Over half the country want their pensions to go green. Now is the time for the UK’s largest schemes to respond.
Since Make My Money Matter launched our campaign to green the UK’s pension industry, we’ve seen huge progress in aligning our pensions to net zero. After just 18 months, £1 trillion of UK pension money is now in schemes committed to robust net zero, with a halving of emissions before 2030.
This includes major DC providers such as Scottish Widows and Aviva, large corporate DB schemes such as BT and Tesco, as well as some of the biggest local government pension schemes. Overall, this means that up to 40 million pension pots are now doing more to tackle the climate crisis, all while protecting savers’ interests.
These shifts have been delivered on the back of a dramatic increase in public awareness of the power of our pensions. Our message has reached over 22 million people, we’ve seen an 85% growth in savers who understand the link between their money and the climate crisis, and 16 million savers now say they will find a more sustainable pension in the next 12 months.
While meaningful progress has been made, many leading UK pension schemes – accounting for £1.7 trillion in assets under management – have failed to set robust net zero goals for their portfolios. Such inaction is bad for people, bad for the planet, and goes against the expectations of pension members.
That’s why this week we’ve written to the UK’s largest pension schemes that have not yet made robust net zero commitments to ask them to step up and join this movement.
In aligning their portfolios to net zero, leading providers can – in the words of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey – ensure that “our pensions become a superpower that delivers prosperity for people and the planet in our race to net zero”.
2021 saw important progress on greening our financial industry, with COP26 in Glasgow demonstrating unequivocally the crucial role of private finance in tackling the climate crisis.
Pension funds must not get left behind in this transition; and so now is the time for all remaining schemes who are yet to commit to robust net zero to set ambitious climate targets. In doing so, they can take advantage of what both Mark Carney and Larry Fink refer to as the greatest economic opportunity of our lifetimes.
The climate emergency demands urgent action now. That‘s why this year we will be monitoring the progress of all schemes who have not set robust net zero goals, and shining a light on those who have failed to act.
Because after all, who wants to retire into a world on fire?
UK pension schemes we wrote to:
Airways Pension Scheme (British Airways)
Associated British Foods Pension Scheme
AstraZeneca Pension Fund
AXA Group Pension Scheme
BAA Pension Scheme (Heathrow Airport Holdings)
Babcock International Group, Devonport Royal Dockyard and Rosyth Royal Dockyard Pension Schemes
BAE Systems Pension Scheme
Bank of England Pension Fund
BMW Operations Pension Scheme
Boots Pension Scheme
BP Pension Fund
British American Tobacco Pension Fund
British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme
British Steel Pension Scheme
Centrica Pension Schemes
Civil Aviation Authority
Co-operative Group Pension Scheme
Diageo Pension Scheme
E.ON Pension Scheme
East Riding Pension Fund
EDS Retirement Plan
Electricity Supply Pension Scheme
Essex Pension Fund
Exxon Mobil Pensions
Ford Salaried; Hourly Paid Contributory & Senior Staff Pension Funds
Fujitsu Defined Benefit Schemes
GE Pension Plan
GSK Pension Scheme
Hampshire Pension Fund
Hertfordshire County Council Pension Fund
IBM Pension Plan
ICI Pension Fund
Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund
Invensys Pension Scheme
ITV Pension Scheme
Jaguar Pension Plan
John Lewis Partnership Pensions Trust
Kent Pension Fund
Lancashire County Pension Fund
Land Rover Pension Scheme
Lothian Pension Fund
Marks & Spencer Pension Scheme
Mars Pension Plan
Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme
MMC Pension Fund
Nationwide Pension Fund
NatWest Group Pension Fund
Nestle Pension Fund
New Airways Pension Scheme (British Airways)
Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee
Nottinghamshire Pension Fund
Prudential Defined Benefit Scheme
RHM Schemes (Premier Foods)
Rolls-Royce Pension Schemes
Royal Mail Pensions Plan
RWE npower Group Defined Benefit Scheme
Sainsbury’s Pension Scheme
SAL Pension Scheme
Santander Pension Scheme
ScottishPower Pension Scheme
Shell Contributory Pension Fund
Siemens Benefits Scheme
Southern Electric and Scottish Hydro Electric (SSE) Pension Schemes
Staffordshire County Council Pension Fund
Strathclyde Pension Fund
Tyne & Wear Pension Fund
United Utilities Pension Scheme
Universities Superannuation Scheme
Vodafone Group Pension Scheme
West Sussex County Council Pension Fund
Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank Pension Scheme
Zurich Financial Services Pension Scheme