Atradius N.V.

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Company name
Bedrijf Logo
Quick Facts
sectorFinancial Services
Headquarters (Benelux Organization)Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Year of Origin2004
Emissions (of parent organisation GCO)3.5 Megatons of CO2 (2020)
NCI assessmentVery low
Total RevenueEUR 2.15 billion (2021)
Stock Exchangeshares are not traded
Key People
  • David Capdevila(CEO)
  • Claus Gramlich-Eicher (CFO)
  • Xavier Freixes (Chairman)
Number of Employees3,647
  • Atradius Dutch State Business;
  • Atradius Insurance Holding N.V.;
  • Atradius Collections B.V.;
  • Atradius Credit Insurance N.V.;
  • Atradius Credit Management Services B.V.;
  • Atradius Information Services B.V.[1]

Atradius N.V. provides trade credit insurance, surety and collections services worldwide.[2] It is a subsidiary of its parent organization Grupo Catalana Occidente (GCO) for whom it enables credit insurance. Today, the Atradius Group is a collection of a multitude of international trade insurers around the world. Despite being owned by GCO, it is still headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Additionally, Atradius DSB is the official Export Credit Agency in the Netherlands.[3] In 2021 the company had a revenue of 2.15 billion euros.[4] The company employs 3,647 people.[5]

Company Structure

Despite being originally founded in the Netherlands to improve trade conditions for Dutch businesses, Atradius is currently a collection of multiple international insurers. After merging with the Spanish insurers Crédito y Caución and Grupo Catalana Occidente, Atradius gained an additional foothold in the Spanish speaking world. These aforementioned groups own all of Atradius' shares. Hence, Atradius' shares are not traded on a stock exchange.

Management Board

Management Board
Name Function
David Capdevila CEO
Andreas Tesch Market Officer
Christian van Lint Risk Officer
Claus Gramlich-Eicher CFO
Marc Henstridge Insurance Operations

The total remuneration in 2020 amounted to 3.3 million euros. There were no further details available on the division of this amount amongst the board members.

In 2021, the remunerations increased to 3.775 million euro, divided amongst just 5 members.[6]

Supervisory Board

Supervisory Board
Name Function
Xavier Freixes Chairman
Francisco Arregui Vice-Chairman
Désirée van Gorp Member
Juan Ignacio Guerrero Member
Carlos Halpern Member
John Hourican Member
Bernd H. Meyer Member
Hugo Serra Member
José María Sunyer Member

Amongst the nine of them, the Supervisory Board members received a total of 585 thousand euros in short-term employee benefits, which includes salaries, housing, social security, medical expenses, lease cars, and more.[7] Unlike the management board members, the supervisory board does not receive long-term employee benefits or post-term employee benefits.


The General Meeting appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants N.V. as the Company’s external auditor for the financial year of 2021.[8] In the three-paged audit report, the accountant makes no mention of the climate crisis as a potential risk for Atradius' long-term existence.[9]

Main Activities

Atradius provides trade credit insurance, surety and collections services worldwide through a presence in more than 50 countries around the globe.

On top of that, Atradius DSB (Dutch State Business) is the official Export Credit Agency in the Netherlands. This entails that Atradius is responsible for aiding Dutch companies with their export contract insurance. According to Atradius themselves, they "provide these coverages on behalf of the Dutch State.[10] Hence, they work closely together with the Dutch government. Especially during the Corona-crisis, during which the Dutch export of capital goods and services was in jeopardy, Atradius DSB collaborated with the Dutch government to set up a secure package of measurements.


Atradius did not receive NOW support from the Dutch government.[11] The company does not have royal status.[12] However, Atradius has worked closely together with the Dutch government since 1932 to provide insurance to Dutch companies.


  • Grupo Catalana Occidente, S.A. (35.77%)
  • Grupo Compañía Española de Crédito y Caución, S.L. (64.23%)

Paris Agreement until Today


According to Atradius themselves, their environmental impact is relatively small compared to other industries. Despite that, they state that they are looking at opportunities to make efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, as is expected by their customers, stakeholders, and others.[14] As a result, they have introduced a multitude of initiatives concerning energy use, recycling and waste disposal, transportation and procurement. Additionally, they are a member of the United Nationals Global Compact (UNGC), whose principles they strive to commit to. According to a research study conducted by EcoVadis, companies committed to the UN Global Compact principles have on average better sustainability performance.[15]. The published results put Atradius in the upper half of all rated companies.[16]


In 2020, Atradius changed the title of the Corporate Social Responsibility chapter to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Sustainability to reflect their renewed ambition. Additionally, they established the Group Sustainability Committee, whose job it is to consult and decision-make regarding sustainability duties.[17]

Their Sustainability Master Plan goals were, amongst others, to:

  1. Offer a common working framework in the sustainability area for the entities that are part of Grupo Catalana Occidente, including Atradius;
  2. Establish a work agenda to continue to promote sustainability for the period 2020-2023 and define responsibilities.

A few examples of ESG Sustainability initiatives that Atradius has undertaken are the creation of a ‘Group HR Policy’ and a ‘Group Human Rights Policy’, the Corporate Social Responsibility Tribe to increase awareness within the organization through engagement and webinars, and an investigation of whether there is a need/demand from our customers for a ‘sustainable’ product.

In their annual report, Atradius failed to include their entire CO2 footprint. Instead, they only focused on the CO2 output of energy consumption of travel, both of which went down most likely as a direct result of the COVID-pandemic.[18] Additionally, Atradius puts a lot of focus on investigating the demand from their costumers (businesses out to trade with international countries/companies and make money), as opposed to aiding their costumers in becoming greener.

Financial Results since 2015

Financial situation
Year Revenue [19] Profit [20] Dividend
2015 1.76 billion EUR 0.17 billion EUR 64.9 million EUR
2016 1.71 billion EUR 0.21 billion EUR 71.2 million EUR
2017 1.83 billion EUR 0.18 billion EUR 76.7 million EUR
2018 1.89 billion EUR 0.20 billion EUR 83.9 million EUR
2019 2.01 billion EUR 0.22 billion EUR 91.8 million EUR
2020 1.97 billion EUR 0.04 billion EUR 102.9 million EUR
2021 2.15 billion EUR 0.24 billion EUR 91 million EUR

Current Emissions

Environmental Key Performance Indicators[21]
Item 2019 2020 2021
Electricity usage kWh 9.911.723 6.911.448 7.576.044
Gas usage m^3 401.971 281.909 302.454
Employee air travel km 15.050.653 2.321.249 815.182
Employee rail travel km 2.648.104 711.238 450.240
Company lease car travel 9.168.351 6.331.731 5.662.071
Tonnes CO2 of energy+travel 13.868 6.642 6.927
Waste (tonnes) 693,7 560,4 814

All items show a significant improvement. However, this could be largely related to the COVID-situation. They admitted this in their 2020 report by noting that "due to Covid-19 almost all figures were lower in 2020 than they would be normally".[22]

In 2021 there was an increase in the use of energy and a large increase in waste.


There is insufficient information on the emissions level of Atradius, so these numbers are taken from its parent group GCO.

Total emissions tonnes of CO2 for the Grupo Catalana Occidente
Year Scope 1 Scope 2 Scope 3 Total
2020 134.57 tonnes of CO2 2,477.41 tonnes of CO2 Unknown Unknown
2021 119.10 tonnes of CO2 1,994.39 tonnes of CO2 1,432.61 tonnes of CO2 3,546.1 tonnes of CO2

In 2021, the scope-3 emissions were partly calculated. The numbers are totals for the GCO-group, not just for Atradius.[23] Scope 3 includes the categories of activities related to fuel and electricity, goods and services purchased and business trips (by train and by plane).[24] This excludes most scope 3 categories.

Climate Policy and Plans

In 2020, the Grupo Catalana Occidente established the Group Sustainability Committee to guide and support their environmental ambitions on a senior level.[17] The Sustainability Committee has consulting and decision-making duties in relation to the development of sustainability and embedding it in the group’s strategy. The Sustainability Master Plan goals are:

  1. Offer a common working framework in the sustainability area for the entities that are part of Grupo Catalana Occidente, including Atradius;
  2. Establish a work agenda to continue to promote sustainability for the period 2020-2023 and define responsibilities.

A few examples of ESG Sustainability initiatives that Atradius has undertaken are:

  1. The creation of a ‘Group HR Policy’ and a ‘Group Human Rights Policy’;
  2. The Corporate Social Responsibility Tribe to increase awareness within the organization through engagement and webinars;
  3. An investigation of whether there is a need/demand from our customers for a ‘sustainable’ product.


In 2021, Atradius argued to take up their responsibility as a global organization and work together with their stakeholders to simultaneously maximize their sustainable social value, and minimize their negative impacts o social and environmental matters resulting from their activities.[16] According to them, it is their objective to do this in collaboration with their customers, in a transparent and ethical manner that allows both parties to grow sustainably. They argue to be persistently engaged in improving and promoting the creation of sustainable products and services that contribute to environmental protection. They expect their suppliers to do the same. Within their Atradius culture, a key building block is the encouragement of efficient and responsible use of resources.

