William Eichler 11 May 2016

Scottish pension fund rated a world leader in tackling global warming

A council pension fund in Scotland has been rated one of the best in the world for addressing climate change.

Strathclyde Pension Fund (SPF), which has 200,000 members, including some from the private and voluntary sectors, has been ranked 34th in a global index of asset owners - up 115 places since last year.

The fund is now in the top tier of all UK asset owners - and just outside the top 5% globally.

The rating was awarded by the independent Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), which has developed a reporting framework for institutional investors encompassing the disclosure and management of climate risk.

It looks at three key areas: engagement, to gauge how investors are influencing the transition to a Low-Carbon economy; risk, to assess how well owners are measuring the climate change risk within their portfolios, and investment in low-carbon assets.

Fund convenor Bailie Philip Braat said: ‘Within the sector, Strathclyde is known as an active, engaged investor - and we believe in using that influence positively.

‘We don't sit on our hands at AGMs and we work with other investors to put pressure on boardrooms - whether that is in terms of being open about their carbon footprint and taking steps to reduce it, or paying their workforce a living wage.

‘We have also made a number of very significant investments in renewable energy over the last couple of years; including onshore and offshore wind power, solar energy and hydro schemes.’

Mr Braat stressed there is more SPF can do to tackle global warming. ‘We think there is more we can do in terms of assessing the carbon impact of our investments and stepping up our engagement with firms that need to do more.’

Read our feature about where councils should invest their pension funds.

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