Where does KBC stand on animals and their welfare?
Many animals are living in terrible circumstances and that is totally unacceptable. Taking to the streets to protest is not the only way to get things going. There are other ways too. Here, we are happy to explain the policy of KBC Group and KBC Asset Management (KBC AM) concerning animal welfare.
Declaration on Animal Welfare
For its insurance, lending and corporate advisory services, KBC endorses the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare from the World Organisation for Animal Health. This declaration calls for universal recognition of animals' essential welfare needs.
In short, animals should never have to suffer from:
- Hunger, malnutrition or thirst
- Fear or physical discomfort
- Pain, injuries or illness
- And they must also have the freedom to exhibit their normal patterns of behaviour
More details on KBC's policy in this regard for insurance, lending and corporate advisory services can be found on the group's website.
Animal welfare and responsible investing
KBC also gives due attention to animal welfare in its investments, specifically the responsible investment funds.
Each company is assigned an ESG (Environment, Social policy and Good governance) risk rating.
KBC AM uses various parameters to assign an ESG risk rating, two of which relate to animal welfare. One considers animal testing, while another takes account of animal welfare in general. Within relevant sectors, KBC AM uses these two parameters to examine whether a given company has an animal welfare policy, and the quality of that policy if so.
Companies with the highest, i.e. worst ESG risk rating are excluded from responsible investment funds.
Exclusion policy for fur and speciality leather
KBC AM also applies an exclusion policy for fur and speciality leather in its responsible investment funds. This means that all products made from animals that are solely hunted or bred for their skin or fur are excluded from these funds.
These products are controversial as they threaten the survival of certain species and cause unnecessary animal suffering, while sufficient alternatives are available.
Under no circumstances do we permit companies that derive revenue from the production (more than 5%) or sale (more than 10%) of fur and speciality leather. An example of such an exclusion is Canada Goose Holdings, a company that sells parkas and other garments made from coyote fur.
Controversial products that threaten a species' survival and cause unnecessary suffering are excluded from all our responsible investment funds.
Kenneth De Bruycker - Responsible Investing Expert at KBC Asset Management