Our Scheme has a long history of being a responsible investor and was a founding signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2006.
Each year signatories to the Principles report on their responsible investment activities. The PRI then assess performance and give each signatory an overall rating from E (lowest) to A+ (highest). Last year we scored an A, but this year we’ve been awarded an A+ rating which is testament to the fantastic work of the team. In addition, for the last three years we have reported in line with recommendations made by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, which aims to promote better disclosure of climate-related financial risks in order to improve understanding of the risks and opportunities of climate change.
This year, for the first time, we included some questions about responsible investment in our member survey. It was clear that how the Scheme’s money is invested matters to you:
- 74% of members expect BTPS to continue taking into consideration the environmental and social impact of the investments we make.
- 62% of members expect BTPS to actively avoid investments that have a materially negative impact on the environment and society.
- 65% expect BTPS to use our investments to make a positive impact on the environment and society.
- 48% expect BTPS to prioritise performance over the environmental and social impact of our investments.
We took this feedback into account when we, the Trustee, reviewed our core investment belief for responsible investment this year. The revised belief states that:
The Scheme’s investments should be managed to create sustainable long-term value, supporting the generation of optimal investment returns to ensure the Scheme can pay all benefits in full.
This means that the Scheme’s investments are selected and managed, through environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration and stewardship, to have the characteristics necessary to create value sustainably over the long term.
In addition, in June we co-signed letters to the UK Government and the EU which promoted a more sustainable, greener recovery from the COVID-19 crisis — there’s a valuable opportunity to build back better and greener and, as one of the UK’s largest asset owners, we strongly believe we have a role to play in supporting this and have ambitious plans in this area.