03.29.2021

Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative Triples In AUM

  • 43 new investor signatories to Net Zero Asset Managers initiative will work in collaboration with clients to achieve 2030 emissions reduction targets and reach net zero by 2050 or sooner
  • The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative now has a total 73 signatories representing $32 trillion in assets under management (AUM), 36 per cent of the global total1
  • Net Zero Asset Managers initiative is now accredited by the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign

Asset managers representing over $22.8 trillion of assets under management (AUM) today announced that they are new signatories to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. Following the launch of the initiative in December 2020, 43 additional asset managers are making new, enhanced commitments 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.

The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative now has a total 73 global asset manager signatories, representing $32 trillion in assets under management, representing more than a third (36%)2 of the total assets under management across the globe. The breadth of signatories signals the determination of investors to play their part in achieving a net zero and resilient future and the global significance of the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.

Ashish Bhutani, CEO, Lazard Asset Management: “The climate crisis we face has societal and financial implications. We have joined the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative to hold ourselves accountable to deliver on our responsibility to protect our clients’ portfolios from systemic risks such as climate change. Consistent with our fiduciary duty, we will work towards allocating capital to companies with long-term sustainable business practices to deliver better investment outcomes. In partnership with our clients, we will progress towards net zero emissions.”

Ion Yadigaroglu, Managing Partner, Capricorn Investment Group, said: “We are excited to commit to net zero emissions across the Capricorn Investment Group portfolios. We are seeing numerous opportunities to deploy capital in the fast-growing companies and technologies of the new green economy, from the electrification of cars and trucks and airplanes, to the rollout of storage and battery systems of a fully renewable power grid, to the synthesis of green products from recycled and renewable sources. Far from constraining our investment horizons, we believe that following the science and the ambitions of the Paris Agreement will help us deliver better outcomes for our clients and for society.”

To ensure real world progress ahead of 2050, the asset manager signatories have committed to set interim targets for 2030, consistent with a fair share of the 50 per cent global reduction in greenhouse gases identified by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) to halt global warming at 1.5°C. Supporting the acceleration of action, signatories will submit an interim target, within a year of joining the initiative, for the proportion of assets to be managed in line with reaching net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Asset managers joining the initiative commit to transparent and rigorous accountability. Signatories will annually report progress against the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, including setting out a climate action plan and submitting this to The Investor Agenda via its partner organisations for review to ensure the approach applied is based on a robust methodology, consistent with the Race to Zero criteria, and action is being taken in line with the commitments.

Drawn from across the world, the new signatories to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative are: Algebris Investments, Allianz Global Investors, APG Asset Management , Aviva Investors, BlackRock, Boston Common Asset Management, Boston Trust Walden, Brookfield Asset Management, Capricorn Investment Group, Cardano Holding Limited, Danske Bank Asset Management, Developing World Markets, FullCycle , Invesco Limited, J Safra Sarasin Sustainable Asset Management, JGP Gestão de Crédito & JGP Gestão de Recursos, Jupiter Asset Management, La Banque Postale Asset Management, La Financière de l’Echiquier , Lazard Asset Management, LGT Capital Partners, Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM), Macquarie Asset Management, Maitri Asset Management, Majedie Asset Management, Mirova, Montanaro Asset Management, Newton Investment Management, Nissay Asset Management Corporation, NN Investment Partners, Nykredit Wealth Management, Pemberton Capital Advisors, Rathbones Greenbank Investments, Royal London Asset Management, RockCreek, SAM Investment Holdings, SEB Investment Management, Stafford Capital Partners, Standard Life Aberdeen, Storebrand Asset Management, Terra Alpha Investments, Tikehau Capital, and The Vanguard Group.

Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock: “The asset management industry plays an important role as an advisor, at the nexus between asset owners and corporations. Helping investors prepare their portfolios and capture investment opportunities on the path to net zero is one of our greatest responsibilities. BlackRock is proud to put its name behind this initiative, and I am encouraged to see the increasing momentum towards net zero across the public and private sectors.”

Vanguard Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tim Buckley: “Climate change represents a long-term, material risk to our investors’ portfolios. As a steward of our clients’ assets, we recognize the crucial role we and others play in driving real progress on climate risk over time. As part of our ongoing efforts to tackle this important matter, we will continue to engage with portfolio companies, industry regulators, and policymakers, and today we add our commitment to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. We look forward to helping drive collaborative and constructive dialogue across our industry to establish win-win solutions for long-term shareholder return and the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Hiroshi Ozeki, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissay Asset Management Corporation: “We are very pleased to participate in the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. As a global citizen, we believe that climate change is an urgent and significant issue to be resolved, and that it is our social responsibility as an investor to pass on the irreplaceable global environment to the next generation. Needless to say, this issue cannot be resolved by one firm alone. By taking collective action with all other members, Nissay Asset Management is strongly committed to accelerate the transition towards the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner and we will actively be involved in building a more sustainable society.”

The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative is managed globally by six founding partner investor networks: 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, along with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI).

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change: “Over a third of the world’s AUM is now committed to securing a net zero and resilient future through the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. We need to move the narrative to reflect this, no longer is this a coalition of the willing – this is a coalition of the determined. Ambition is matched by acceleration. The Net Zero Asset Managers’ commitment does not simply look to the future in 2050. Interim targets will be set for 2030, both indicating and driving the pace of transition adopted by the signatory asset managers. With 43 new signatories to the initiative, 73 of the world’s leading asset managers are now committed to meeting significant targets in this vital decade. We would encourage all asset managers to join us in securing a net zero and resilient future.”

The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative is now accredited by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Race to Zero campaign. Led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action, Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz, Race To Zero mobilises a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, joining 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Champion for COP26, said: “This is the first critical Breakthrough for the Race to Zero and especially the asset management industry, with 73 Asset Managers representing over $32 trillion now committed to the net zero transition. Net zero emissions is fast becoming the guiding star for climate ambition, and this momentum must continue to finance the transition to a zero carbon economy.”

Satish Bapat, Chief Executive Officer, NN Investment Partners: “As investors, we acknowledge the impacts of climate change on society and our investments. Together with our peers, we have a role to play in limiting this impact. We strive to contribute to the commitments laid out by the Paris Agreement and Dutch Climate Agreement, in line with our responsible investing beliefs and investment goals. We are pleased to join the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, and to collaborate with our clients and the companies we invest in, to further accelerate this transition towards global net zero emissions.”

To support the governance of the initiative, an advisory group has been appointed to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative drawn from representatives from initial signatory asset managers. The members of the advisory group appointed are: Wendy Cromwell, Wellington Management; Edward Mason, Generation; Chris Newton, IFM Investors; Catherine Ogden, LGIM; Takeo Omori, Asset Management One; Corinna Orbach, DWS. The advisory group will consider and provide recommendations to the Net Zero Asset Managers founding partners with regard to the operation of the initiative and serve as champions for its work.

Andrew Carter, CEO, Royal London Asset Management: “RLAM is committed to being a responsible steward of our clients’ assets and we must play our part in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement to prevent climate change becoming a crisis. We are proud to say we support the launch of the Net Zero Asset Manager Initiative. As part of this we commit to aligning our investments to net zero by 2050 and to engaging with the companies we invest in to ask them to do the same.”

Further commitments from other leading asset managers are expected over coming months.

Source: Net Zero Asset Managers initiative

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