HOW WE INVEST RESPONSIBLY
We aim to invest, where we can, in companies that are working hard on things like reducing their negative impact on the environment and people. And excluding those that are causing severe harm to the planet or society.
We integrate ESG factors into our investment processes. Our investment team regularly looks at which investments - like equities, bonds and property - should be in our pension funds and in what proportions. This is known as asset allocation. To do this they look at past and future potential economic scenarios to give them a view of how different types of investments might perform over 10 years or longer. As part of this process, they take into account the impact of climate change and other ESG factors on investments.
WHY DO WE EXCLUDE COMPANIES FROM OUR INVESTMENTS?
We exclude companies which we believe present too much investment risk. We prefer to have a constructive dialogue with senior management of companies we invest in where we believe they need to improve their ESG performance to help drive positive change. But there are some companies involved in activities that have such a negative impact on the planet and society that we won’t invest in them.
Read our exclusions policy (PDF, 715KB)
Read our case for tobacco divestment (PDF, 742KB)
We allocate to ESG investment strategies. To do this, we’re working with our appointed investment managers to develop climate-aware investment funds which have a bias towards investing in companies adapting their businesses. This includes adaptations to be less carbon-intensive or developing climate solutions such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and pollution prevention.
Challenging companies we invest in and voting on their policies is part of our investment stewardship.
We challenge the companies we invest in to behave more sustainably and responsibly for the long-term benefit of our customers. When we have a significant investment in a company and have (ESG) concerns, we’ll work with them to encourage them to change for the better.
Read our Stewardship Policy (PDF, 2MB)
Investing in a company brings shareholder rights to vote on its policies and how its business is managed. We work closely with investment managers of the funds we invest in to encourage them to vote in line with our ESG approach.
Voting principles and guidelines (PDF, 212KB)
Our core stewardship priorities are defined on a three-year rolling basis and reviewed annually for continued effectiveness. Our current priorities are:
CLIMATE & THE ENVIRONMENT
Our Approach to Climate Change outlines how we’re working towards the decarbonisation of our investments to net zero by 2050.
We also consider a broader set of environmental factors such as biodiversity and deforestation.
Our approach to Climate Change (PDF, 5MB)
Efforts to ensure human rights are respected by the companies we invest in, including contributing to higher standards than those required by local laws through access to decent, safe work and reliable income.
We believe having a broad range of people with different ways of thinking involved in companies’ decision making is important for the long-term success of the businesses we invest in.
Cognitive Diversity in the Boardroom report (PDF, 1MB)