Our parent, Van Lanschot Kempen, is the oldest independent financial institution of the Netherlands, established in 1737 and we feel not only grounded in this heritage but also able to take a long-term view.  Kempen itself dates its lineage to the turn of the twentieth century.  Since almost all our clients have long-term goals and ambitions, we feel very connected to the goals of FCLTGlobal.

Sustainability plan accelerates to include everything

As a firm our sustainability ambitions are a strategic priority and a key area of focus.  Although our sustainable journey has been underway for 15 years, we have accelerated this throughout the whole firm, creating a groupwide Sustainability Centre with a new Sustainable Board. The clear goal of the Board is to integrate sustainability in everything we do, to continuously improve our products and solutions and to make them greener.  We have committed ourselves as a Net Zero asset manager, with multi-year goals set for reducing the carbon footprint of our portfolios in-line with the Paris Agreement by 2025 (for our liquid strategies), 2030 (for our illiquid strategies) and 2050 (Net Zero).

Rising importance of non-financial goals to transform real economy

Non-financial goals in the next 5-10 years will become as important as financial goals. The challenge is to create the win-win between them. This will have a profound impact on our financial sector and within asset management, and it will probably be more transformational than the rise of passive has been in the last 20 years – this is about the reconnect between the financial sector and the real economy; what we term the real active.

Allocating capital over multi-year periods to sustainable farmland

One of the privileges at Kempen is to work in partnership with our clients to help them achieve their long-term objectives, not only in investment terms but also with regard to long-term sustainability.  One particular case we would like to highlight is sustainable farmland, where have worked with our clients to co-create a long-term strategy that seeks to deliver investment return and deliver on key goals of biodiversity and the development nature-based solutions to the climate challenge.  The strategy purposefully takes advantage of the illiquidity premium by allocating capital over multi-year periods, building partnerships with underlying owner-operator farmers around the globe.

Using regenerative farming techniques to sequester carbon

Nature can store carbon dioxide. Nature can restore or regenerate degraded lands. Nature can restore a badly functioning water cycle and nature can restore rapidly degrading biodiversity. It can do all this while at the same time nourishing 10 billion people with more nutritious food. One of the most positive initiatives for tackling climate change today is to use soil to store 1 trillion tons of carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere and bring concentrations of greenhouse gases back to pre-industrial revolution levels. Using our soils to sequester carbon is a natural climate solution and can be achieved through regenerative farming techniques that allow for plants to store carbon in the soil, for soils to infiltrate water and for biodiversity to thrive above and below the ground.

Kempen SDG Farmland Fund launched in 2021

At Kempen we believe that farmland offers an appealing, stable, yet relatively unexplored asset class. But investing in farmland passively is not a sustainable solution. An active focus on ESG is essential, both to explore solutions such as its role as a carbon sink, and to manage risks such as use of pesticides, soil erosion and biodiversity.

In conjunction with a number of our clients, the Kempen SDG Farmland Fund was launched in early 2021. Our aim is to allow the fund to grow in step with a deployment pace that aligns with our strategy and agreed targets with promising sustainable angles that add to our SDG targets. We are also making great strides in designing and completing our bespoke sustainability plans per acquired asset together with a team of local specialists and to be able to report the first results of these plans in our first sustainability report next year.