortunately, this is the case for the vast majority of these companies. Even the largest ones. This is why, since the start of this year, we no longer invest in companies like Shell, BP and TotalEnergies.

We had already stopped investing in 114 energy companies that did not answer our simple question of what their targets are for reducing carbon emissions. Early last year, we went a step further. We sold the companies that did have carbon reduction targets but did not have a stated commitment to the Paris Agreement goal of Net Zero by 2050. This year, only those companies remained that did indicate that they were striving for the Paris objectives.

However, we didn’t think that was enough. We wanted to see more than just a general ambition. Therefore, we asked each and every one of these companies the following question last year: how do you plan on achieving your climate goals, including in the short and medium term? In this process, we also considered the carbon emissions of the products these companies sell. We announced that we would stop these investments if the answers to our questions were not to our satisfaction.

Too little and too slow

In the end, unfortunately, only 7 out of the remaining companies had a good enough story, a convincing climate strategy as well as concrete plans. Therefore, we bid farewell to the rest, that is, the vast majority of them. In the conversations with these companies, it became clear to us that most fossil energy companies are still having great difficulty meeting the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreements. Some are indeed investing in sustainability, but it is too little and too slow. 

Seven front-running companies

All in all, we have sold 310 fossil energy companies in recent years. The seven listed energy companies we do still invest in are the real frontrunners in the sector. They are fully committed to the transition from fossil energy to renewable energy or are currently already producing mainly energy with a low carbon footprint. They are showing that it is possible. We hope that many more companies will follow soon. Because only if even the biggest players and consumers really start changing can we slow down climate change. There is no time to lose. Many of our participants, who are increasingly concerned about the quality of life on our planet, agree. For themselves, for their children and for their grandchildren. As the second largest pension fund in the Netherlands, we want to make a difference for them. Therefore, we invest for financial returns as well as social returns.

Joanne Kellermann
Chair of the PFZW board

Would you like to read more?
You can read in our press release which seven energy companies we do still invest in. On our website (in Dutch), you can read how we entered into dialogue with fossil fuel companies in recent years and what the results of those discussions were.