Phoenix Group unveils net-zero transition plan

Plan sets out three core principles in group's Climate Action Model

Phoenix Group unveils net-zero transition plan


By Roxanne Libatique

Phoenix Group has released its Net Zero Transition Plan.

The plan outlines a roadmap designed to decarbonise Phoenix Group’s investment portfolio, supply chain, and operations to help achieve a net-zero economy by 2050. Among the components, the investment portfolio accounts for 99% of the group’s emissions. The plan also focuses on managing the risks and maximising the opportunities of climate change for its customers.

“The publication of our Net Zero Transition Plan is an important milestone on our journey to being a net-zero organisation. It brings together the clear targets and positive steps we’ve already taken – such as achieving our targets for our own operations three years ahead of plan – with detail on the tangible action we’re taking to deliver real economy impact at considerable scale,” said Bruno Gardner, head of climate change at Phoenix Group.

The Net Zero Transition Plan also focuses on three core principles in the group’s Climate Action Model:

  • investing for the future;
  • engaging to multiply its impact; and
  • leading by example.

“But we know we’ll need to do things differently over time, especially as our targets become more challenging as we become increasingly dependent on the decarbonisation of the wider economy. We’re committed to working with industry partners and government to drive system-wide change – and in line with Transition Plan Taskforce guidance, which we helped shape, we’ll update on progress annually,” Gardner said.

Becoming a net-zero business

The Phoenix Group has been making progress towards achieving its first interim target of a 25% reduction in the carbon intensity of around £160 billion of listed equities and credit by 2025.

The group has introduced an exclusion policy, transferred 1.5 million workplace pension customers into sustainable multi-asset strategies (which applies an ESG approach to around £12 billion of assets under administration), and is working on deploying around £340 million of policyholder assets into a multi-asset climate solution. It also remains committed to at least a 50% reduction in the carbon intensity of around £250 billion assets it has control over by 2030 and becoming a net-zero business by 2050 or earlier.

“At Phoenix, our role and purpose are simple: We invest and manage assets on behalf of our customers to help them secure a life of possibilities. Tackling climate change is core to our business, and as we take the right actions to decarbonise, our focus is on helping our 12 million customers manage risk and grow their investments,” said Claire Hawkins, director of corporate affairs and investor relations at Phoenix Group. “80% of our customers say they’re concerned about climate change – and through our size and scale, we can really make a difference. But we can’t do this on our own. Decarbonising investment portfolios and financing climate solutions at scale demands new approaches, and we’re committed to working with government, regulators, and peers to support wider decarbonisation of the economy and combat the climate crisis.”

Commenting on Phoenix Group’s commitment, the Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, former Energy and Clean Growth Minister and chair of the Net Zero Review, said: “Transition plans play an important role in the decarbonisation of the economy and the greening of the financial system. It is clear that the financial services sector will play a crucial role in funding the transition to net zero, so it is hugely encouraging to see Phoenix Group today set out a roadmap designed to decarbonise their investment portfolio, supply chain, and operations.”

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