Climate emergency news

Avon Pension Fund gains recognition at world’s first Net Zero Pension Summit

A group of wind turbines on a hill.

Avon Pension Fund has been recognised for its role in providing key investment data to Brunel Pension Partnership (BPP), aiding in the formulation of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) net zero investor framework.

On 1st June, Make My Money Matter hosted the world's first Net Zero Pension Summit – co-hosted by none other than Richard Curtis (British screen writer, producer and film director) and Mark Carney (former Governor of the Bank of England and current UN Envoy for Climate Action).

Avon Pension Fund adds its name to the 2021 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis

Quote: We have signed the 2021 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis calling for all governments to commit to ambitious climate policy action by COP26.

With the G7 Summit taking place this weekend in Cornwall, we’re proud to announce that we are a signatory of the 2021 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis.

In signing this document, we stand alongside 456 other investors worldwide with a combined asset-worth of over $41 trillion. It calls on all governments in 2021 to increase their climate policy action and ambition urgently by COP26 (UN Climate Change Conference) in November.

Get to know Responsible Investment

In light of the Climate Emergency, there is growing pressure on countries and organisations alike to publicise what they are doing to address and tackle the issue. As your Pension Fund, we know it is our responsibility to be transparent and to explain our actions in the matter, especially when it comes to investment. We’re pleased to have a new tool in our box to help us keep that promise, that we’d like to share with you.

2020 Annual Review: Avon Pension Fund Engagement Highlights

Our ESG engagement/stewardship annual review of 2020 is here. This report outlines the engagement activity carried out by EOS Federated Hermes on behalf of Avon Pension Fund – and aims to highlight and quantify all the ESG engagement/stewardship activities carried out throughout 2020.

657 companies were engaged with across 2,419 environmental, social, governance, strategy, risk and communications issues and objectives. The impressive figures held in the report highlight how much of an impact we can have, both for the UK and world beyond.

HSBC shareholder resolution update

Intensive engagement by Brunel and the coalition of investors that filed a climate change resolution at HSBC, calling on them to publish a strategy to reduce exposure to fossil fuel assets on a timeline consistent with the Paris climate goals, has led to the withdrawal of the shareholder resolution. This is in exchange for HSBC’s own board-backed resolution.

Brunel announce intention to back a shareholder resolution calling on HSBC to publish a strategy and targets to reduce its exposure to fossil fuel assets

Fifteen institutional investors with a combined US$ 2.4 trillion in assets under management have filed a climate change resolution at HSBC, alongside 117 individual shareholders. The resolution, co-ordinated by responsible investment NGO ShareAction, calls on HSBC to publish a strategy and targets to reduce its exposure to fossil fuel assets, starting with coal, on a timeline consistent with the Paris climate goals.

If the resolution receives more than 75% of the votes at HSBC’s AGM in April 2021, it would require the bank to publish a strategy and short-, medium- and long-term targets to reduce its exposure to fossil fuel assets on a timeline aligned with the goals of the Paris agreement

This resolution is consistent with Brunel’s previous engagement work on fossil fuel financing and follows the shareholder resolution that was co-filed by Brunel at Barclays last year.

Responsible Investment Annual Report 2019/20

The Avon Pension Fund has published its eighth Responsible Investment Annual Report. The report underlines the Funds recognition that transparency and disclosure of its Responsible Investing Policy and the related activities is an important element of being a responsible investor.

The report details the activities undertaken during 2019/20 by the Fund, our managers and our partners to deliver and support our Responsible Investing Policy.

This year’s key achievements include the doubling of our commitment to renewable infrastructure and increasing our assets allocated to sustainable equities from 3.5% to 10% of all assets.

As we recognise the importance of investor collaboration, another key development we were pleased to make was joining the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). This presents us with the opportunity to participate in policy advocacy and portfolio implementation work alongside many like-minded investors and will help us ensure we continue as a leader in the field of responsible investment.

Our Responsible Investment priorities remain unchanged for the coming year as does our commitment to create value for our beneficiaries and at the same time make a positive environmental and social impact.

PDF iconResponsible Investing Annual Report 2019/20

Investment Strategy Statement

Our Investment Strategy Statement (ISS) has now been published after the stakeholder consultation process has been completed.

The ISS is a technical document that is produced to comply with LGPS regulations and guidance. It sets out how the Fund will achieve its primary strategic objective of paying the pensions due over time.  This entails balancing the risk within the portfolio between generating returns and protecting capital and recognising our role as a responsible investor and the contribution we can make in addressing environmental, social and governance related issues while ensuring affordability for our employers.

We acknowledge it is difficult to achieve all the differing aspirations and objectives of our stakeholders; our strategy includes those that are aligned with the primary objective and where they do not increase the financial risk to the Fund and our ability to pay pensions.

This Statement incorporates changes resulting from the Fund’s most recent investment strategy review including changes to the asset allocation and the setting of climate change objectives. The setting of explicit climate objectives reflects the Fund’s belief that climate change presents a material financial risk to our assets and managing this risk is consistent with our over-arching fiduciary duty to the scheme members.

PDF iconInvestment Strategy Statement - September 2020

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