Cushon launches 'world first' Net Zero Now pension

Cushon has launched the Net Zero Now pension, which it has highlighted as a "world first", after research revealed that 68.6 per cent of employees are concerned that their company pension could be investing in businesses that are contributing to the climate crisis.

The group's research also found that 87.9 per cent of employees wanted their employer to take action to address this, with 39.8 per cent specifically keen to move to a pension provider that was making a positive impact on climate change.

In addition to this, Cushon analysis found that the average UK pension pot finances an average of 23 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, equivalent to running either nine family cars each year, or burning 1,100 coal fires annually.

This prompted the launch of the Net Zero Now pension, which Cushon highlighted as unique thanks to its immediate net zero goal, emphasising that others in the market have adopted long-reaching targets, such as 2050, in line with the government's broader net zero goals.

Cushon has reduced the emissions financed by the funds as far as possible via ‘off the shelf’ solutions from fund managers, and, to ensure there is no impact on returns, will pay to offset any residual emissions out of its own money.

For these offsets, it has worked with Vertree to select a range of Verified Carbon Standard projects, with 75 per cent of these being triple, double or single gold rated under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standard.

The launch of the Net Zero Now Pension has also prompted a partnership between Cushon and campaign group, Make My Money Matter.

Commenting on the fund, MMM co-founder, Richard Curtis, stated: “The launch of a pension that is net zero now – not later – shows what is possible from the pensions industry when tackling the climate emergency is taken seriously.

"This new pension, with robust sustainability credentials, will be the first of its kind and so we are delighted to partner with Cushon as they continue to integrate environmental criteria across the board.

"This is the kind of leadership that the pension industry – and world – needs in the years ahead as we look to transition to a green economy post Covid-19.

"With COP26 taking place in Glasgow next year, all eyes are set to be on the UK and its environmental credentials, so it is great to have firms like Cushon taking concrete steps to address the climate crisis, which should hopefully incentivise more providers across the industry to follow suit."

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