On Wednesday, 3rd November, we held our event “Pensions with impact – adopting a transitional mindset for a better future” in the COP26 Green Zone.

Investors have the power to drive solutions to climate change and support a transition to a net-zero carbon world. With 1% of pension savings across the 37 OECD countries representing US $320 billion, there is great potential for pension schemes to capitalise upon investment opportunities that have positive impact and drive the transition to a net-zero economy while making a financial return.

The shift to a net-zero carbon economy will have practical consequences on people and communities, for example, job losses in some sectors, and growth opportunities and new skills required in others. This is one reason why the transition to net-zero needs to be a just transition, considering the social impacts of tackling climate change.

The Impact Investing Institute has developed four Impact Investing Principles for Pensions, which provide practical guidelines on how pensions can pursue an investing strategy that can contribute to delivering a just transition, and how pension trustees, advisors, fiduciary managers and asset managers can adopt a ‘transitional mindset’ – considering the risks and opportunities within their portfolio presented by the transition to a more sustainable world. The Principles have been adopted by a number of pension schemes and investment consultants and are supported by key industry bodies.

The event heard from a range of voices in the industry sharing the investment opportunities and case studies presented by adopting a Just Transition investing approach, the advantages for institutional investors, such as pensions funds, in adopting a transitional mindset and how that can help to build socially and environmentally resilient economies in the future.

Speakers included:

  • Sarah Gordon – Chief Executive, Impact Investing Institute
  • Jamie Broderick – Director and Lead Expert, Impact Investing Institute
  • Shami Nissan – Head of Responsible Investment, Actis
  • Debbie Fielder – Deputy Head, Clwyd Pension Fund
  • Sacha Sadan – Director of ESG, Financial Conduct Authority