Third of world’s AUM now targeting net zero as support for asset manager framework grows

BlackRock, Vanguard and Jupiter are among the latest names to sign the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative


Natalie Kenway

Some of the world’s largest asset management groups including Vanguard and BlackRock, have joined the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, which means a third of the world’s assets under management is supporting the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner.

The Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative was described as a “pivotal moment” when it was first announced in December with 30 groups representing $9trn had become the founding signatories pledging to a series of commitments to decarbonise portfolios.

Since then, the number of signatories has tripled to 73 and the assets under management now targeting net zero emissions stands at $32trn.

The new names signed up include BlackRock, Vanguard, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Allianz Global Investors, Aviva Investors, Invesco, Jupiter, Lazard, LGT Capital Partners, Lombard Odier Investment Managers, Macquarie Asset Management, Majedie, Mirova, Newton Investment Management, Rathbone Greenbank, Royal London Asset Management, Storebrand Asset Management and more. To see the full list of signatories click here.

These asset managers have committed to transparent and rigorous accountability, said a statement. This includes: reporting against the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, out a climate action plan; working with asset owners to set their own decarbonisation goals; set targets for proportions of AUM to be aligned with net zero emissions – and reviewing these targets; putting in place engagement strategies to ensure voting policies are consistent with net zero ambitions; and create investment solutions that will focus on climate change mitigation.

The full framework was outlined in a “blueprint for action” released earlier this month.

The signatories are working in partnership with Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) as well as the  Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC), CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), IIGCC and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The initiative is also endorsed by The Investor Agenda, of which the investor networks are all founding partners.
Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, commented: “Over a third of the world’s AUM is now committed to securing a net zero and resilient future through the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. We need to move the narrative to reflect this, no longer is this a coalition of the willing – this is a coalition of the determined. Ambition is matched by acceleration.

“The Net Zero Asset Managers’ commitment does not simply look to the future in 2050. Interim targets will be set for 2030, both indicating and driving the pace of transition adopted by the signatory asset managers. With 43 new signatories to the initiative, 73 of the world’s leading asset managers are now committed to meeting significant targets in this vital decade. We would encourage all asset managers to join us in securing a net zero and resilient future.”

Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock: “The asset management industry plays an important role as an advisor, at the nexus between asset owners and corporations. Helping investors prepare their portfolios and capture investment opportunities on the path to net zero is one of our greatest responsibilities. BlackRock is proud to put its name behind this initiative, and I am encouraged to see the increasing momentum towards net zero across the public and private sectors.”  

Satish Bapat, CEO at NN Investment Partners, added: “As investors, we acknowledge the impacts of climate change on society and our investments. Together with our peers, we have a role to play in limiting this impact. We strive to contribute to the commitments laid out by the Paris Agreement and Dutch Climate Agreement, in line with our responsible investing beliefs and investment goals. We are pleased to join the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, and to collaborate with our clients and the companies we invest in, to further accelerate this transition towards global net zero emissions.” 

Meanwhile, Andrew Formica, CEO for Jupiter, commented: “The transition to net zero carbon emissions is imperative, and we have a responsibility to work together as an industry and a society to tackle climate change. Following the announcement of Jupiter’s commitment to net zero at both a company and investment level, we are pleased to be a part of this important initiative working on behalf of our clients and alongside so many others asset managers to drive real progress towards these transformational goals.” 

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