HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme sets out plans to achieve net zero by 2050 or sooner

The HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme (the “Scheme”), one of the largest corporate pension schemes in the UK, has announced its commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its £36bn Defined Benefit (DB) and open Defined Contribution (DC) assets by 2050 or sooner.

This commitment is being made in the context of the Trustee’s wider efforts to manage the impact of climate change on the Scheme’s investments and the consequent impact on the financial interests of its members. This includes:

  • targeting a real economy emissions reduction interim target of 50% by 2030 or sooner for its equity and corporate bond mandates, in line with the findings of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report 1,2
  • having the ambition of achieving all of its corporate bond and equity investments being fully aligned to the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030 across its DB and DC assets
  • enhancing its engagement and stewardship efforts through the Scheme’s asset managers

In doing so, the Trustee intends to align its climate risk management principles with the best practice principles set out in the Net Zero Investment Framework published by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC).

Russell Picot, Chair of the HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme Trustee Board, said: “The Trustee recognises the increased urgency with which climate change needs to be tackled and in it playing an active role in supporting the drive to decarbonise the economy.

“It has been active in addressing ESG issues for a number of years, including working in collaboration with regulators, policymakers, asset managers and other asset owners to facilitate the system-wide transition to a net zero economy.

“The time is right to take the next step to further embed climate change actions into our future plans for the benefit of our members.”

The Scheme’s Trustee Board has been actively working to take account of the risks and potential opportunities that climate change presents. In particular, the Trustee:

  • was one of the earliest adopters of the Task Force on Climate–related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting and has now published its fourth annual TCFD statement
  • is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI)
  • is a member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)
  • is a supporter of Climate Action 100+
  • collaborates with its principal equities fund manager, Legal and General Investment Management, and its other asset managers given that it believes strongly in engagement rather than exclusion as a principle, to achieve real economy emissions reductions
  • was the first to include a positive climate risk tilt in its DC default fund, and has also invested in renewable energy infrastructure assets

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