Sackers launches latest guidance on ESG and climate change

Sackers today published its fourth guide for trustees on Environmental, Social and corporate Governance (ESG) and climate change. The aim of this new guide is to help pension scheme trustees respond to the latest regulatory requirements for 2020, as well as considering climate-related risks for their pension schemes.

Stuart O’Brien, Partner at Sackers, commented: “Nothing stands still in the world of ESG, and looking forward into 2020 pension trustees are facing additional regulatory changes. These include an October 2020 deadline for a second round of SIP updates following SRD II, and a new requirement that trustees publish annual “implementation statements”, setting out how ESG and stewardship policies have been followed throughout the year.

As the legislation applies in different ways and with different deadlines depending on the scheme, our guide contains a timetable of key dates, along with a full action plan for trustees, supporting them to navigate these complex requirements and helping to ensure that schemes are not only compliant but are achieving industry best practice.

Climate change is also increasingly under the spotlight. Our guide considers how trustees’ fiduciary duties fit into this, and how trustees should react to government policy that is likely to mandate climate-related risk reporting.”

Containing an update of all the latest developments and progress surrounding trustees’ duties in regard to ESG and climate change, the guide focuses on:

• new deadlines for SIP updates following SRD II
• new requirements for trustees to publish “implementation statements”
• where pension trustees’ fiduciary duties fit in
• how to integrate climate-related risks into trustee decision making
• stewardship in light of updates to the FRC’s Stewardship Code
• ESG issues in DC schemes, including master trusts and IGCs
• a full action plan with practical actions for trustees, both for those new to ESG and those who want to go further.

The guide can be found in full here.

How we can help

We advise on the development and implementation of ESG strategies consistent with trustee fiduciary duties and the development of trustee ESG and engagement policies and climate-risk integration, including how to document trustee responsible investment policies and related wording for a scheme’s SIP and annual implementation statements. We also provide ESG training for trustees and pension scheme providers.