Sackers launches net zero guide for trustees

Sackers today published its ‘Getting to net zero’ guide for trustees. The objective of the guide is to support pension scheme trustees in understanding the legal and practical issues that need to be considered as they address the question of whether or not, or how and when, to get to net zero.

Stuart O’Brien, Partner at Sackers, commented: “Climate change, and how to address it, is of profound importance to society. To date, the Government has steered away from imposing mandatory net zero targets on pension schemes, and although the Climate Change Governance and Reporting Regulations require reporting of portfolio emissions, they do not currently require a net zero target. However, a number of schemes have made public commitments to net zero and have been openly commended by TPR for doing so.”

“Net zero is therefore fast becoming a ‘standard’ for trustees, but it’s not always clear what is meant by such a commitment, nor what trustees should be thinking about when deciding whether to make one. It looks great on paper, but what does it mean in reality and what does it actually involve? The legal considerations can be something of a grey area, so trustees need to navigate them carefully.”

O’Brien concluded: “Our guide sets out the legal aspects trustees need to think about on their journey to net zero, including the ever-challenging topic of trustee fiduciary duties. It also provides practical commentary from several industry experts and real-world insights from HSBC Bank Pension Trust and TfL Pension Fund who have already made their net zero commitments. This is all new and challenging territory for many trustees, but expectations of trustees continue to grow. We hope this guide goes some way to helping inform the steps to get there for those that are starting out on that journey.”

The net zero guide can be found in full here.

Previous climate related guides and additional information on relevant regulations can be found here.