Additionally, Atradius has subscribed to the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Each year they provide an update on the progress they have made through for instance their Communication on Progress reports. They have also subscribed to the Dutch government’s biannual Transparency Benchmark study of the 200 largest companies in the Netherlands. Atradius was awarded 9th place for clarity in ESG-reporting. Important to note however is that this report predominantly centers on a company's transparency, and not specifically their environmental achievements.[25] Additionally, when factchecking their position, it becomes clear that due to Atradius' international nature, they got rated separately from the 200+ Dutch companies.[26] This means that per criterium Atradius themselves got to indicate themselves whether or not they met the criteria demands. Upon further inspection, it appears that they failed to provide any data on their diversity standards. It is also unclear whether Atradius would still have landed the 9th position if they had been rated similarly to Dutch companies.

They have also had the quality of their sustainability management system measured by EcoVadis (Business Sustainability Rating Agent, Barcelona). Their policies, actions and results were assessed on 21 sustainability criteria, ranging from environment, labor and human rights, to ethics and sustainable procurement. The resulting scorecard puts Atradius in the upper half of all rated companies. Atradius fails to expand on the specificities of their rating and their precise spot, nor does EcoVadis provide this information. EcoVadis has shown indeed that the Finance, Legal and Consulting sector, to which Atradius belongs, has managed to make great leaps of improvement regarding their environmental commitments. Whether that goes for Atradius specifically however is unclear.[27]

Future ambitions

Atradius' ESG Sustainability Policy is closely aligned with the ESG Sustainability Plan of Grupo Catalana Occidente (GCO), their parent company. Some key areas worth mentioning are their efforts in dealing with climate change and sustainability, human rights and diversity. All relevant units in Atradius and GCO are brought together to contribute to their ESG ambitions, which generated the creation of a three-year Master Plan (2020-2023). The progress they have made so far, especially around our ESG programs, practices and policies, has been recognized by Sustainalytics, a Global leader in ESG research with almost 30 years of experience around sustainability. As of 2021, GCO's rating improved significantly. As of now, it ranks 14th out of all the 296 insurance companies evaluated.[28]

Sustainability Master Plan

The Sustainability Master Plan is the main tool through which Grupo Catalana Occidente develops and implements its sustainability strategy. A new Sustainability Master Plan for the 2021-2023 period has been updated on the basis of a materiality study carried out in 2020.

Grupo Catalana Occidente supports the Paris Agreement and is working to be an active part of the climate change solution. To do this, it focuses its strategy on gradually reducing its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

In 2021, the Group has joined the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), which aims to achieve neutral greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and thus contributes to limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in the year 2100. To achieve this commitment, Grupo Catalana Occidente will establish gradual, science-based intermediate targets that will allow it to contribute to climate neutrality and balance scientific ambition, risk profiles and the world economy’s decarbonization trends as well as possible. It will also report annually on the progress achieved in relation to the targets adopted.[29] However, one could argue that giving yourself until 2100 to fully transition is not enough. Indeed, according to NASA, without any major actions taken now to reduce GHG emissions, global temperature is on track to rise by 2.5°C to 4.5°C by 2100.[30]

Additionally, in Atradius' 2021 Annual Report, no mention is made of the Sustainability Master Plan.

NewClimate Institute (NCI) report

Atradius scores very low on transparency and very low on integrity.[31]

Despite the fact that its shareholder Grupo Catalana Occidente (GCO) has developed a, although lacking in pace and scope, sustainability plan, Atradius itself has not made any emissions reduction pledges. It is also unclear to what extent these parent company policies apply to Atradius. Nor has Atradius itself disclosed any information on their financed emissions amount, which is expected to make up most of their emissions portfolio. As a result, it scores significantly low on transparency.

Atradius has reported on the emissions level for its own business operations, but has made no concrete plans to decrease these. Nor has Atradius reported any information on how it will take responsibility for its emissions, neither by climate contributions or offsetting. Indeed, all it has done is subscribe to the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, without providing any details on the targets it will set to comply with these. Neither Atradius nor its parent company GCO have published an exclusion list, which could aid a company in the decision-making process for investment choices and consequently help it meet the ESG criteria.

Atradius Dutch State Business (DSB), a subsidiary of the Atradius Group and the Netherlands' official credit insurance agency argues that it assesses insurance conditions and classifies it as green in the case of it being favorable. However, fossil fuel related transactions have been granted this green label.

