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LifeSight commits to net zero emissions by 2050 latest, with a 50% reduction by 2030

LONDON, 1st July 2021 – LifeSight, Willis Towers Watson’s defined contribution master trust, announced today that it is targeting net zero greenhouse gas emissions across all its Defaults by 2050 at the latest, with at least a 50% reduction by 2030.

LifeSight was the first master trust to embed Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) into its Default investment strategies. Its commitment to net zero covers all its Defaults, which represent the vast majority of its total assets under management, currently over £10bn.

As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainable investing, LifeSight has also made a range of other enhancements on behalf of members over the last 12 months. These include a new Climate Focused Fund launching in July, following feedback from member surveys which demonstrated a clear demand for this approach.

The Climate Focused Fund will have a low carbon footprint, exclude fossil fuels** and emphasise investment in companies with lower carbon footprints, those transitioning their emissions to be Paris aligned and those providing solutions to climate and other environmental challenges. It will also take a broader lens to environmental issues, such as waste, pollution, water use and biodiversity, in addition to emissions.

LifeSight has also partnered with a market leading engagement overlay provider to deliver additional stewardship services for the assets within LifeSight’s Defaults. This will include daily engagement on a variety of ESG issues such as climate change, human rights and responsible supply chains.

Fiona Matthews, managing director of LifeSight, said: “LifeSight has been at the forefront of sustainable investing in the UK pensions industry for several years. We were the first master trust to start integrating sustainable investment considerations into all our Defaults.

“A key part of LifeSight’s sustainable investment policy is related to climate change. We recognise that climate change is an urgent global challenge and a transition to a net zero economy will help protect environmental and socioeconomic stability.”

Jane Platt, LifeSight’s Chair of Trustees, said: “We recognise that climate change and an orderly transition to a net zero economy represent systemic and urgent global challenges. To avert the worst outcomes, it is critical to limit increases in global average temperatures in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement as a sustainable future for society and the planet is clearly in the direct financial interests of our members. As a leading UK Master Trust, LifeSight has a responsibility to help shape the system going forward and contribute to stewarding a whole economy transition to a net zero and resilient future for the long term financial benefit of our members. That is why we have committed LifeSight to this net zero target.”

Craig Baker, Willis Towers Watson’s Global Chief Investment Officer, said: “We believe that working to achieve net zero by 2050 in LifeSight’s Defaults under our fiduciary mandate is completely consistent with the financial goals of LifeSight, and its members, as climate change has the potential to impact returns across multiple asset classes. Being strategically ahead of a net zero transition will, in our opinion, significantly improve risk-adjusted returns. The actions already implemented in LifeSight’s Defaults are consistent with this multi-year journey to net zero.”

“As Fiduciary Manager of LifeSight’s Defaults, we will aim to ensure that the principles followed and the measures used to assess progress are consistent with IIGCC’s Net Zero Investment Framework.”

Willis Towers Watson Investment’s net zero commitment for its delegated investment portfolios can be found here.

LifeSight’s full set of investment beliefs, including those regarding sustainability, are included in LifeSight’s primary governance document, the Statement of Investment Principles.