Aegon default funds pass £10bn mark for ESG strategy investment

The amount of Aegon’s workplace default fund assets in environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies has passed £10bn, with the firm stating that its commitment to net zero has “strengthened”.

As reported by our sister title, Pensions Age, in January, Aegon announced a commitment to making its default funds net zero by 2050, alongside an ambition to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, with the firm stating that it had now firmly committed to the latter objective.

As such, Aegon said its project team is now working with its asset management partners to agree the roadmap for moving the remaining default assets.

When it comes to specific progress, Aegon noted that its TargetPlan LifePath default funds now have 75 per cent of assets for growth-stage savers invested in ESG-screened and optimised index funds from BlackRock.

Additionally, its Key Workplace ARC default funds now also have a growth-stage allocation of around 30 per cent to ESG-oriented funds, such as the HSBC Developed World Sustainable Equity Index fund, which targets a 20 per cent increase in ESG ratings, a 50 per cent reduction in carbon-emissions intensity, and 50 per cent reduction in fossil fuel reserves intensity.

Aegon managing director for investment solutions, Tim Orton, said: “Since setting out our commitment to making our default funds net zero by 2050, we’ve made excellent progress towards the target. With more than £10bn of assets transitioned to ESG funds already, we have been able to strengthen our commitment to hitting a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

“The action we’ve taken will help us meet our commitments to our customers, who increasingly want to know that their money is invested in a climate-friendly and sustainable way. The approach we’ve taken helps reduce climate risk while continuing to offer savers an effective way to grow their money over the long term.”

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