Lucian Peppelenbos is Senior Responsible Investment and Governance Specialist for APG Asset Management, a global leader in asset management with pension funds totaling €482 billion.
The focus of Dr Peppelenbos’ work is the integration of climate-related risks and opportunities as an integral part of the investment process. He also leads company engagement on climate transition, and collaborates with peer investors and public institutions on climate-related policies.
Dr Peppelenbos has published several books and papers on supply chain development in emerging and developing economies and he will be speaking at RT14 in June 2019.
In advance of this year’s conference, taking place in Utrecht on June 11-12, we asked Lucian a few questions about his work in responsible asset management and the importance of organisations such as Round Table on Responsible Soy in contributing to a more sustainable finance sector.
What values does APG Asset Management share with RTRS that will connect at RT14?
Our core value is to provide good pensions in a sustainable world. A person entering the workforce today will retire in 2075. Thus our timescale as an investor is 2075. As a result we need to understand the vision for the soy sector through that lens. How does the sector ensure its capacity for long-term value creation?
Why is your session important? And what is the value of the conversation within the soy supply chain?
As investors we have expectations and requirements on sustainable commodity production. We understand that sustainable commodity production is a systemic challenge, where chain segments need to cooperate. Institutional investors are not part of the supply chain, but we can bring in a different perspective in the dialogue, more focused on long-term value creation.
What role can APG play in the soy supply chain to make it sustainable?
We engage with investee companies (particularly upstream such as retail and manufacturing) on how they address deforestation and other sustainability risks in their supply chains.
We may decide to no longer invest in a company if issues pertain and if our engagement is unsuccessful. Where we have direct investments in farmland, we adhere to a zero-conversion/zero-deforestation policy as part of a broader set of sustainability criteria.
What do you hope to learn at RT14?
I want to understand the state of play in the soy industry on how it is addressing deforestation, what has been learned in the past 5-10 years and what are the industry’s new commitments post-2020
What is your personal interest in this area?
In my previous work at IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, I was responsible for directing our programme in Brazil, and in those years I have come to develop a passion for the country and a good understanding of the challenges. My personal drive is that Brazilian agriculture has all the potential for being a global leader in future-proof agriculture – a highly efficient precision agriculture that respects nature, biodiversity and people.
Why is it important to APG Asset Management as an organisation that the world works towards a sustainable food chain with crops such as soy?
We regard climate change as one of the largest challenges of the 21st Century, and at the same time one of the greatest (investment) opportunities of this generation. Food and agriculture are a critical part – being responsible for 24% of global GHG emissions – but also one of the most cost-effective abatement strategies.
To resolve climate change, as well as feed the growing world population, we need to get the food system right.
Why do you think the 2020 commitments were not accomplished? And how can the financial sector help to accelerate success?
I am going to RT14 to find out what kept the industry from attaining its targets. Our role as financial sector is to have a good dialogue with companies on their commitments and next steps, as well as to finance sustainable propositions that meet our risk/return considerations.