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AXA IM to Exclude Companies Involved in Deforestation for Soy, Cattle, Timber

06/16/2021 | 06:45am

By Maitane Sardon

AXA Investment Managers said Wednesday that it is expanding its palm-oil investment policy to exclude from its funds companies that face land-use controversies and are causing deforestation in relation to soy, cattle and timber.

The asset-management arm of French insurer AXA SA said the expansion is aimed at bolstering a policy it launched in 2014, which excluded companies that didn't have sustainable palm-oil production certificates or were involved in illegal logging or unresolved land-rights conflicts.

The investment manager said that from now on, it will also ban companies operating in the soy, timber and cattle industries that are facing major land-use and biodiversity controversies and that have "a critical impact on deforestation and natural ecosystems conversion." AXA IM will use deforestation data provided by CDP, a nonprofit disclosure platform.

"Through our investment practices, we have a role to play and are committed to fighting deforestation and natural ecosystem conversion, as well as supporting forest restoration to ensure habitat conservation and to limit global warming," said Marco Morelli, executive chairman of AXA IM.

With the new policy, AXA IM is also seeking to boost its engagement with the companies it invests in to encourage them to strengthen efforts to preserve biodiversity and move toward sustainable practices, it said.

Write to Maitane Sardon at maitane.sardon@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-16-21 0644ET

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