Rothesay commits to 2050 net-zero target

Rothesay has announced plans to cut its portfolio emissions by 20 per cent over the next five years and committed to a 20 per cent reduction in the carbon intensity of its investment portfolio by 2025.

The commitments, published in the insurer's first environmental social and governance (ESG) report, have been highlighted as a "significant step" in transitioning its assets to net zero greenhouse gasses, in line with its broader commitment to achieve net zero by 2050.

The report has outlined a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon activity across the firm's investment portfolio, operations and people, including a pledge to regularly report on its progress and publish the carbon intensity of its portfolio on an annual basis.

The insurer is also expected to embed climate responsibility across all areas of the business, including through the launch of a new Climate Change Working Group, where all parts of the business are represented.

This will contribute to the firm's goal to ensure that it's own operations are carbon neutral, or negative, by 2023, with a series of measures also introduced to aid employees in reducing their own emissions.

This includes tax efficient leasing of zero emission electric vehicles, and plans to recognise colleague actions in support of the firm’s climate change goals in annual performance reviews.

In addition to its internal work, Rothesay has also called on the government to support the bulk annuities sector in increasing its investment in green infrastructure, highlighting the need to identify ways in which it can increase its lending to sectors which support a low carbon economy.

The report stated: “The market for true green investments is still evolving. To date, the group has found few pure green infrastructure investments that meet its strict credit and risk criteria with the exception of loans we have made relating to the UK’s programme of offshore wind infrastructure.

"This is, though, an area that we are committed to supporting as the market develops and in particular we stand ready to help fund projects that aid the transition to a low carbon economy and benefit from some level of governmental support.”

Rothesay also recently became a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, a member of the UN Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, and was involved in the development of the ABI's Climate Change Roadmap.

Commenting on the plans, Rothesay CEO, Addy Loudiadis, stated: “Rothesay is dedicated to securing the future for every on of our policyholders.

"It is therefore vital that we carefully measure and manage the risks associated with climate change in our investment portfolio and that our lending is aligned with businesses that will successfully navigate these risks in the future.

“We actively seek out opportunities to help finance renewable energy projects where this is possible, and we are always willing to support governments in their efforts to develop low carbon generation and infrastructure.

"We stand ready to further fund projects that aid the transition to a low carbon economy.”

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