ABP builds in renewable energy infrastructure

Fund continues environmental trail-blazing with commitment to Triodos fund

ABP, the €221bn ($311bn) pension fund for Dutch civil servants, is to invest €100m in a renewable energy infrastructure fund with Triodos, the Dutch sustainable bank in which it owns a 5% joint stake with PGGM, its €86bn fellow Dutch pension fund giant.
The fund is expected to confirm the commitment in the coming weeks.
The allocation extends ABP’s innovative strategy of investing where it believes it can capitalise from society shifts to sustainable living and a cleaner environment.
In June this year, ABP and PGGM announced a joint €500m investment in a private equity fund of funds structure focusing on companies in renewable energy and clean technology. It was one of the largest ever such placements by institutional investors on the private equity market.
The two funds also recently upped their stake in Triodos to more than 5% of the company’s stock when the bank issued over a million new shares.
At the time of the stake build, Roderick Munsters, chief investment officer at ABP, said: “The common ground between ABP’s sustainability policy and Triodos’ activities offer the prospect of proper returns.”Triodos, which was formed in 1968 as a Dutch study group to see how money could be managed in a socially conscious way, has grown its sustainable banking and funds business rapidly over the last five years. It has recorded a 22% average year-on-year increase in assets to reach €3bn under management. The bank has subsidiaries in the UK, Spain and Belgium with plans to open in Germany in 2008.
ABP also has minority stakes in Innovest, the SRI research company, and GovernanceMetrics International, the New York-based corporate governance research and ratings firm, both of which it has held for several years.
In addition, the fund has become one of the largest institutional investors in carbon funds with a total allocation of €500m in corporate emission rights. The fund invests in the European Emissions Trading Scheme, under which companies that reduce their emissions can sell on their polluting credits to less clean companies.
As part of its strategic investment plan for 2007-2009, ABP has also said it will examine the integration of environmental, social and governance issues within its total investments.