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Fidelity accelerates net-zero commitments

Brought forward net-zero target by 10 years and committed to diversity and supply chain goals

Fidelity International has expanded its sustainability goals, including targets for energy consumption, diversity in its workforce and responsible use of supply chains, and has also brought forward its net-zero ambitions by a decade.

The group, which is among the largest asset managers in the world with some $787.1bn in assets under management across 27 countries, announced it has accelerated its commitment to reduce company-wide carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 – 10 years earlier than previously targeted.

This will be achieved by operational improvements in the energy efficiency of its offices, responsible business travel and the use of renewable energy. This follows the group’s becoming a founding signatory of the Net Zero Asset Manager initiative last year, and also announcing plans to reduce carbon emissions in its UK-based pension schemes.

Paras Anand, CIO, Asia Pacific and sponsor of Fidelity’s Corporate Sustainability Committee, said: “When we first set out net zero target in 2020, our goal was to deliver real and measurable emission reductions rather than simply offsetting the carbon we use, and we believed we could achieve this by 2040. 

“We’ve worked hard in the last year to improve the data on our carbon emissions in all the locations we operate in globally, and that has given us the confidence that we can be more ambitious in our target. This sort of continuous improvement is vital to ensure that we are placing our impact on the environment as key consideration in our overall business strategy.”

The net zero commitment relates to Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse-gas emissions in its own operations, while the group said it is also focusing on better understanding and measuring Scope 3 emissions (emissions not owned or directly controlled by a company but related to its activities). The business has also committed to a 50% reduction in air travel carbon emissions and 25% waste reduction by 2024.

Furthermore, amid its wider sustainable goals, Fidelity has committed to:

  • Environment: A 25% reduction in energy consumption, 25% waste reduction and 80% increase to recycling rate in comparison to 2019 levels.
  • Workplace:  35% of global senior management roles to be held by women and 45% of global workforce to be women. 
  • Supply chains:  ESG monitoring for 90% of the group’s high-risk suppliers and 95% of tenders to include at least one diverse supplier.
  • Community:  Year-on-year increase in employee use of volunteering hours and 200+ charities supported.

Anne Richards (pictured), CEO at Fidelity International, said the last 18 months of the pandemic has seen the entire business pivot to allow for working from home across all our 27 locations globally. “What we have learned is that we can be more ambitious and do far more than we ever imagined was possible, even during a pandemic.

“Our aim is to apply that same thinking to the climate challenge and sustainability issues more broadly and I am delighted that we have been able to bring forward our net zero ambition and progress in a range of other areas from supply chain management to diversity and inclusion.” 

Last week, Fidelity International updated its sustainable investing voting principles with expectations for its investee companies to tackle climate change and improve their boards’ gender diversity.

Natalie Kenway

Natalie is global head of ESG insight for ESG Clarity. She won Editor of the Year at the Aviva Investors Sustainability Media Awards 2021. Winner of Aegon Asset Management's Institutional Journalist of...