Five asset managers commit to net zero

Franklin Templeton, its specialist managers ClearBridge Investments, Brandywine Global and Martin Currie, as well as Willis Towers Watson have signed 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 support 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. 

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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.  

Jenny Johnson, chief executive of Franklin Templeton, said: “We approach our journey with the clear acknowledgement that we must commit to finding the data and solutions to help us achieve global net zero emissions by 2050.  

“We will work toward this goal in a spirit of authentic engagement and partnership with our clients and stakeholders, in keeping with our belief that good stewardship as a global asset manager means managing and allocating capital to benefit our clients across generations.” 

Adam Spector, managing partner of Brandywine Global, said: “Climate change is an urgent global threat and an underappreciated investment risk. Brandywine Global’s membership to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative underscores our commitment to assessing climate risks across capital structures and real economies.  

“We look forward to continuing our ongoing dialogue with government officials and corporate management teams alike about the risks emanating from climate change. We are proud to be part of an initiative that we believe will positively influence the global economy and how companies operate.” 

Chris Ford, head of investments at Willis Towers Watson, added: “We believe that climate change will materially affect the global economy and capital markets. Integrating climate considerations in our decision making is a core part of how we act as responsible stewards of our clients’ assets, and we believe this will result in better risk-adjusted returns for our clients.

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