a.s.r. is in dialogue with stakeholders who influence the organisation both directly and indirectly. The main stakeholder groups of a.s.r. are:
civil society organisations;
government, tax authorities and regulators;
peers and business partners.
Strategic, constructive and proactive consultations with all stakeholders are of great importance to a.s.r. a.s.r. does this by means of roadshows, customer or employee surveys, round table sessions, dialogue sessions and participation in sector initiatives. Members of the Executive Board (EB) also regularly engage in dialogue with advisors, shareholders, legislators, politicians and civil society organisations. The purpose of these discussions is to discuss strategic progress, receive feedback on a.s.r.’s contribution to society and discuss developments within the financial sector.
a.s.r. also continuously monitors external trends and developments to determine which topics are most relevant to it and how it can contribute positively to them. Sources used for this purpose include reports by legislative and regulatory bodies, the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Other sources include scientific research, peer reports and media coverage.
In addition to this continuous stakeholder interaction and trend monitoring, a stakeholder dialogue was held in 2020. This dialogue consisted of two half-day online interactive sessions together with plenary and breakout sessions. Members of the EB attended both plenary and breakout sessions to hear stakeholders’ views, answer questions and take part in discussions. a.s.r. carefully selected the stakeholders for this dialogue and ensured a good balance between all stakeholder groups. a.s.r. specifically invited stakeholders with a range of knowledge and experience on different subjects or aspects of the insurance business.
Participants in the stakeholder dialogue were asked to give their views on the strategic dilemmas on which a.s.r. was seeking feedback. The dilemmas focused on the various components of a.s.r.’s business operations: responsible investment policy, products and services and a.s.r.’s own business operations. a.s.r. asked stakeholders in the dialogue for open and honest feedback on various dilemmas, which resulted in highly constructive and frank discussions, with concrete recommendations for a.s.r.
The dilemmas about which a.s.r. requested feedback were linked to the three themes of a.s.r.’s strategic framework for sustainable entrepreneurship: 1. Financial self-sufficiency and inclusiveness, 2. Vitality and (sustainable) employability, 3. Climate change and energy transition (including CO₂-eq reduction and climate adaptation and resilience).
In addition to discussing the dilemmas, the stakeholders present were invited to give feedback on other topics and issues they found relevant, and on a.s.r.’s overall strategy. Part of the dialogue was devoted to helping to define the long-term social role of a.s.r. and what it should look like in the future (2030). Participants were also asked to give their input on the themes and topics most relevant to a.s.r.’s strategy and reporting. This was done with the help of a survey that stakeholders filled in during the dialogue sessions. The results were used to determine the material themes for the 2020 Annual Report. The outcomes of the stakeholder dialogue were also used by the Executive Board and senior management to redefine a.s.r.’s integrated strategy, which focuses on long-term value creation for all stakeholders.
In order to test whether the results of the materiality analysis in 2020 were still up to date, interviews were held with approximately 20 internal and external stakeholders in 2022. The questions specifically asked: What role do you think insurers should play in the transition to a sustainable economy? What do you think a.s.r. should do in the coming years to optimally fulfil this role? Are there any issues or topics which you think are missing (in a.s.r.’s Sustainable Entrepreneurship Strategic Framework) that are material to a.s.r.? Desk research was also carried out on trends and developments in society, in the financial sector, at other insurers and within a.s.r. itself.
a.s.r. works together with peers, social organisations and government agencies to jointly develop policies on sustainability issues and to promote the thorough implementation of such policies. In 2022, a.s.r. was very active in various joint initiatives to raise awareness of sustainability and ESG risks. For example, a.s.r. is an active member of sector initiatives such as the Dutch Agreement for international responsible investment in the insurance sector (the IMVO covenant), DNB’s Platformfor Sustainable Finance, UNEP’s Net-Zero Insurance Alliance and the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF).
To spread knowledge and inspire others, a.s.r. actively presents its sustainability approach and sustainability activities in a wide range of events, such as various seminars and meetings organised by parties such as MVO Nederland, the Dutch Association of Insurers, Financial Investigator and the Dutch Fund and Asset Management Association. a.s.r. also organised its own meetings in 2022, such as a workshop for other Dutch insurers on developing sustainable products and services.
To test whether the results of last year’s materiality analysis are still up to date, interviews and meetings with stakeholders took place in 2022. In the process, specific target groups were invited to discuss certain topics in a targeted manner. For example, in June 2022, a.s.r. organised a stakeholder dialogue specifically for young people up to the age of 25, to solicit their views and ideas on climate change. This focused on the question ‘what do you think a.s.r. can do more or better on the issue of climate change?’. Thirteen young people took part in this dialogue session, in which, among other things, it emerged that a.s.r. can do more to help customers live more sustainably.
Other target groups we actively sought a dialogue with in 2022 are vulnerable customer groups. Through interviews, a.s.r. spoke with several vulnerable customer groups about, among other things, the degree of accessibility of a.s.r.’s products and services. For example, interviews were held with representatives of low-literate people, people with physical or mental disabilities, people from non-Dutch backgrounds, transgender and non-binary people and people with debts or payment arrears. This revealed that a.s.r. should do more for vulnerable groups to make services accessible to them and to ensure that a.s.r. can respond to their specific circumstances.
Finally, a.s.r. conducted two comprehensive customer surveys in 2022 in which 200 a.s.r Non-life and 366 a.s.r. Care customers were asked about what they expect from an insurer in terms of sustainability, which themes within sustainability they consider most important and what a.s.r. could do more or better in terms of sustainability according to them.
In addition, interviews and workshops were organised with senior managers from all business units in 2022 to discuss with them how a.s.r. can deepen its sustainability strategy by formulating concrete long-term impact goals and activities. Desk research was also carried out in 2022 on trends and developments in society, in the financial sector in general and the insurance sector in particular, and within a.s.r. itself.
|Stakeholder group||Type of interaction||Frequency|
|Financial market players: shareholders, analysts, banks and rating agency S&P||Almost daily|
|Peers and Business partners||Regularly|
|Regulators and tax authorities||Regularly|
|Social partners and organisations||Regularly|
|Civil society organisations & interest groups||Regularly|