a.s.r. participates in open dialogues within politics and with its stakeholders. This means that it continuously consults with public authorities, financial institutions and socially relevant organisations to explore social issues. In view of the challenges facing society as a whole, a.s.r. considers it essential to work together with public authorities and institutions in the search for joint sustainable solutions. a.s.r. engages in politics and lobbies as part of the democratic process. a.s.r. also makes its expertise and knowledge available to support policy development.
Public Affairs of a.s.r. follows developments in legislation and regulations and provides appropriate responses to its political contacts. In 2021, a.s.r. updated the House of Representatives on the handling of personal injury claims. This topic has received a lot of political attention in the past year. The same applies to reputation-sensitive files such as the climate agreement and the investment policies. Knowledge transfer has taken place by organising dialogues and meetings with members of parliament. This led to a more positive attitude toward a.s.r. on the part of the House of Representatives.
a.s.r. ensures that all public affairs, lobbying and political networking activities are carried out in line with the Code of Conduct of the Professional Association of Public Affairs (BVPA); this is the mandatory minimum standard for contacts with representatives of politics, business and society.
Through the BVPA, Public Affairs of a.s.r. is a co-signatory of the EU Transparency Code of Conduct. Public Affairs supports the operational disciplines within a.s.r. on the regulatory framework and political strategies and monitors these topics. a.s.r. is committed to democracy and aims for a neutral yet substantive participation. a.s.r. does not provide (financial) support of any kind to any political party, no contributions (€ 0) were made in 2021.
The financial contribution a.s.r. pays to its own industry association, the Verbond van Verzekeraars, in 2021 is € 2,605,000 (2020: € 3,124,000). In addition, a.s.r. paid an annual contribution of € 50,000 (2020: € 50,000) to the Vereniging van Institutionele Beleggers in Vastgoed Nederland (Association of Institutional Investors in Real Estate Netherlands). The total of annual monetary contributions and expenditure made to branch associations came to € 2,655,000 in 2021 (2020: € 3,174,000). The contribution policy of the Verbond van Verzekeraars is based on the gross premium income for the non-life and individual life sectors, and the contribution basis for collective life is based on technical provisions. The contribution permillage went down in 2021. This resulted in a lower contribution to the Verbond van Verzekeraars compared to 2020.
On 16 September 2021, a.s.r. opened the world’s largest bi-directional charging service station for electric cars. At the charging bay of almost 10,000 m2, 250 cars can be charged and discharged simultaneously. Cars are discharged on arrival, the energy obtained is stored in batteries and then used within the a.s.r. office. The batteries of the parked cars are then charged during the working day with energy from the solar collectors. In this way, the bi-directional charging service station contributes to the further sustainability of energy consumption within a.s.r.
During 2021, the possible violations of human rights in the production chain of solar panels became a matter of public concern. a.s.r. has taken measures, including searching for alternative suppliers and chains, so that when it comes to investing in the installation of solar panels on roofs or in rural areas, the risk of involvement in human rights violations, either directly or through partners in the production chain, is minimised.