Climate change is the challenge that will define our generation. In a rapidly changing world we are on track to see temperatures rise by more than three degrees by 2100 if immediate action is not taken to curb global carbon emissions.
Your money is powerful - there is £3 trillion invested in UK pensions1. And we’re working hard on your behalf to unlock the power of pensions and invest in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
How we plan to make a positive difference
Our research shows that our customers care about climate change and we believe the best outcome is that, collectively, we achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and this informs our strategic goals. We're committed to:
- Reducing our carbon equivalent emissions from the investment portfolio by 50% by 2030, while also developing climate solutions that will allow customers to invest in the low carbon transition.
- Achieving Net Zero across our investment portfolio by 20502
- Net Zero direct operational emissions by 20303
- Net Zero scope 3 value chain emissions by 2050.
"We are mutually responsible for delivering a good standard of living for this and future generations."
CEO, Royal London
Your money is powerful
We are responsible for managing over £150 billion4 of your money. It can play a significant part in helping society transition to a sustainable world whilst providing positive investment returns.
Rising to the challenges
We believe that companies that provide solutions to the challenges humanity faces do better than companies that cause problems.
We’re building on our responsible investment heritage to develop more solutions so you can invest in the low-carbon transition.
Now is not the time to be passive
We work actively with the companies that we invest in to influence their plans to reduce their carbon emissions and transition to a sustainable world in a way that considers the impact on society.
Committed to change
We support initiatives that encourage progress in the fight against climate change. We are committed to achieving net zero by 2050 across our investments to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
What this means for you
We’ll continue to look for ways to reduce our impact, become more efficient, and always think about the environment when making decisions about our offices and operations.
We take this responsibility seriously, so we’ll measure how we’re performing against our commitments on a regular basis, and will report our own environmental footprint publicly to our customers and members too.
How you can learn more
- Download our independent assurance statement (PDF, 244 KB)
- Read about how we’ve achieved operational carbon neutrality by helping households in India
- Read about our involvement in a Just Transition
Carbon metrics and what they mean
But what do we mean by emissions?
The world of emissions can seem complex, but it can be boiled down to this: measuring greenhouse gases (GHG). The term ‘GHG’ covers many types of gases, so to make things simple and comparable across businesses and other polluters, we translate the climate impact of all GHG into a single measure: 'Carbon Dioxide Equivalent' (CO2e). For example, a gas twice as potent as Carbon Dioxide (from a climate impact perspective) is assigned 2 tonnes 'CO2e' for every 1 tonne emitted. When we discuss GHG, ‘carbon’, ‘emissions’, or ‘footprint’ then usually the CO2e is our best absolute measure.
When considering businesses, this absolute measure is less useful. Between two equivalent companies, the larger may emit more CO2e. But what if the larger company has lower emissions relative to its size? To assess this, we use ‘carbon intensity’. This gives us a measure of ‘emissions per unit’, allowing for the company’s size (units could be sales, revenue, total assets or market capitalisation). Using this approach, we can more easily see whether the larger company has a lower carbon intensity despite having a larger absolute footprint.
Things get more complicated again when considering portfolios. With portfolio emissions we face a dilemma: how to aggregate the carbon intensity of all companies and other securities represented in our portfolio into a single figure.
Imagine a portfolio of equities with 100 underlying companies. Holdings of these companies within a portfolio may vary in size considerably, so a simple average of their carbon intensities (with equal weighting across all 100 companies) may be misleading. Under this metric, holdings in a company representing 1% of a portfolio would have the same impact on total portfolio emissions as a company representing 10%.
GHG Scopes explainer
The Greenhouse gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standard classifies a company’s GHG emissions into three ‘scopes’.
- Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources.
- Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.
- Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.
These are illustrated in the diagram below.
- Make My Money Matter, 2023
- The term Net Zero means achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and the amount removed from it. The commitment is based on the expectation that governments and policy makers will deliver on commitments to achieve the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. It also assumes this action does not contravene Royal London’s fiduciary duty to external investors. The commitment is baselined on the year 2020. It includes assets that are controlled by the Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited and are managed on its behalf by Royal London Asset Management Limited (RLAM). This includes the regulated investment funds managed by RLAM. It excludes segregated mandates managed by RLAM on behalf of its external clients.
- Net Zero direct operational emissions, with only residual offsetting. The commitment is baselined on the year 2019, as carbon emissions were significantly reduced by the impacts of Covid-19 in 2020. By 2025 the company is aiming to reduce its direct emissions by 60%, to be using 100% renewable electricity across its offices and to reduce its internal paper use by 90% and external use by 50%. In addition, it is committed to reducing its business travel carbon footprint by 50% going forward. It is also working with its suppliers to measure and manage its indirect operational emissions.
- As at 31 December 2021