3 in 4 pension schemes have net zero plans

Three quarters (74%) of pension schemes have net zero plans in place, or will do within the next two years, according to a new survey.

Two thirds (68%) of the schemes surveyed by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) said they see climate transition plans as being a key priority.

Over half (56%) said net zero targets were a priority, in comparison to 37% who saw board diversity and 35% who saw human rights as key priorities.

The pension schemes surveyed said in terms of non-climate related ESG factors, diversity and inclusion (51%) and human rights (49%) were most important to them.

With new Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) requirements coming into force, the number of schemes making such commitments is expected to grow further still.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) already require larger schemes to use the TCFD framework to report on their portfolios.

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The survey found two-thirds (63%) of schemes have started working on their TCFD report, with over half (55%) saying they are within the scope of the reporting deadline and so plan to publish one this year.

Nigel Peaple, director of policy & advocacy at the PLSA, said: “Striving to improve investment practices, and robust transparency standards across the investment chain, are an essential part of ensuring schemes can act as responsible stewards on behalf of millions of UK pensions savers.

“As we enter the next phase of scheme reporting, it is important that the largest companies and asset managers meet institutional investors’ expectations, by enhancing their climate impact disclosure, as well as fully implementing their regulatory responsibilities within the TCFD regime.”

The PLSA surveyed 91 pension scheme members between 20 April and 16 May in advance of their Annual Investment Conference this week.

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3 in 4 pension schemes have net zero plans