Brunel Pensions Partnership has achieved its target to reduce the carbon intensity of its active portfolios by an annual 7% against their respective benchmarks.
In its first responsible investment and stewardship outcome report, the local authority pool revealed that it had achieved its carbon reduction goal after developing a “five-point plan to build a zero-carbon future”, including ensuring its portfolios are resilient under a range of climate change scenarios and advocating to policymakers.
It also said at least 35% of its cycle one private market investments are in renewable energy, and the power generation mix of the Brunel Aggregate Portfolio had a higher proportion of renewables than its custom benchmark.
As part of its stewardship efforts, Brunel carried out 867 engagements with companies last year, moving forward on over a thousand milestones on issues from palm oil to plastics pollution, cyber security to animal welfare.
Amongst other outcomes, an engagement with mining firms – through the Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative – led to the creation of the first global database of tailings dams, to avoid a repeat of the Brumadinho dam tragedy in Brazil.
As part of its policy advocacy work, Brunel is supporting institutional capacity for carbon reporting in China, and climate risk guidance for pension funds in the UK.
Brunel chief executive, Laura Chappell, said: “This report reflects on a critical year that has seen successful outcomes in a wide range of sustainability themes from climate change to cost transparency.”
“Partnership remains key to our success, and many of the achievements disclosed in our first report came from working with our clients and asset managers on environmental, social and governance issues,” she added. “As the Covid-19 crisis has shown, managing these risks is crucial to protect the future interests of our clients and their beneficiaries,” she continued.