DWS commits to climate neutrality

European investment manager DWS has also created an ESG advisory board.

DWS has announced it has committed to climate neutrality ahead of the Paris Agreement deadline, and has also established an ESG Advisory board, as reported by ESG Clarity in the UK.

In separate announcements, the European fund manager, which has some €759bn ($900.1bn) in assets under management, has reinforced its commitment to tackling climate change and ESG investing.

Following an annual general meeting on 18 November, DWS announced growth plans for the overall business, including transforming its technology platform, embracing AI and “enrichment of data”, and to also be climate-neutral ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement target of 2030.

CEO Asoka Woehrmann said: “DWS is committed to becoming climate-neutral in its actions – in line with the Paris Agreement – and well ahead of the timeline officially set out in the Agreement. This will not happen overnight, but will only succeed in close and ongoing dialogue and exchange with clients, regulators and stakeholders.

“Our definition of sustainability encompasses more than just climate action; it includes topics of good corporate governance and social justice. However, tackling climate change is a collective task for this generation, and one to which we are happy to commit ourselves. This is also because we believe in growth potential for DWS and because we want to be a leader among asset managers in the field of ESG.”

Advisory board

Meanwhile, DWS has created an advisory body to advance its ESG investment strategy, co-chaired by its global ESG client officer Roelfien Kuijpers (pictured). The six-strong committee will advise the CEO and the executive board of DWS on the development of its ESG strategy.

The DWS ESG Advisory Board members are:

  • Peter Damgaard-Jensen – currently chairman of the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and the former CEO of the Danish Pension Fund PKA, one of Denmark’s largest pension funds.
  • Marie Haga – associate Vice President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Formerly executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and has held also served as a member of Parliament in Norway and held three ministerial positions.
  • Ioannis Ioannou – a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School. He serves on the Advisory Board of Ethical Corporation – Reuters Events and is a member of the World Economic Forum Experts Network.
  • Lisa Jackson – vice president of environment, policy and social Initiatives at Apple. Previously served as head of the US Environmental Protection Agency appointed by former President Barack Obama.
  • Georg Kell (co-chair) – Founding executive director of the UN Global Compact, and also chairman of Arabesque, the parent company of the two DWS partners Arabesque AI and Arabesque S-Ray, in which DWS holds minority stakes.
  • Roelfien Kuijpers (co-chair) – In her role as DWS’ global ESG client officer, Roelfien co-chairs the new ESG Advisory Board together with Georg Kell. Roelfien is also a board member of the IIGCC.

Co-chair Kell commented: “I have long been convinced of the power that sustainable management and sustainable investment can unfold together. The work of this very diverse and high-calibre ESG Advisory Board, in close cooperation with the entire DWS executive board, will be characterised by concrete and forward-looking contributions.

“Our aim is to make DWS even stronger as one of the leading global asset managers in its own sustainable transformation process and that of its clients”.