Climate change is a threat at a scale we haven’t witnessed before and, as such, it can oftentimes feel overwhelming and paralysing. Yet, if we - as individuals, businesses and governments - come together, we can still address this crisis. We know the drill by now: we must all do our part, and do it now. But where to start?
When we think about the most impactful ways we can tackle climate change, lifestyle switches that come to mind include eating less meat, flying less or changing our energy provider, but we’ve been missing an unusual suspect: our pensions. Did you know that in the UK alone, £2.7 trillion are invested in pensions, and £2 in every £10 from pensions are going towards firms directly linked to deforestation across the globe? That is a lot of money. And a lot of impact. But we can shift the needle.
In fact, Make My Money Matter (MMMM) research shows that greening our pension at an individual level could be as much as 21x more effective at reducing carbon pollution than adopting a plant-based diet, stopping flying and switching to a renewable energy provider, combined.
Good news: we can shift the needle
Jacinta Dillon, Partnerships Manager at MMMM, joined LFCA members and Count Us In earlier this month to share the significant role our pensions play in our sustainability goals, and what we - particularly as businesses - can do to make changes that truly matter. These are the key takeaways from the session, which you can action from today:
As an employer, your business can raise awareness and start the conversation about where our pension funds are being invested.
Contact your pension provider - ask your business pension provider how they are growing their portfolio in a way that supports climate solutions. Simple as it sounds, this is a powerful way to urge providers to respond to market demands.
Ask your employees - according to MMMM more than half of pension holders would like to have a pension if they were offered it, run an internal poll and see it for yourself!
Talk about it with your board of trustees - and consider embedding green pensions into your sustainability plans.
As a brand, embrace the opportunity to align your pension scheme with your values and shout out about it. You might be doing great things on sustainability - from cleaning your supply chain, to committing to net zero - but if your workplace pensions aren’t part of your sustainability strategy, you could unwillingly be undermining your efforts. Employees and customers are increasingly taking notice of the alignment between what you say and what you do. Use this as an opportunity to publicly declare your commitment to a healthy, thriving future by signing the world’s first ever Green Pensions Charter.
As an employee use your voice and choice on where your money is invested. Ask your employer about the sustainability of their business pension provider or write to your provider directly you can use this Make My Money Matter tool. And if you feel extra inspired, spark a conversation with your colleagues - you’ll be surprised at how powerful you can be in driving collective action!