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Aegon aims at net zero across default pension funds

written by Bella Palmer
aegon

Aegon said its wider corporate operations in the UK, US and the Netherlands have achieved 'carbon neutral' status since 2016

Aegon UK is aiming to slash the carbon emissions in its default pension funds in half by 2030, as part of a longer-term plan announced yesterday to reach net zero across its £10bn portfolio by the middle of the century.

The pension provider said the threat of climate change, as well as increasing consumer interest in green issues, meant it was acting now to reduce the impact of its investments on the climate.

Aegon had already committed to allocating around half of its LifePath strategies, around £3bn of assets, to ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategies by the middle of this year. By 2050, however, it now plans to be net zero in its auto-enrolment (AE) default funds.

A survey of 1,375 consumers, carried out by Aegon in December, found 77 per cent agreed that climate change was an important risk when investing for the future, while 45 per cent wanted to see investing for a net zero carbon future made mandatory.

Aegon said its wider corporate operations in the UK, US and the Netherlands have achieved 'carbon neutral' status since 2016, through a combination of reducing emissions from its open operations while also supporting offset projects in cooperation with green NGO ClimateCare.

As investment providers and a responsible business, we have a large part to play in the fight against climate change, said Aegon's investment solutions managing director Tim Orton. We believe that this is not just an environmental issue, but one that is central to the future wellbeing of our customers.

Investors are giving us a very clear message that they want to see action, he added. Aegon and other providers have the power to influence the companies that they invest in and the third-party fund managers who provider investments. Businesses that fail to change will fail.

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