Aegon UK commits to net zero carbon emissions across pension default funds
14 January 2021
Aegon UK has committed to acheiving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 across its pension default funds.
The assurer said that the threat of climate change is such that the company is exploring the practicability of achieving the milestone of halving emissions in the next decade.
At the end of 2020 Aegon had confirmed that those invested in its LifePath strategies, the default for the TargetPlan occupational schemes and Master Trust, would see “a significant boost” to its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) exposure. By mid-way through 2021, the company said, more than half of total LifePath assets, around £3bn, will be invested in ESG strategies.
Aegon’s actions come following feedback from customers concerned that urgent needs to take action to address climate change. A survey among Aegon’s customer panel in December 2020, revealed that 77% agree that climate change is an important risk to consider when investing for the future. Nearly half (45%) felt more strongly and wanted to see investing for a net-zero carbon future made mandatory.
Aegon added that its commitment to be carbon neutral “is being addressed both from an investment perspective as well as a corporate perspective”, citing that since 2016, its main operations (UK, US and the Netherlands) have achieved carbon neutral status by reducing emissions from their own operations and supporting offset projects in cooperation with the NGO ClimateCare.
Commenting on the latest commitment, Tim Orton, managing director for Investment Solutions at Aegon, said: “As investment providers and a responsible business, we have a large part to play in the fight against climate change. We believe that this is not just an environmental issue, but one that is central to the future financial wellbeing of our customers.
“Investors are giving us a very clear message that they want to see action. Aegon and other providers have the power to influence the companies that they invest in and the third-party fund managers who provide investments. Businesses that fail to change, will fail.”
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