How we invest responsibly

Our approach focuses on the following four areas:

  • Engagement

    Taking money out of or excluding companies that don't meet certain criteria around environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues may seem simple. However, this would mean we're unable to take positive action to influence change. We believe in engaging with these companies to support them to improve their corporate behaviour and encourage positive change.

  • Voting

    We use our voting rights on a range of issues. This includes voting on matters such as how companies are run (often referred to as governance), their impact on climate change, board appointments, changes to a company’s structure, pay and compensation, and mergers and acquisitions.

  • ESG integration

    We expect all the asset managers who manage your investments to consider environmental, social and governance factors - both risks and opportunities - in their investment decision-making process.

  • Collaboration

    We collaborate with policymakers, the companies we invest in, industry groups and other stakeholders on key issues such as climate change to support meaningful regulatory and industry change.

Responsible investment and your investments –
how we put our approach into practice

We work closely with the asset managers managing your investments, including Royal London Asset Management, which manages most of our customers' investments, to embed responsible investment. As a minimum, we ask all our asset managers to consider ESG factors in their investment decision-making.

The ready-made portfolios in our Governed Range, where many of our customers are invested, incorporate our responsible investment approach.

If you want to align your investments with specific values or beliefs, we have a range of sustainable funds that look to invest in companies which contribute positively to our society and the environment. There are six funds to choose from, ranging from a lower risk fund that exclusively holds fixed interest investments such as bonds, to funds investing 100% in equities (stocks and shares) for customers who are comfortable taking a higher level of risk.

These funds won't invest in companies involved in activities that could be detrimental to the environment or society - such as weapons and tobacco manufacturing, nuclear power generation, exploration and production of fossil fuel, and animal testing, other than for purposes of human/animal health.

Remember that the value of all investments can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you paid in.

Think about getting financial advice

Investing can be a complex area. If you're unsure where to invest, you should think about getting financial advice. Using a professional financial adviser can be reassuring when making important decisions about your money.

Find a financial adviser

Climate change as a key issue

In June 2021, we announced our commitment to achieve net zero across our investment portfolio by 2050 and to halve emissions from it by 2030. Our targets 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.