BT scheme joins net-zero

BT’s £55bn pension scheme and the £9bn South Yorkshire Pension Fund have together added nearly half a million more pensions to a net-zero commitment for their investments.

Following pledges from Aviva (two million members) and Nest (eleven million), the addition of BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), the UK largest occupational scheme with 300,00 members, and South Yorkshire (160,000) brings the total number of schemes that have adopted a net-zero policy to nearly 12 million in the last two months, and a total AUM of £106bn.

The majority of the BT’s pension assets will be reinvested to reach net-zero by 2035, with BTPS Chair Otto Thoresen saying: “Climate change poses a clear and present threat to the Scheme’s ability to meet its long-term commitments. Setting a net-zero goal of 2035 is ambitious but, it’s important to take steps now to safeguard the future of the portfolio and the planet.”

Over time, all investment mandates will be aligned with the net-zero goal, and as a policy the scheme only retain managers that it believes can achieve these guidelines and are willing to report against a net-zero climate scorecard.

The decision comes after BTPS surveyed its members regarding attitudes to responsible investment, with 74 per cent of members saying that they expected the scheme to continue taking into consideration the environmental and social impact of the investments it makes. 65 per cent said they expect BTPS to use its investments to make a positive impact on the environment and society.

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