Due Diligence

Due Diligence

Atradius DSB potentially finances tax havens

According to a 2013 report published by Both ENDS, a Dutch environmental protection agency, Atradius DSB regularly involve parties registered in tax havens. As a result, these multi-national enterprises (MNE's) were able to adopt aggressive tax avoidance positions that undermine the ability of countries to effectively collect tax.[32]

Between 2002 and 2012, Atradius DSB underwrote a number of transactions with a higher risk of money laundering, tax avoidance and/or evasion, and a lack of transparency and accountability.[33] Three case studies displayed the fact that Atradius DSB has indeed i) provided cover for a company facing allegations of tax evasion, ii) provided cover for Dutch companies registered abroad ad iii) provided cover for beneficial owners in tax havens.[34]

In a follow-up report, published in 2015, BOTH Ends once more established that Atradius DSB continues to engage in the previously criticized practices. As of that moment, Atradius DSB failed to introduce effective screening to exclude export transactions that have a high probability of including tax evasion and money laundering from its insurance services.[35]

Atradius DSB finances Russian oligarch Gennadi Timtsjenko

Gennadi Timtsjenko is a Russian oligarch and a close friend of Putin's. According to research conducted by Platform Investico and published by Trouw and De Groene Amsterdammer Atradius financed multiple companies who collaborates with Gennadi Timtsjenko.[36] Between 2014 and 2020 the amount of money in question is a total of 30 million. Experts mainly criticize Atradius' actions because of the fact that Gennadi has been on the American sanction list since 2014. It is thus quite questionable for the Dutch government to have continued funding such projects. According to Joseph Wilde-Ramsing, senior researcher at SOMO, these actions go against the anti-corruption guidelines that Atradius is supposed to follow.[37][38]

Atradius DSB was associated with human rights violations and possibly corruption in Uganda

The International Consortium of Journalists (ICIJ) got hold of the administration of ex-presidents daughter Isabel dos Santos and published stories about corruption under the name 'Luanda Leaks'. Atradius DSB insured a sum of 400 million dollar that ING loaned to the state of Angola to finance a project for urban development in the capital Luanda. The Dutch company Van Oord worked together with Isabel dos Santos on this project.

But according to Dutch newspaper Trouw, 3.000 families were violently evicted from their homes for the project. People were first deprived of food and water for a week, and then they were evicted using tear gas and hot water canons. Many of them ended up living on the streets, without compensation by the state. The newspaper writes that experts criticize Van Oord, ING and Atradius DSB for a lack of investigation into these evictions and for doing business with Isabel dos Santos without being cautious, as she has been associated with corruption scandals for years.[39]

Scandals and Controversies

Atradius DSB finances fossil fuels in Africa

Despite the climate crisis already disproportionately affecting African countries, the continent is host to numerous fossil fuel developments. In short, actions taken by commercial banks, development finance institutions and Expert Credit Agencies (ECA's), amongst which Atradius DSB belongs, allow the fossil fuel industry to grow. As a result, there is a growing concern that African countries are locked out of a Just Transition.[40] Focusing on the fossil fuel industry instead of centering on green energy undermines the enormous potential of Africa's renewables.

Atradius was amongst the nine Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) backing fossil fuel projects. By providing the guarantee to repay the investment in case it fails, it allows companies to operate in 'risky' circumstances, as is the case with the fossil fuel industry. In total, Atradius covered 1,065 million US dollars worth of investments.[41]

In 2020, Atradius DSB is suspected to have committed itself to insure an oil and fossil project in Mozambique.[42] Despite all the negative consequences this will have on the local population, such as the forced removal from local inhabitants, the deprivation of fisherman from their jobs and the environmental impacts of increased CO2 emissions,[43] both the Dutch government and Atradius have committed to funding the project regardless.[44]

During COP26, the Netherlands signed a treaty saying that starting 2022, "projects related to fossil energy will no longer be insured through government-backed Export Credit Agencies" such as Atradius.[45]


Although there are no SMART objectives in the annual report, and no reference is made to the Paris 2015 climate agreement, Atradius has itself assessed externally in the field of sustainability.

Furthermore, Atradius cooperates with the sustainability policy of the parent company GCO. The Master Plan (2020-2023) of GCO can probably be considered as a climate plan. The Master Plan refers to the Paris-2015 agreement and sets a goal to be carbon-neutral by 2050, in order to obtain the max. + 1,5 degree objective. In 2021, the GCO-group tried to establish their scope-3 pollution for the first time. Atradius itself remains passive regarding the provision of its full emissions level. On top of that, it made no mention of the Master Plan in its 2021 report. Additionally, as the due diligence and scandals section makes clear, Atradius has a long way to go in becoming greener and more sustainable in its actions.


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