Climate change is a challenge that will impact the future for generations to come. It poses a threat to human wellbeing and the health of our planet1 – and much remains to be done if global goals to limit warming are to be achieved.

There is £3 trillion invested in UK pensions2. We want to help unlock the power of pensions – by aiming to use our influence to support a fair transition to a low-carbon economy, and by continuing to help our customers build their financial resilience. 

How we plan to make a positive difference

We believe the best future for our customers is one where, collectively, we achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement3 and this helps define our actions. We're committed to:

  • Reducing emissions from our investment portfolio by 50% by 2030 from a baseline of 2020, and to achieving net zero by 2050 – you can read on for the details. We also aim to achieve net zero emissions in our property assets directly managed by Royal London Asset Management by 2030, and indirectly managed by 2040.
  • Achieving net zero operational emissions by 2030, and in our non-investment value chain4 by 2050 – you can read more about our operational emissions commitments.
  • Developing climate-aware investment solutions that will enable our customers to invest in the low-carbon transition.
  • Engaging with policymakers, the companies we invest in, our peers, and other stakeholders to advocate on climate-related issues.

Our commitments are based on the expectation that governments and policymakers will deliver on the commitments to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, and that the actions we need to take don’t go against our duty to act in the best interests of our members, customers and clients – known as our fiduciary duty.

We are mutually responsible for delivering a good standard of living for this and future generations.

Barry O'Dwyer
CEO, Royal London

For our investment portfolio commitment, it’s worth noting that:

  • Our commitment includes assets that are controlled by Royal London Mutual Insurance Society and are managed on its behalf by Royal London Asset Management Limited (RLAM), as well as regulated investment funds managed by RLAM. Our commitment excludes segregated mandates on behalf of external clients, but includes support for external clients with assets in segregated mandates where clients have an explicit commitment to achieving net zero.
  • We currently track our progress by measuring investee companies’ carbon intensity. We do this by measuring emissions related to their direct operations and energy purchases (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) for two asset classes – corporate fixed income and listed equity – in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per million dollars invested. There are significant industry-wide limitations when it comes to calculating investee companies’ Scope 3 emissions, including limited data availability, quality and consistency. Therefore, our commitment does not currently include investee companies’ own value chain4 (Scope 3) emissions, but we’ll regularly reconsider this as the viability of including these emissions develops. We will expand the scope of asset classes included in our targets as net zero methodologies evolve.

Discover more about how we measure emissions, or find further detail of our portfolio breakdown plus data limitations in our Climate (TCFD) Report 2023.

Supporting the low-carbon transition

We want to play a part in helping society transition to a sustainable world whilst providing positive investment returns.


Investing responsibly

We're clear on the positive outcomes we want to create through the investments we manage on your behalf.

Discover more  about Investing responsibly

Now is not the time to be passive

We engage with high-emitting companies that we invest in to influence their plans to reduce carbon emissions and transition to a sustainable world in a way that considers the impact on society.

Discover more  about Now is not the time to be passive

Improving our own operations

We continue to deliver against our commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our own offices and operations, and also focus on engaging with our suppliers.

Discover more  about Improving our own operations

How you can learn more


When you’re reading about our climate commitments on our website or in our reporting, these terms are helpful to understand.

We use the term ‘greenhouse gases’ (GHG) to cover a number of gases identified as drivers of climate change by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride.

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’ or ‘emissions’, then usually the CO2e is our best absolute measure.

When comparing two companies, the larger may emit more CO2e. But what if the larger company has lower emissions relative to its size? To make companies and portfolios more comparable, we use ‘carbon intensity’. This gives us a measure of ‘emissions per unit’, allowing for the company’s size (units could be a company’s revenue or value).

Using this approach, we can more easily see whether the larger company has a lower carbon intensity despite having larger absolute emissions.

Put simply, ‘net zero’ means achieving a balance between the amount of GHG emitted into the atmosphere and the amount removed from it.

‘Net zero’ is achieved when an organisation reduces the majority of its GHG emissions in line with latest climate science, and offsets the remaining hard-to-abate residual emissions using carbon removal credits.

The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard (PDF) 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 chain4 of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions. Several different categories of emissions are part of Scope 3, including emissions arising from investments.


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  1. IPCC Sixth Assessment Report – Summary for Policymakers, 2022
  2. Make My Money Matter, 2024
  3. The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. For more information, visit the UNFCCC website.
  4. The value chain is the series of stages involved in producing a product or service that is sold to consumers, with each stage adding to the value of the product or service.