Net Zero Asset Managers initiative announces 41 new signatories, with sector seeing ‘net zero tipping point’

6 July 2021
  • Nero Asset Managers initiative grows to 128 investors managing $43 trillion – all committed to net zero goal
  • Momentum galvanised, contributing to ‘net zero tipping point’ as approaching half of all assets across global asset management sector are now part of initiative
  • Signatories to work with clients to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner and set 2030 interim targets

41 leading asset managers, representing AUD$9 trillion in assets, are today joining the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. Among other steps, this will see the investors work with clients to reach net zero emissions alignment across their portfolios by 2050 or sooner and set interim 2030 emissions reduction targets. The additional signatories mean a total 128 investors, collectively managing AUD$57 trillion in assets, are now part of the initiative.

The asset managers joining the initiative today include Amundi, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, Franklin Templeton, MFS Investment Management, HSBC Asset Management and the International Business of Federated Hermes among others1. New signatories based in North America and Europe are joined by a marked uptick in the number of Asian managers now part of the initiative.

Launched only in December 2020 in just over six months the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative has seen rapid growth. The latest signatories take the initiative close to representing almost half of the entire asset management sector globally in terms of total funds managed (standing at $100 trillion)2.

Rod Bristow, CEO, Investible (Australia) said: “This commitment is a natural extension of Investible’s core philosophy: that the businesses being established today will define the future of our economy, our people and our planet. As early-stage investors, tomorrow is paramount in our thinking. Taking positive action on climate change and achieving net zero is the only option. As responsible stewards of capital we see our responsibility as investing wisely, mitigating risks and delivering strong investor returns. These are essential principles to building a resilient, renewable economy. We look forward to aligning with investors, startups, educators and the public sector as we strive toward this ambitious but essential goal.”

Nicolas Moreau, CEO, HSBC Asset Management said: “As the world moves to a net zero carbon future, we are committed to playing our part in addressing climate change, both as a business and as stewards of our clients’ assets. HSBC Asset Management is proud to be part of this important initiative and contribute to an industry-wide push to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

With participation more than quadrupling since launch, the initiative already includes the world’s three largest asset managers globally3. Total assets collectively managed by investors as signatories to the initiative ($43 trillion) are now equivalent to the combined GDP of the United States, China and United Kingdom ($42 trillion).

The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative is managed globally by six founding partner investor networks: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC), CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

In achieving net zero alignment, the asset managers also commit to prioritise the achievement of real economy emissions reductions, take account of material portfolio Scope 3 emissions, create investment products aligned with net zero emissions and facilitate increased investment in climate solutions. Putting in place a stewardship and engagement strategy consistent with net zero emissions by 2050 and ensuring all policy advocacy supports the same objective, also help ensure the investors are driving broader change.

Signatories also commit to transparent and rigorous accountability. They will annually report progress against the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, including implementing a climate action plan that is consistent with the United Nations ‘Race to Zero’ criteria. They also agree only to use offsets that involve long-term carbon removal where there are no technologically and/or financially viable alternatives to eliminating emissions.

Full details of the steps the investors commit to in joining the initiative can be found here.

Signatories are working to publish details of their individual emission reduction targets in achieving net zero alignment ahead of the COP 26 summit to be held in Glasgow in November later this year.

The initiative is accredited by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Race to Zero campaign and has an advisory group drawn from representatives from signatory asset managers.

Read full media release. 

Read comments from signatories.