Royal London commits to net zero by 2050

Royal London has become the latest financial services firm to commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, with the mutual life, pensions and investment company promising to do so across its investment portfolio by 2050.

It has also committed to cutting its carbon equivalent emissions from its investment portfolio by 2030, while also developing climate solutions to enable consumers to invest in the low-carbon transition.

Royal London is aiming to reduce its direct emissions by 60 per cent and use only renewable electricity across its offices by 2025, and reduce its business travel carbon footprint by 50 per cent going forward.

The firm also plans to have net-zero direct operational emissions by 2030.

“Our population is living longer and, unlike previous generations, we must take responsibility for funding our later lives ourselves,” Royal London group chief executive, Barry O’Dwyer, commented.

“This coincides with a climate crisis that is damaging the world into which we will all retire. In combination, these ultimately put the standard of living we have come to expect in jeopardy.

“We all want to spend our lives in a climate where our homes aren’t put at risk by extreme weather events and we have access to sustainable sources of food. So customers’ money must be invested responsibly in a way that supports the changes needed to protect the planet.
 
“This is not the time to be passive. The biggest way Royal London can make a difference in the fight against climate change is through an active investment approach.”

Royal London has also called for decisive collective action, and asked regulators to consider climate change alongside product outcomes and the government to promote policies that reward those who act responsibly.

Commenting on the announcement, Make My Money Matter CEO, Tony Burdon, added: “Last week, Make My Money Matter wrote to leading pension providers calling for ambitious, robust net-zero commitments. We’re delighted that Royal London has responded to this call, and announced a new climate approach which ensures that millions of UK pensions will be helping tackle the climate emergency, rather than fuelling the fire.
 
“Royal London’s net-zero commitment - which includes a halving of emissions by 2030 and active investment in climate solutions - is a critical step, and one which we believe all pension providers must take ahead of COP26. In doing this, Royal London align themselves to the 1.5 degree ambition of the Paris Climate Agreement, and will help ensure that our pension power is used to build a world that UK savers actually want to retire in to.”

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