Fund managers with $9tn assets set net zero goal

Fidelity International CEO Anne Richards

Asset management firms representing over $9 trillion of assets under management (AUM) have announced the launch of the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.

The global firms have committed to support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

As part of the initiative, the asset managers have agreed to:

  • Work in partnership with asset owner clients on decarbonisation goals, consistent with an ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner across all assets under management
  • Set an interim target for the proportion of assets to be managed in line with the attainment of net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner
  • Review their interim target at least every five years, with a view to ratcheting up the proportion of AUM covered until 100% of assets are included

The commitment in turn recognises “an urgent need to accelerate the transition towards global net zero emissions and for asset managers to play our part to help deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement and ensure a just transition.” 

The initial 30 Net Zero Asset Managers signatories are: a.s.r. Asset Management, Anaxis Asset Management, Arisaig Partners, Asset Management One, ATLAS Infrastructure Partners, AXA Investment Managers, BMO Global Asset Management, Calvert Research and Management, CCLA Investment Management, Clean Energy Ventures, DWS, FAMA Investimentos, Fidelity International, Generation Investment Management LLP, Gulf International Bank Asset Management, Handelsbanken Fonder AB, IFM Investors, Inherent Group LP, Kempen Capital Management, Legal & General Investment Management, M&G plc, New Forests Pty Ltc, Nordea Asset Management, Robeco, Sarasin & Partners LLP, Schroders, Swedbank Robur, UBS Asset Management, Wellington Management and WHEB.

Fidelity International CEO Anne Richards said: “At Fidelity International, we recognise that climate change poses one of, if not the most, significant risks to the long-term profitability and sustainability of companies, including our own.

“Following our commitment earlier this year to reduce our operational carbon emissions to net zero by 2040 and the publication of our first TCFD report this week, we are pleased to join the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, working together with our peers to support and accelerate the transition towards global net zero emissions.”

Legal & General Investment Management CEO Michelle Scrimgeour said: “By signing up to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative LGIM is committing – in partnership and on behalf of our clients – to invest in alignment with the net zero emissions framework by 2050 or sooner. 

“Our responsible investment strategies are already channelling capital towards low carbon solutions, we are accelerating our efforts to help our clients set and meet decarbonisation goals for their portfolios and investing in many of the world’s largest companies we continue to hold them to account.

“Delivering on this ambition requires substantial change across the global economy and LGIM will be at the heart of these efforts.”

Robeco CEO Gilbert Van Hassel said: “It is clear from scientific reports about climate change and carbon emissions that society has to act now.

“We cannot solve big problems such as climate change and the rapid decline of biodiversity on our own.

“But what we can do is set a clear example for the broader industry, work together and encourage other financial institutions such as asset managers to follow suit. We have set this ambition with the conviction that investing is not only about creating wealth but also about contributing to well-being.”

The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative will be managed globally by six Founding Partner investor networks, namely: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC), CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

In turn, the initiative is endorsed by The Investor Agenda, of which the investor networks are all founding partners

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.