WTW and R&M join Net Zero Asset Managers climate initiative

River & Mercantile (R&M) and Willis Towers Watson (WTW) have joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, an international group of asset managers committed to backing global efforts to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

WTW said its announcement meant that the combined signatories had now pledged a collective $43trn in assets under management.

WTW head of investments, Chris Ford, commented: “We believe that climate change will materially affect the global economy and capital markets. Integrating climate considerations in our decision making is a core part of how we act as responsible stewards of our clients’ assets, and we believe this will result in better risk-adjusted returns for our clients.”

R&M said that, in addition to becoming a signatory and adapting its existing strategies, it planned to launch new strategies based around sustainable objectives and is aiming to release a roadmap in the next 12 months which will show clearly defined milestones for achieving net zero.

R&M head of ESG, Roger Lewis, said: “We recognise that financial institutions, especially asset managers as providers of debt or equity, have an important role to play in the process to net zero carbon.

“Beyond making this commitment, we have been listening to the needs and desired outcomes of our clients around greenhouse gas emissions. We fully understand the costs, benefits and implications of committing to net zero, and will have a credible, robust plan to reach this goal for all of our assets whilst also continuing to deliver strong returns for clients.”

R&M group CEO, James Barham, added: “Climate change is real. We have a responsibility as a business and as an industry to use whatever available resources and influence to ensure that we contribute to achieving net zero carbon in line with broader government and societal objectives.

“We will continue to evolve and develop our thinking to identify whether as a business we can achieve this earlier. We are therefore proud to announce our commitment to be net zero carbon by 2050, covering 100 per cent of assets managed.”

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