Aegon UK commits to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 across its pension default funds
- Aegon sets 2050 net-zero target for its auto-enrolment default pension funds
- Ambition to cut carbon emissions associated with default funds in half by 2030
In response to the threat of climate change, Aegon has announced its intention to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its default pension fund ranges by 2050. The threat of climate change is such that the company is exploring the practicability of achieving the milestone of halving emissions in the next decade.
The net zero carbon emissions pledge comes on top of another positive step forward for its default investors. At the end of 2020 Aegon confirmed those invested in its LifePath strategies, the default for its TargetPlan occupational schemes and Master Trust, would see a significant boost to its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) exposure. By mid-way through this year more than half of total LifePath assets, around £3bn, will be invested in ESG strategies.
There’s an urgent need to take action to address climate change, with customers making their feelings on the issue known. In a survey among Aegon’s customer panel*, 77% agree that climate change is an important risk to consider when investing for the future. Nearly half (45%) felt more strongly and wanted to see investing for a net-zero carbon future made mandatory.
The commitment to be carbon neutral is being addressed both from an investment perspective as well as a corporate perspective. Since 2016, Aegon’s main operations (UK, US and the Netherlands) have achieved carbon neutral status by reducing emissions from their own operations and supporting offset projects in cooperation with the NGO ClimateCare.
Tim Orton, Managing Director for Investment Solutions at Aegon said:
“As investment providers and a responsible business, we have a large part to play in the fight against climate change. We believe that this is not just an environmental issue, but one that is central to the future financial wellbeing of our customers.
“Investors are giving us a very clear message that they want to see action. Aegon and other providers have the power to influence the companies that they invest in and the third-party fund managers who provide investments. Businesses that fail to change, will fail.”
*Research was carried out with 1375 consumers on Aegon’s research panels in December 2020.
Notes to Editors
- As with all investments, the value can fall as well as rise and isn’t guaranteed. Customers could get back less than originally invested.
- In the UK, Aegon offers retirement, workplace savings and protection solutions to over three million customers. Aegon employs around 2000 people in the UK and together with a further 800 people employed by Atos, we serve the needs of our customers. More information: www.aegon.co.uk
- Aegon’s roots go back more than 175 years – to the first half of the nineteenth century. Since then, Aegon has grown into an international company, with businesses in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Today, Aegon is one of the world’s leading financial services organisations, providing life insurance, pensions and asset management. Aegon’s purpose is to help people achieve a lifetime of financial security. More information on www.aegon.com
- Figures correct, January 2021