Sustainable investments

Sustainable investments

AXA Group is committed to its social responsibility and follows clearly defined guidelines when investing. The so-called ESG (environmental, social, governance) criteria form an integral part of our financial analyses and risk management. In order to promote positive developments, we will be increasing our sustainable investments in the coming years.

  • Uniform guidelines across the AXA Group
  • Disclosure of the voting behavior for equity holdings

Our demands

Sustainability criteria play a key role in the investment process. AXA wants to know what the opportunities and risks are when it invests in a company. The well-being of people and the environment is a major concern for us.

Promote positive developments 

Only the equities and bonds of companies that fulfill the expanded sustainability requirements of our investment strategy will be included in the AXA Group investment portfolio.

To the Industry Guidelines and Climate Reports of the AXA Group

RIC – Responsible Investment Committee

Within the AXA Group, the Responsible Investment Committee (RIC) is responsible for drawing up and monitoring the guidelines. In collaboration with recognized providers of sustainability analyses and rating agencies, such as MSCI, the portfolios are analyzed regularly for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) conformity and, if necessary, adjustments are made.

Standard criteria

  • ESG criteria (environmental, social, governance)
    These criteria take into account, among other things, the ecological, social and economic impact in assessing the opportunities and risks of an investment. 
    To the ESG criteria

  • The UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI criteria)
    These principles for responsible investment were drawn up by the United Nations, in cooperation with other organizations. They are based on the ESG criteria.
    To UNPRI criteria

Green and impact investments of AXA

The AXA Group has set itself the goal of continuously expanding its impact-oriented investments. These provide a concrete and measurable contribution to the improvement of ecological problems (forest loss, fish decline, pollution) and insufficient social living standards (hunger, hygiene, education).

Green investments 

These investments meet comprehensive ecological, economic and social sustainability criteria. They focus on environmentally responsible business practices and projects.

  • By 2023, the AXA Group intends to expand its environmentally friendly investments (green bonds) to 24 billion euros. The original objective from 2015 was 3 billion euros.
  • AXA is also investing in transition bonds, an innovative asset class designed by AXA IM that supports companies transitioning to business models that are less dependent on coal.
  • AXA aims to limit the global warming potential of its investments to under 1.5 °C by 2050. 

To the Investment Strategy of the AXA Group

Impact investments

Like green investments, impact investments also belong to the sustainable asset classes that AXA develops and promotes as part of its sustainable investment strategy.

The AXA Group has launched two funds promoting these objectives:

  • Access to finance,
  • Healthcare, 
  • Climate protection, 
  • Education,
  • Renewable energies 

The annual financial statements

Withdrawal from controversial investments

Responsible investment also requires the withdrawal from controversial investments. As early as 2015, the AXA Group was the first major insurance company to withdraw millions from its investments in oil sand and coal. The full withdrawal will be completed in the OECD area by 2030 and worldwide by 2040. It has also strengthened its underwriting policy for insurance risks. AXA prohibits insurance business (with the exception of employee services) with customers that develop new coal projects with a capacity exceeding 300 MW.

In this connection, our investment strategy includes the following restrictions:  

  • Oil sand
    Sale of equities of companies that generate at least 30% of their revenue from oil sand mining (according to MSCI ESG).
  • Coal 
    Sale of equities and bonds of companies whose revenue from coal extraction and generation of energy from coal exceeds 30% (according to MSCI ESG).
  • Tobacco 
    Complete withdrawal from tobacco production – the AXA Group has clearly stated that, as a "prevention partner promoting good health," it unconditionally excludes this sector.
  • Arms (weapons)
    For many years, AXA has no longer held investments in companies that develop, trade, produce, store, export or import banned weapons (cluster munitions, land mines, chemical weapons, biological weapons) according to MSCI ESG.
  • Foods 
    AXA does not invest in financial assets that contain derivatives on agricultural commodities.
  • Palm oil
    AXA does not invest in companies according to the MSCI ESG list whose activities are extremely controversial (threat to biodiversity, deforestation of the rainforest, palm oil plantations). It refrains from investing in companies that lack building permits or the sustainability certificate from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
  • Agriculture, commercial timberland, forestry 
    Investments in companies lacking certification that they meet international standards and corresponding legal validity are excluded.



Presence in politics and business

Individual investors can have a significant positive impact on sustainable developments – but only if they make use of their strength. AXA takes its investment responsibility seriously and participates in the sustainability dialogue.

As an investor

We exercise our voting rights in the general and shareholder meetings of companies and make our voting behavior public.

As a company

A member of Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF), AXA Switzerland participates as a network partner in the development of Switzerland into the leading financial center for sustainable services.

To Swiss Sustainable Finance

As a discussion partner

AXA is a member of international initiatives:

  • Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance: The members of this alliance undertake to reduce the CO2 emissions of their investment portfolios to net zero by 2050 in order to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. We document our continuous improvement in the AXA Climate Report.
  • United Nations Principles for Responsible Investments: UNPRI 
  • United Nations Principles for Sustainable Insurance: UN PSI 
  • United Nations Global Compact : UNGC

 We take part in an ongoing exchange with relevant associations and organizations in Switzerland:

To our partnerships & commitments

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