Investors with assets of £352 billion call on companies to commit to renewable energy

Reading time: 4 minutes
9 December 2015

PARIS: 20 institutional investors managing over £352 billion in assets under management are joining forces to urge some of the world’s largest companies to commit to 100% renewable power.

The new initiative is being launched today at COP21 by Responsible Investment charity ShareAction. It will see investors calling on companies - via letters, and at meetings and AGMs - to demonstrate their commitment to clean energy by signing up to join RE100.

Founding members of the investor initiative include Aviva Investors, Strathclyde Pension Fund, Environment Agency Pension Fund, French pension fund ERAFP, Norwegian fund KLP and Menhaden Capital.

Speakers at today's launch event in Paris include Philippe Desfosses of ERAFP, Jeanett Bergan of KLP, and representatives of companies discussing the benefits of joining RE100.

Six new companies announced they were joining RE100 on Monday including educational publisher Pearson, who was influenced by ShareAction at their AGM earlier this year.

ShareAction has also developed an online platform through which ordinary savers can email their pension fund to ask them to do more to support renewable energy. 

Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors said: "Aviva Investors believes that RE100 is an important and welcome initiative. We are happy to recommend RE100 to the companies that we own as worthy of serious consideration. It has the potential to be an important component of managing carbon impact and delivering a business model in line with 2 degrees."

Philippe Desfosses, CEO of ERAFP said: “The RE100 is an excellent initiative that we are very pleased to support. The promotion of renewable energy is critical to the decarbonisation of the global economy. It makes perfect sense for us as a responsible investor to put our name behind this initiative, and we look forward to engaging with companies on this issue.”

Philippe Zaouati, CEO at Mirova said: “ We have the great pleasure to announce our support for the excellent RE100 initiative. Private players’ mobilisation in favour of the transition towards a low carbon economy is essential to ensure sustainable economic returns in the long run. Not only will Mirova encourage enterprises to join this initiative, but, in line with its global low carbon investment strategy, it will also highlight those enterprises that will adhere to it.”

Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director at The Climate Group said:“We’re already seeing companies joining RE100 and committing to 100% renewable power at a remarkable rate, but if we’re going to tip the balance of the energy market in favour of renewables once and for all we need all world leading businesses with us. Investors are uniquely placed to make a significant difference through this programme.”

Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive at ShareAction said: “We’re delighted to have brought together investors to encourage companies to take the lead and embrace renewable power. Increasing corporate demand for renewable energy is an innovative and forward-thinking strategy that investors can adopt to combat climate change risk in their portfolios. We hope to see many more companies sign up to go 100% renewable as a result of this initiative.”

The full list of investors that have joined the investor initiative: Ashden Trust, Australian Ethical Investment, Aviva Investors, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Dana Investment Advisors, Dignity Health, ERAFP, Environment Agency Pension Fund, Impact Investors, JJ Charitable Trust, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, KLP, Mark Leonard Trust, Menhaden Capital, Mirova, Pax World Management LLC, Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation, Strathclyde Pension Fund, Trillium Asset Management, United Church Funds.

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