Ninety One commits to net zero initiative

Ninety One has become the latest asset manager to sign up to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative.

This aimed to support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner and supported investing aligned with aims for net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

There were nine specific commitments in the initiative that firms agreed to including launching investment products which were aligned with net zero emissions and launching a stewardship and engagement program.

Despite being only launched in December 2020, there were currently 128 signatories of the initiative with US$43 trillion ($57.3 trillion) in assets under management.

Ninety One joined Franklin Templeton, Martin Currie, Brandywine Global, ClearBridge Investments and Willis Towers Watson who announced they had joined earlier this week.

Therese Niklasson, global head of ESG at Ninety One, said the firm was particularly focused on sustainability in emerging markets.

“Our South African roots influence Ninety One’s approach to sustainability and as such we feel strongly positioned to recognise and advocate for a more inclusive and fair transition for the entire planet. The current trajectory of the global transition risks leaving behind the emerging economies. While they are not responsible for the bulk of emissions to date, they face some of the most devastating consequences,” Niklasson said.

“Furthermore, by placing too much emphasis on measuring a reduction in the carbon intensity of an investment portfolio - often resulting in the exclusion of the ‘worst’ culprits from portfolios – investment managers run the risk of shifting, rather than helping to solve, the problem. To succeed, the industry needs greater transparency around changes in portfolio footprints versus achieving decarbonisation in the real world.”

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