The Tesco Plc Pension Scheme and the Tesco Retirement Savings Plan will aim for the investments in both schemes to be net-zero by no later than 2050.
Combined, the two pensions schemes have over 345,000 members and assets of over £24bn.
Tesco and the trustees of their pension schemes regularly review these investments to make sure they meet their top priority of helping this money grow as much as possible, while keeping it safe. An important part of being able to do this is to invest responsibly.
Ruston Smith Chair of the Tesco Pension Fund said: “Evidence shows that environmentally responsible, well-run companies are likely to perform better in the long term, and better performing companies tend to be better investments. By investing responsibly, we can continue to deliver on our top priority of helping members’ money grow as much as possible and align our investments more closely to what we believe is important to Tesco colleagues.”
The two pension schemes will use their scale and influence to encourage the companies they invest in to reduce their carbon emissions over time, setting targets and milestones along the way to their 2050 target.
In a recent colleague survey Tesco colleagues said that investing responsibly is important to them to: protect people’s rights, work towards a better society and protect the planet by making sure investments help protect the world’s natural resources and habitats, and tackle climate change.
Tesco has also partnered with online platform, Tumelo to provide current members of the Tesco Retirement Savings Plan with information on which companies are being invested in and give their views on how they are run. Tesco colleagues have already had their say on how companies should respond to climate change and protecting human rights.
Going further, the Tesco Plc Pension Scheme and L&G as the provider of the Tesco Retirement Savings Plan, have signed up or are participants to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the Paris Aligned Investment Initiative Net-zero Asset Owner Commitment.
Tesco are also part of the Make My Money Matter Green Pensions Charter which is calling on the pensions industry to agree net-zero targets for all investments by 2050.
Richard Curtis, co-founder of Make My Money Matter, said: “Our pensions are powerful. While they’re securing healthy returns for us, they can also secure a better future for the planet. It’s brilliant that Tesco has taken further critical steps to ensure their staff have pensions to be proud of”
In September this year, Tesco strengthened its ambition to tackle climate change by setting out a new commitment of net-zero emissions across its value chain by 2050, including those generated by the products it sells and across its supply chains, in line with the UN’s aspiration of keeping global warming below 1.5C