Scottish Widows launches revamped Environmental Fund

Scottish Widows has launched a revamped version of its Environmental Fund, which it says will be 100 per cent free of fossil fuels and have the widest fossil fuel exclusions of any major pension provider.

The fund does not invest in companies that are involved in the extraction, production, supply and transportation of fossil fuels, or those that generate power from or own reserves of fossil fuels, while it also excludes companies that receive revenue from nuclear energy, including nuclear uranium mining.

Additionally, it will invest in companies that make a positive impact on the environment through their products and services, and in environmental leaders that are making a difference with their progressive policies.

The Environmental Fund was originally launched in 1989 and currently holds assets of approximately £250m.

Explaining the change, Scottish Widows stated that its recent research had showed that more than half (56 per cent) of defined contribution pension savers would consider investing their pension funds in clean, fossil fuel-free energy, with this figure rising to two-thirds (67 per cent) amongst investors aged 18-34.

It added that the need for £50bn to be invested in the UK economy every year to fund the ‘green transition’ represented a “huge opportunity for sustainable businesses”.

Scottish Widows head of pension investments, Maria Nazarova-Doyle, said: “The launch of our refreshed Environmental Fund offers our customers an opportunity to engage in environmental impact investing, an approach that not only aims to achieve good financial returns but sets out to have a measurable and positive impact on the environment.

“Responsible investing enables investors to seize new opportunities and manage risk. By investing in this fund, customers can help address some of the global challenges we face in areas such as climate change, sustainable agriculture, pollution and renewable energy.”

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