Scottish Widows has launched its Climate Action Plan which it says is the first to clearly define a long-term strategy to meet decarbonisation targets and achieving a net-zero portfolio by 2050.
The company has outlined four key actions in its plan that will allow it to halve portfolio greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while maximising customers’ return on investment.
Scottish Widows has committed to invest £20-25 billion in climate-aware investment strategies and climate solutions by 2025. 1bn will be invested specifically in climate solutions such as renewable energy, low-carbon buildings, and energy-efficient technologies. Scottish Widows says it will ensure that climate impacts are at the heart of asset allocation decisions and will exclude high-carbon investments that are likely to become stranded assets. It will also concentrate stewardship efforts on companies that are failing to address climate change risks.
Scottish Widows has also announced a new £3bn investment in Blackrock’s Climate Transition World Equity Fund. This BlackRock fund favours companies with improved climate credentials in order to ensure that pension savers benefit from a thriving low-carbon economy. The investment announced today adds to a previous £2bn allocation, bringing Scottish Widows’ total investment in this fund to £5bn.
Scottish Widows head of pensions Maria Nazarova-Doyle says: “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.”