Pensions for Purpose's Annual Awards event on 17 November 2021 demonstrated that many pension funds can and are investing for a positive social and environmental impact alongside a financial return using good governance frameworks, such as the Impact Investing Principles for Pensions (created by the Impact Investing Institute in partnership with Pensions for Purpose).
As we discussed on the day, impact - whether negative or positive - exists in every part of your investment portfolio and in your governance decisions. Therefore understanding your impact as a pension fund is critical to mitigate risks and find opportunities.
We also must recognise that pension funds and the investment ecosystem around them exist to serve the ultimate beneficiaries - you, me, all of us. As Caroline Hopper from Quietroom evidenced at the event, we can and must communicate more effectively with members. Why? Because they care and they want to retire into a world worth living in. That feeling and connection to their pensions and investments will ultimately be the most powerful change. They need to be served and represented better by all of us in the investment ecosystem from trustees through to in-house teams, third-party advisers and asset managers.
To all of those who say it is too difficult, too challenging - let's look to our peers who were awarded with our first pension fund awards:
- The Impact Investing Adopter Award won by South Yorkshire Pensions Authority,
- The Social Impact Award won by Cushon,
- The Paris Alignment Award for Best Climate Change Governance & Strategy Statement won by Brunel Pension Partnership, and
- The Paris Alignment Award for Best Climate Change Member Communication won by the TfL Pension Fund.
Whether you are a local government pension scheme (LGPS), an LGPS pool, a DC provider or master trust, or a corporate DB or hybrid scheme - it is possible...
“The Impact Investing Principles have provided us with a solid foundation from which to build how we look at our impact and it is very gratifying to be recognised for our work in an area which is so important to what our scheme members want from their pension fund.” George Graham, Fund Director, South Yorkshire Pensions Authority
“We are delighted to have received the Social Impact Award and our thanks go to the judges. Our investment strategy, which is the first in the DC sector to deliver impact across 100% of the portfolio, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to sustainability and responsible investing. It’s great to have our work recognised in this way.” Steve Watson, Head of Proposition, Cushon
Please access the full post-event award brochure via the button below for an overview of the event and information on all of the awards.
Learn more here