DB pensions schemes trustees planning to reduce their training on responsible investment (RI) issues will potentially leave schemes significantly exposed to major systemic risks like climate change, and other risks like greenwashing, warns Hymans Robertson.

Research from the consulting firm shows that only a fifth (20%) of trustees are giving RI training, despite the risks associated with environmental and social factors continually evolving, down from a high of 31% in 2021 and just over a quarter (26%) in 2020.

When it comes to understanding how climate risks impact their long-term objectives, fewer than a third (30%) of respondents plan to commission analysis, only a slight increase from the 2021 figure of 28%.

Commenting on the research, Mhairi Gooch, senior responsible investment consultant and net zero lead at Hymans Robertson, said the numbers intending to review their investments from an RI perspective, particularly looking at climate change risks, is “worryingly low”.

“As the risks and opportunities around climate change evolve, trustees will need to rely on their own understanding to make decisions, meaning a regular review of the RI status of their strategies is a must, as is regularly assessing how their policies and mandates are being met by their investment managers. This is one way for trustees to stay abreast of how their funds are likely to perform in a rapidly shifting investment landscape,” said Gooch.


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Published: June 8, 2023
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