South Yorkshire fund makes carbon neutral pledge

December, 2020 Print

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South Yorkshire Pension Fund (SYPA) has set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2030, following a review of its responsible investment policies.

SYPA was one of the first local government pension scheme administering authorities to adopt a climate change policy and to adopt the reporting requirements of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure. Members of the pensions authority have asked its officers to report back to them with an action plan on how this will be achieved within six months.

The pensions authority also agreed to commission work to develop a comprehensive impact reporting framework, which will cover all the fund’s investments in order to provide a more comprehensive picture of the overall level of emissions from the portfolio alongside a range of other impacts related to the Sustainable Development Goals. This work will be commissioned later this financial year with a view to producing the first comprehensive report on the position at the end of the 2020/21 financial year.

Pension funds rightly get criticised for the level of emissions and other impacts from their listed equity investments, said the authority’s chair, Councillor Mick Stowe.

“However, these only represent around half the story and alongside setting a net zero goal we need to be able to tell the full story. This work will enable us to provide a more balanced picture which properly reflects both the positive steps we are already taking, such as significant investment in renewable energy, and our more traditional investments in listed companies,” he said.

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