The protest is a petition directed at the ABP pension fund to make haste in stopping its investments in illegal deforestation. ABP invests almost 200 million euros in the Brazilian meat industry. This protest is part of a national day of protests against ABP’s non-sustainable investments.
Under the slogan ‘Grey hair, green forests’, employees protested today. Professors formed the hands of the clock, which was set to five minutes to twelve. Professor of Tropical Forest Ecology Frans Bongers joined in: ‘I am almost retiring. I have been working for the protection and recovery of tropical rainforests for four decades. The fact that part of my pension comes from illegal logging and deforestation in the Amazon Forest for cattle is hard to swallow.’
Earlier this week, ABP announced it will enter into a dialogue with Wageningen and scientists from other universities. In Wageningen, scientists have offered their expertise towards diverging from illegal deforestation. With today’s protest, they aim to signal ABP to make haste. Organiser and PhD researcher Marieke Meesters: ‘We are part of a broad movement trying to get ABP to make haste with more sustainable investments. ABP has a dramatic track record in sustainable investments and seems unwilling to move. We do not have time to wait until ABP is ready for change.’
ABP invests almost 200 million euros in Brazilian meat producers JBS, Minerva and Marfrig. These businesses have been regularly sentenced for their connection to illegal deforestation. In Amsterdam and Heerlen, there are also protests near the ABP offices under the hashtag #takestoolong (#duurttelang).