Firm commits to managing carbon-neutral portfolios by 2050
London, 21 April 2021 — Russell Investments, a leading outsourced CIO provider and global investment solutions firm, today announced a new commitment to achieve a standard of net-zero carbon emissions for its investment portfolios globally. This commitment builds on the firm’s well-established goal of constructing portfolios that generate long-term sustainable value while recognising the increasing impact of climate change as an investment risk. Russell Investments, which has £236.9 billion* in assets under management and £2 trillion** in assets under advisement, has pledged to manage carbon-neutral portfolios by 2050.
“Russell Investments is focused on constructing investment portfolios that generate long-term sustainable value, and climate change will likely have a material impact on investment outcomes in the coming years,” said Michelle Seitz, Chairman and CEO of Russell Investments. “We don’t take this pledge lightly. We will work to evolve our investment approach and take the necessary steps to achieve this net-zero goal while continuing to deliver on our fiduciary obligations to clients.”
Russell Investments has joined the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, a group of international asset managers committed to supporting the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner. Launched in late 2020, this initiative is endorsed by the Investor Agenda with founding partners including the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), Ceres, a sustainability advocacy organisation, and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). As a participant in this initiative and depending on regulatory considerations, Russell Investments has committed to work in partnership with its clients on goals, consistent with an ambition to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner across all its assets under management.
To accelerate these efforts, Russell Investments is adding roles to its responsible investing team and establishing a global taskforce to develop a net-zero emissions transition plan. This taskforce will set interim targets in collaboration with clients globally and build upon established practices such as the firm’s comprehensive manager research process, which already features ESG scores for managers. The taskforce will also focus on the firm’s robust active ownership program with environmental stewardship and climate risk reporting as key engagement pillars. In addition, taskforce members will collaborate with other firms aligned with the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative to help develop best practice industry frameworks.
“Our commitment to investments with net-zero carbon emissions further develops our long-established approach to responsible investing,” said Jihan Diolosa, Head of Responsible Investing at Russell Investments. “Sustainability risks are already a consideration in our investment practice including manager research and selection, portfolio management, proxy voting and shareholder engagement. We are excited to enhance our practice to focus more intently on climate change risk. We realise there isn’t an overnight solution to climate change, but we are working diligently to make a difference.”
Russell Investments has been an active member of the Principles for Responsible Investing since 2009 (with an A / A+ overall ranking in 2020), and the firm routinely publishes insights and research on responsible investing, including an annual ESG survey of active investment managers for insights on how the market is evolving.
In addition to committing to net-zero carbon emissions for investment portfolios, Russell Investments will set a similar goal for its business operations.
“We will hold ourselves to the same standard as the companies we invest in by committing our global business operations to be carbon neutral by the end of this decade,” Seitz said.
For more information on the firm’s commitment to responsible investing, please see visit the website.