Carbon reporting surges as Covid increases ESG focus

More asset owners are looking to increase carbon footprint reporting across their whole portfolios, according to research among pension funds and other asset owners.

Nearly half of those surveyed said they assessed carbon emissions in their overall portfolios. This is up from 13% three years ago.

However, nearly 21% said they did not actively consider how to implement the measurement of their carbon footprints across whole portfolios.

Bfinance, which carried out the research, said the findings came about against a backdrop of the rise in ESG – or environmental, social and governance – investing, partly spurred on by the pandemic. A third of the investors said the pandemic had increased their focus on ESG.

The research also found that 28% were mapping portfolios against the UN Sustainable Development Goals, up from just 3% three years ago. One third of investors were planning to follow suit. 

Bfinance highlighted the problem with ESG data, saying nearly 85% of asset owners said there was a lack of consistent, standardised ESG information across all asset classes and asset managers. 

Kathryn Saklatvala, head of investment content for Bfinance, said: “The advancement [in ESG] also brings challenges: investors with increasingly clear objectives and priorities in this space are even more frustrated by the lack of clear, consistent, standardised data on many of the key issues.”

Over 250 senior staff at asset owners including pension schemes and family offices, and representing a combined $7 trillion, took part in the report. 

© 2021 funds europe

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