Twelve investment consulting firms, responsible for advising institutional asset owners on assets of approximately US$10 trillion ($13.8 trillion), have committed to supporting the goal of global net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.
The Net Zero Investment Consultants Initiative (NZICI), which aims to cut emissions through nine specific action points, was signed by Barnett Waddingham, bfinance, Cambridge Associates, Cardano, Frontier, Hymans Robertson, JANA, LCP, Meketa, Redington, Willis Towers Watson and Wilshire.
Endorsed by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and supported by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the initiative was designed to facilitate alignment with the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative and other signatories of the Race to Zero campaign.
Global head of research at Willis Towers Watson and co-chair of the investment consultants sustainability working group – UK, Luba Nikulina, said: “The global transition to a net zero economy means asset owners have to develop their understanding of climate risks, think about changing pathways for their assets and exercise their stewardship rights. Investment consultants play a vital role in supporting asset owners on this journey and helping them increase their level of climate ambition”.
As part of the nine commitments, the signatories agreed to integrate advice on net zero alignment into their investment consulting services within two years, work with institutional asset owner clients to identify the investment risks from climate change and assess and monitor asset managers on the integration of climate risks and opportunities in their investment decisions.
The signatories also committed to set emissions reduction targets for all business operations so it would be in line with 1.5 degree Celsius scenarios, engage with regulators to facilitate the transition to net zero carbon emissions and report their progress publicly each year.
Frontier chief executive, Andrew Polson, said: “By joining the Net Zero Investment Consultants Initiative, Frontier is proudly and publicly committing to develop capabilities to support our clients align their investment strategies to a 1.5°C future, while also achieving their performance objectives”.