RPMI Railpen commits to net zero portfolio

Jul 26, 2021
We announce our commitment to protecting the planet.

As a member of the Railways Pension Scheme, you’ll know we’re committed to being a leading force in tackling climate change.  So we’re now proud to announce that RPMI Railpen, our Investment Manager, has published its plan to achieve a net zero portfolio.  

 Railpen is now officially committed to managing our investment portfolio in line with achieving a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 or sooner. This is consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the policy and legislated aims of the UK government.

 Put simply, net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add, is no more than the amount taken away.

 It’s widely recognised that climate change is being triggered by higher levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the most dangerous and common of the greenhouse gases, which is why cutting carbon emissions or seeking low-carbon alternatives are suggested as ways to address climate change.

 Investment managers like Railpen have a critical role to play in making net zero happen through our choice of investments and engagement activities. Taking action in this way is vitally important in achieving the UK’s goals to tackle climate change by 2050.

 Railpen has carefully considered the approach which will best suit our members. We consider investments in terms of their influence on the world, as well as the successful returns they will offer.

 Our net zero commitment will mainly be driven through corporate engagement, with active ownership (actively exercising our rights as a shareholder) highlighted as "key" both to Railpen's approach to responsible investment and to the plan's success.

 We are also growing our capital in new, low carbon investments, like wind, biomass and other energy-efficient technologies.

 As a universal owner, Railpen will continue working with its partners, collaborators, investor groups, and policymakers to advocate for clear climate policies and concerted action leading to a smooth Net Zero transition.

Michael Marshall, Head of Sustainable Ownership at Railpen, said: “We recognise the central role asset owners can play in driving change. This is why we have carefully considered, announced and shared a clear, achievable roadmap to net zero by 2050.”

Railpen’s Sustainable Ownership Senior Investment Manager, Chandra Gopinathan, commented: “Our step-by-step plan is based on collaboration, strong governance and purposeful stewardship, which has always been at the heart of everything we do for our Scheme members.”

Railpen Chief Investment Officer, Richard Williams, added: “As long-term investors, we have a duty to secure our members’ futures. Our plan will secure long-term returns for our members as well as create a better world for them to retire into.”

 You can download the full Railpen Net Zero plan here.

 See more on our sustainable investment choices on our member website blog here.