Allianz Global Investors, one of the world’s leading active asset managers, announced today the appointment of Matt Christensen as Global Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing. In this role, he will accelerate the growth of Impact Investing as part of the company’s growing private markets platform; lead the continued integration of ESG factors across AllianzGI’s existing range of public markets products, including stewardship activities; and support the development of new SRI products.
In the past two years, we have multiplied the assets we manage in sustainable investment strategies to EUR 165 billion. And, through collaboration, we work to ensure that material ESG risk considerations are top of mind for all our portfolio managers. Find out more in our latest Sustainability Report.
"While the coronavirus outbreak will likely weigh on the economic outlook for some time, we should draw hope from the unprecedented global solidarity shown during this crisis. A similar international effort will be critical in preventing global warming and facilitating the transition to a carbon-neutral economy."
In 2019, our engagement activities spanned 333 companies in 28 markets. In total, we conducted 448 engagements – up 31% on 2018 – and addressed climate and environmental risks with 82 companies. Read more in our latest Sustainability Report.
We started our sustainable investing journey 20 years ago and were early to sign the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) in 2007. We believe that sustainable investing can generate positive performance not just for our clients, but for the community at large.
We aim to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors throughout our entire investment value chain to better manage risk and generate sustainable, long-term returns. Given the diversity of investors’ objectives and requirements we provide sustainable investing processes with a broad range of approaches, adaptable to different levels of ESG incorporation and client preferences. These enhance our clients’ investment decisions while helping create benefits for society as a whole.
Sustainable investing is in our DNA
Data as at 31 December 2019, AuM as at 31 March 2020
Allianz Global Investors has entered into a five-year partnership with The SeaCleaners, a new project designed to combat plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.
AllianzGI’s support for The SeaCleaners is a natural fit with the firm’s commitment to sustainable investing, with the partnership also set to open up new engagement opportunities for colleagues and clients, many of whom are already actively working to combat plastic waste.
Partnering with AllianzGI will support the development of “The Manta”, The SeaCleaners’ giant new waste collection ship. Measuring 70 metres long, 49 metres wide and 61 metres high, The Manta will use state-of-the-art technology to collect plastic macro-debris in high-density areas like coastlines and estuaries before they break up and disperse, causing irreversible damage to biodiversity.
On land, The SeaCleaners work to raise awareness among future generations of the harm caused by plastic pollution through a wide range of activities in schools and fairs. As part of a drive to reduce plastic use across its global business, AllianzGI is running internal campaigns to reduce its use of single-use plastics including introducing “Plastic-Free Tuesdays” in its London office, while colleagues have also taken part in beach clean-up exercises at Baker Beach in San Francisco, Lamma Island in Hong Kong and Taiwan’s “Coastal Cleanup”. AllianzGI’s Hong Kong office was recently awarded the “Hong Kong Green Organisation Certification” in recognition of its active participation in adopting various environmental practices, including reducing its use of plastics and promoting a green workplace.
You are the visionary driving force behind The SeaCleaners. How did it all start? Bourgnon: I first sailed around the world when I was eight with my parents over three years. Later, during the many races I participated in across the world, I was shocked by the amount of plastic waste polluting the seas. All world seas are now in danger. We have to face this new challenge of fighting ocean pollution. The ocean became my passion and I made it my profession as a sailor.
Can you provide more detail about Manta? Bourgnon: We intend to collect large quantities of plastic before it degrades or disappears into the depths of the ocean, where the toxins it releases create long-term pollution for the entire marine ecosystem. Manta will be the first-ever high seas ship capable of collecting and treating massive amounts of floating plastic waste in the ocean.
For this purpose, a real factory will be on board to collect, sort, compact and store plastic waste. The Manta will be able to store more than 250 tonnes of waste in its hulls before repatriating it to adapted recycling centres onshore. The ship is powered by wind turbines, solar panels and automised rigs and will also conduct cutting-edge scientific research. One energy-recovery unit will also convert nonrecyclable plastics to run the ship and the on-board factory.
When will Manta start to clean the oceans? Bourgnon: The first Manta should be in action in 2022. The support of Allianz Global Investors is a huge step towards taking action and fighting ocean pollution.
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