Providing practical guidance to make impact an investment priority

Pension funds represent one of the large groups of institutional investors in the UK and the world. They can play a critical role in helping to direct more investment capital towards impact investing. We provide practical guidance and research to help them integrate impact into their investment strategy.

More pension money to be invested for people and the planet

We work with pension funds, pension consultants, asset managers, policymakers, lawyers, and industry experts to see how more of the funds that are being invested for people’s retirement can also be invested for social and environmental impact.  

Fiduciary duty

We advocate for clarification of fiduciary duties – the legal obligation of pension trustees to act in the best interest of pension scheme members – to include consideration of social and environmental impact as well as financial return.

This has included a legal research paper, co-written by five leading law firms, explaining how fiduciary duties and impact investing are compatible.

Impact Investing Principles for Pensions

We developed the Impact Investing Principles for Pensions – a step-by-step guide to how pension trustees and consultants can integrate social and environmental impact into their investment decision-making process. Designed and tested through industry consultation, the Principles are backed up by a range of case studies and our legal research on fiduciary duties.

Adopted by pension schemes including Smart Pensions, the Environment Agency Pension Fund, and AON, the Principles show how to

  • identify impact objectives and implement them
  • select pension consultants and managers and hold their impact activities to account
  • measure and report on impact investing

By debunking the myth that impact investing means sacrificing financial return and by providing  evidence and practical tools to demonstrate and harness its benefits, we aim to encourage many more pension funds to put impact at the heart of their investment thinking.

The work with industry leaders on adopting our Principles for Pensions are now managed by Pensions for Purpose as part of the Global Impact Forum.

Project lead

Sophia Omar

Key project partners

Related Publications

Related Case Studies

  • Smart Pension Master Trust is a Defined Contribution Master Trust in the UK that manages assets of more than £2.4 billion on behalf of over one million members. Smart is a leading the way on…

    Read more

  • Nest is a defined contribution pension scheme in the UK that manages assets of more than £21.4 billion on behalf of 11.1 million members, who make up a third of the UK workforce. It was set up by the…

    Read more

  • South Yorkshire Pension Fund is the eighth largest LGPS fund in the UK as of 2020. SYPA has a longstanding commitment to investing within the South Yorkshire region with the aim of generating a…

    Read more

Related News

Related Events