Phoenix Group sets sights on carbon neutral portfolio by 2050

Phoenix Group has set a target of net-zero by 2050 for its investment portfolio and stated that reducing its carbon footprint is “integral” to delivering long-term value.

A trading update from the provider said it would pursue this aim by increasing its investment in assets that support the transition to a low carbon economy, as well as using its position to engage with investee companies and promote alignment to the Paris Agreement, and reducing or eliminating exposure from companies that do not achieve progress.

Looking to the short term, Phoenix also committed to ensuring the direct and indirect utility emissions of its occupied premises, and the other indirect emissions from business travel, were net-zero carbon by 2025.

Phoenix Group CEO, Andy Briggs, said: “We also recognise that Phoenix has an important role to play in society and today we are announcing our commitment for our operations to become net-zero carbon by 2025 and for our investment portfolio to do so by 2050.

“Sustainability is at the core of our purpose and reducing our environmental impact will be integral to delivering long-term value for all of our stakeholders."

The company also confirmed that it has achieved cash generation of £1.71bn in 2020, more than double the £707m reached in the same period last year and beyond than the upper end of the 2020 cash generation target range of £1.5bn to £1.6bn.

The company said it had reached incremental long-term cash generation from new business of £472m in the nine months ending 30 September, although this was slightly below the £483m generated in the same period last year due to a reduction in workplace new business from £155m to £94m.

Briggs added: "Phoenix has continued to perform strongly with full year cash generation of £1.7bn now complete, exceeding the top end of our target range. Our balance sheet remains resilient, underpinned by our high-quality portfolio of assets and unique approach to risk management, and our shareholder capital coverage ratio of 159 per cent remains robust.

“As we execute successfully against our strategy, I am confident that we will continue to deliver cash, resilience and growth, and therefore sustainable cash generation for investors.”

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