Today, we contine to do the right thing for now and for future generations as we launch a joint venture, with 11 other companies, in our commitment to supporting the goal of global net zero.
The Net Zero Investment Consultants Initiative (NZICI), through nine specific action points, commits to achieving global net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner.
As members of the Investment Consultants Sustainability Working Group, BW worked closely with other consultants and stakeholders to craft the collaborative commitment. The initiative is endorsed by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and supported by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
Earlier this year, we announced our own net zero pledge for 2021 which confirmed the reduction in our carbon footprint has resulted in net carbon neutral for scope 1 and 2 emissions.
We will continue to integrate net zero into our advisory services by helping clients understand the risks and opportunities coming from climate change. As advisers to more than £80bn of client assets, we will support investors to consider net zero alongside their investment objectives, managing risk and seeking returns through the transition to a low carbon economy.
The commitments developed for the NZICI have been designed to facilitate alignment with the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative and other signatories of the Race to Zero campaign. They will work together with other signatories of net zero initiatives as a member of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ).
"Joining this initiative means cementing our commitment to working with others across our industry and beyond to solve the complex, systemic problems of climate change."
The NZICI sets out nine actions that investment consultants will take to support the goal of global net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in the context of legal and fiduciary duties and specific client mandates.
The nine actions are as follows:
Within our investment advisory services we will:
- Integrate advice on net zero alignment into all our investment consulting services as soon as practically possible and within two years of making this commitment
- Work with our institutional asset owner clients to identify the investment risks from climate change, highlight the importance of net zero alignment and, where applicable, support our clients in developing policies that align their portfolios to a net zero pathway
- Support efforts to decarbonize the global economy by helping our clients prioritize real economy emissions reductions, reflecting the target of 50% global emissions reduction by 2030 or sooner using existing decarbonization methodologies.
- Assess and monitor asset managers on the integration of climate risks and opportunities in their investment decisions and stewardship and reflect this evaluation in our client recommendations
With respect to our fully discretionary services, we will:
- Align with the Net Zero Asset Manager Initiative as soon as practically possible and within two years of making this commitment
With respect to our own business operations, we will:
- Set emissions reduction targets across all our operational emissions in line with 1.5°C scenarios
Within the wider financial community, we will:
- Where suitable net zero methodologies do not exist, work collaboratively for the benefit of our clients to address these challenges, seeking harmonized methodologies
- Engage, independently or as a group, with regulators and policymakers, to facilitate the transition to net zero carbon emissions, addressing any barriers to our clients adopting and achieving their net zero targets
To ensure accountability, we will:
- Report progress by our firm against the commitments made here at least annually in public domain.
Alex Pocock said: “A systemic change like net zero can only be achieved by working together with other organisations - to go further and faster to build a sustainable future. For BW, sustainability is about moving forward and meeting the needs of the present without jeopardising future generations.
“Joining this initiative means cementing our commitment to working with others across our industry and beyond to solve the complex, systemic problems of climate change. Collaboration is absolutely key and this initiative demonstrates our collective commitment for the future; none of us can be ‘net zero’ alone.
“We will continue to do the right thing and develop as a sustainable business now and in to the future. Our diverse expertise, knowledge and aptitude provides us the ability to support clients in their own pledge for net zero. Together we can achieve our goal.”
All companies to sign the pledge are: Barnett Waddingham, bfinance, Cambridge Associates, Cardano, Frontier, Hymans Robertson, JANA, LCP, Meketa, Redington, Willis Towers Watson and Wilshire.
You can read more about the initiative here.