The Trustees’ main duty is to act in the best interest of Scheme members. They believe responsible investment – assessing the Scheme’s investments for their effect on the environment and society, as well as their potential for generating returns – plays an important part in this.

The Trustees have drawn up a Responsible Investment Policy which includes:

The Trustees have chosen the following three ESG factors as priorities.

Environmental: climate change

The Trustees believe that investing in a way that helps to tackle climate change is likely to improve outcomes for you, the members, through better long-term returns and lower risk. They are working towards achieving net zero by 2050. This means the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the Scheme’s investments are balanced with the amount taken out of the atmosphere. This mostly involves reducing emissions, with a significant percentage to be reduced by 2030. Find out more by reading our Climate change report.

Social: modern slavery and human trafficking

The Trustees believe the Scheme’s investments should not support criminal activity and human suffering. They work with our suppliers and advisers to make sure they are taking steps to prevent slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains.

Governance: diversity on company boards

The Trustees are looking for a diverse mix, in terms of gender and ethnicity, on company boards. There is evidence to suggest more diverse boards, with their wider range of opinions and experience, tend to make better decisions and generate higher profits. Read more about how diversity brings profits.

Social impact and ethical investments

The Trustees believe all investments should be considered in the context of the wider economy and society. They may favour investments where the companies measure and report on their wider impact on society as well as their financial results.

The Trustees don’t specifically seek to use investments labelled ‘ethical’ or ‘green’, although those will be considered if they are suitable for the Scheme’s investment strategy. The Trustees may sometimes ask investment managers not to invest in certain companies or industries, if this appears to be in members’ best interests.

Industry action

The Trustees believe working together with other industry organisations increases the chances of successfully influencing companies to make changes in members’ best interests. The Trustee Board is currently a member of the Institutional Investors’ Group on Climate Change and the Occupational Pensions Stewardship Council, and has signed up to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment.

Find out more by reading our responsible investment policy

You can find more detail about the Trustee’s investment strategy in the Statement of Investment Principles and the Implementation Statement.