The Wales Pension Partnership (‘WPP’), the pooling entity for the eight Welsh LGPS Funds, has implemented a new decarbonisation initiative across the £2.5bn of its global equity assets managed by Russell Investments.
This will see the WPP’s global equity mandate achieve a targeted reduction in both its carbon footprint and fossil fuel reserves exposure by 25% relative to its benchmark (the MSCI All Country World Index). The portfolio will also exclude companies that rely on coal to generate revenues.
The WPP is utilising Russell Investments’ Enhanced Portfolio Implementation (EPI) infrastructure to achieve its decarbonisation targets.
EPI leverages a centralised trading and portfolio management process with Russell Investments responsible for executing the investment strategies of the WPP’s underlying fund managers. With this framework, the WPP is able to benefit from greater control and customisation around decarbonisation and other ESG-related objectives. EPI also seeks to deliver trade efficiencies through sizeable reductions in trading activity.
The decarbonisation initiative represents a positive step towards the WPP’s climate related and wider ESG goals.
Commenting on the launch of the new decarbonisation initiative, Cllr Glyn Caron, chair of the Joint Governance Committee at the Wales Pension Partnership, says:
“Climate change not only poses significant challenges for society; it also represents a financial risk for our Constituent Authorities and scheme members. By reducing the carbon exposure within our active equity assets, in partnership with Russell Investments, we are seeking to address these challenges. We see this as a positive first step in meeting our long-term sustainability goals.”
Jim Leggate, Managing Director, UK Institutional & Middle East at Russell Investment, also comments:
“Issues around climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy are increasingly critical issues that institutional asset owners are seeking to address. We are pleased to support the WPP in their carbon reduction objective as part of a wider framework designed to reflect the evolving needs of their members. Through our Enhanced Portfolio Implementation framework, we are well positioned to deliver a holistic, efficient and low-cost customised solution that evolves with the combined long-term sustainability goals of the WPP’s Constituent Authorities.”
Eamonn Gough, Senior Relationship Manager at Link Fund Solutions, adds:
“As an engaged asset owner, the WPP understands the crucial importance of supporting the transition to a low carbon economy. The enhanced implementation framework being utilised has the advantage of keeping the existing underlying managers and the broad operating structure whilst enabling the WPP to achieve aggregate portfolio decarbonisation.”
For more information:
Notes to Editors:
* List of Constituent Authorities
- Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan Pension Fund
- Clwyd Pension Fund
- Dyfed Pension Fund
- Torfaen Pension Fund
- Gwynedd Pension Fund
- Powys Pension Fund
- Rhondda Cynon Taf Pension Fund
- City and County of Swansea Pension Fund
The Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) was established in 2017. The WPP is a collaboration of the eight LGPS funds (Constituent Authorities) covering the whole of Wales and is one of eight national Local Government Pension pools.
It has a long, successful history of collaboration, including examples that pre-date the Government’s pooling initiative. It is proud of its unique identity as a Pool – its Constituent Authorities represent and span the entirety of Wales. Being democratically accountable means it provides the best of strong public sector governance and transparency.
WPP’s operating model is designed to be flexible and deliver value for money. It appointed an external Operator and makes use of external advisers to bring best of breed expertise to support the running of the Pool. The Operator is Link Fund Solutions and they have partnered with Russell Investments to manage the investments and assist in the reduction of investment management costs for all the Constituent Authorities.