Rob Booth, Director of Investment & Product Development, NOW: Pensions
At NOW: Pensions we’re surrounded by green – it’s a core part of our brand chosen to reflect the fact that we offer something refreshingly different in the pensions world. But, when it comes to our investment strategy, we are committed to becoming greener too.
In October last year, we announced that as part of our ongoing commitment to environmentally responsible investment, we were making a major investment in green bonds.
What are green bonds?
Green bonds give investors the ability to support initiatives designed to have a positive impact on society.
Issued by governments or individual companies, they help finance all kinds of projects such as renewable energy, sustainable water, pollution prevention and conservation.
So, via our investment in green bonds, our members’ pension savings could be used to fund wind farms or more energy efficient transport projects such as railways, without compromising projected investment returns.
To qualify for green bond status, they are often verified by a third party such as the Climate Bond Standard Board, which certifies that the bond will fund projects that include benefits to the environment.
How much does NOW: Pensions invest in green bonds?
Today, NOW: Pensions has 15.3% of total assets under management invested in green bonds – up from 13% in October 2017. In cash terms, that’s a whopping £99.3 million.
We think this is a major step in the right direction but we are constantly developing our approach to socially responsible investing (SRI). Over time, we will start to consider direct investment into companies which will be bound by the terms of our existing SRI policy which you can read here.