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Scottish Widows targets net zero by 2050

written by Bella Palmer

The pension provider will invest in renewable energy and energy efficient technologies

Scottish Widows will aim to halve the carbon footprint of its investments by 2030 on the way to achieving net zero across its entire portfolio of investments by 2050, the pension provider announced.

In a statement, the six million customer-strong provider also said it will invest heavily in a range of climate solutions, including renewable energy, low-carbon buildings, and energy efficient technologies.

These investments will be made within the next five years on a path to net zero that the provider said would be "complex, but the right thing to do".

Head of pension investments Maria Nazarova-Doyle said the 2030 and 2050 commitments would provide a long-term safeguard for customers' investments.

Our first responsibility is always to our customers and ensuring we are looking after their investments for the long-term, she said. Moving to net-zero will protect savings against climate-related risks and uncertainty and offer longer-term sustainable growth by accessing low carbon transition opportunities.

Scottish Widows' shorter-term targets, which include halving carbon emissions within nine years, will be key to ensuring the path to net zero is achievable, she added. To do the job properly across all our products and investments, we'll use our influence through stewardship activity to drive the transition to a low-carbon future in the real economy, while proactively investing in climate change solutions. The journey to net zero will not be easy but we are up for the challenge.

Nazarova-Doyle added that mass carbon-offsetting schemes could no longer be relied upon by providers of Scottish Widows' size to provide a "false sense of security". Action that drives change in the real economy is the only way we can achieve the net-zero goals, she said.

Scottish Widows has also called on the rest of the industry to commit to a "clear path" toward net-zero including clear shorter- and medium-term milestones ahead of COP26 in November.


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