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Investors make unprecedented commitment to net zero emissions

Pressemelding   •   sep 23, 2019 14:01 CEST

Odd Arild Grefstad, CEO Storebrand Group. PHOTO: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB Scanpix

In one of the boldest actions yet by the world’s largest investors to decarbonize the global economy, an alliance of the world’s largest pension funds and insurers has today committed to carbon-neutral investment portfolios by 2050.

Storebrand is one of 12 founding member of the UN-backed Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, to drive portfolio companies to carbon neutrality by 2050.  The alliance is responsible for directing more than US$ 2.4 trillion in investments.

A force for change

This commitment by the newly launched, United Nations-convened Alliance, was announced at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, which brought together governments, companies and civil society to strengthen commitments and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

- Our pensions, savings and investments are some of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to address the massive challenges raised by the IPCC Reports. We can no longer overlook the impact we all can have if we move our resources towards a clean energy future, says Odd Arild Grefstad, CEO Storebrand Group.

- The Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance is a great opportunity and a force for change. Sustainable investments are already generating good returns showing that a sustainable investment strategy is a win-win for people, planet and profit, says Grefstad.

Sustainability will create better returns

Asset owners – so called because they are the principal holders of retirement savings or are insurance companies investing their customers’ premiums – represent some of the largest pools of capital on the planet. Their investment portfolios are highly diversified and exposed to all sectors of the global economy.

- In our opinion, there is no doubt that the companies with a comprehensive strategy in line with the UN Global Goals and Paris Agreement will create better returns in the long run, says Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO Storebrand Asset Management.

- As an investor and asset manager, Storebrand sees great opportunities in the alignment of investment portfolios to a sustainable agenda. Companies with sustainability at the core of their business strategy are well positioned to benefit from global climate and sustainability trends both in terms of finding strong investment opportunities and managing risk, says Saugestad.

Storebrand, as well as the other members of the alliance, will engage with the companies in which they are investing to ensure they decarbonize their business models.

Raising the bar for other investors

The members of the Alliance will hold themselves publicly accountable on their progress by setting and publicly reporting on intermediate targets in line with Article 4.9 of the Paris Agreement. By committing to transitioning their investment portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, asset owners are significantly raising the bar for other investors, industry associations and, most importantly, the global economy.

The Alliance was initiated by Allianz, Caisse des Dépôts, La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Folksam Group, PensionDanmark and Swiss Re at the beginning of 2019. Since then, Alecta, AMF, CalPERS, Nordea Life and Pension, Storebrand, and Zurich have joined as founding members.

Convened by UNEP’s Finance Initiative and the Principles for Responsible Investment, the Alliance is supported by WWF and is part of the Mission 2020 campaign, an initiative led by Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

For more information, please visit the UNEP FI website

Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO Storebrand Asset Management. PHOTO: Irene S. Lunde / Storebrand

ABOUT STOREBRAND

Storebrand's ambition is to be the best provider of saving for pensions. Storebrand will deliver sustainable solutions adapted to the customer's individual situation, so that each person receives a better pension in a more sustainable world. Storebrand has about 40.000 corporate customers and 2 million individual customers, and has its headquarter at Lysaker outside of Oslo, Norway. Storebrand manages more than NOK 750bn and is Norway's largest private asset manager. We work hard to fulfil our vision: Recommended by our customers. Storebrand (STB) is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange.