Scottish Widows publishes net-zero roadmap

Scottish Widows has published its roadmap to achieve net zero by 2050, also announcing plans to invest a further £3bn into BlackRock’s Climate Transition World Equity Fund.

The group’s Climate Action Plan outlines four key actions, which aim to enable Scottish Widows to halve its portfolio greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to deliver on its target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, whilst still maximising customers’ return.

As part of this, the group has reiterated its commitment to invest £20-25bn into climate-aware investment strategies and climate solution investments by 2025, with £1bn of this to be specifically invested in climate solutions, such as renewable energy and low-carbon buildings.

Additionally, Scottish Widows has committed to ensuring that climate impacts are at the core of asset allocation decision-making, and to exclude high carbon investments that are at risk of becoming stranded assets.

The plan, which is the thought to be the first clearly defined long-term strategy from a major pensions and insurance provider, also includes a commitment to focus future stewardship activity on companies that are failing to address climate change risks.

Alongside the roadmap, the group has announced a further £3bn investment in BlackRock’s Climate Transition World Equity Fund, which has a bias towards firms with improved climate credentials, bringing the group’s total allocation to this fund to £5bn.

Scottish Widows head of pension investments and responsible investments, Maria Nazarova-Doyle, commented: “We believe the move to net zero will offer longer-term sustainable growth for our customers’ pension savings, by leveraging low-carbon transition opportunities among some of the world’s most forward-looking companies.

“Controlling trillions of pounds worth of investments, the pensions industry has a responsibility to act as a responsible steward for the success of climate solutions – and to exclude investments in high-carbon companies which are resistant to change.

“We look forward to other providers joining us and helping set out how the UK pensions industry will achieve large-scale net-zero commitments, setting a clear expectation for high-carbon sectors resistant to change. Together, we can safeguard the future of our customers’ pension savings – and our planet.”

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