Investing for tomorrow working group papers

A series of research papers from the 2021 IFT working group


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These documents have been written following the research and discussion conducted by the Thinking Ahead Institute’s investing for tomorrow working group. objective of this working group is to produce research outputs that can usefully guide investors to establish and set a pathway to achieve their climate ambitions. Beyond this, we hope the outputs help them to become a driving force in transforming the global economy to be compatible with the 1.5C climate target.

With thanks to the working group members of 2021: Jyoti Banerjee (North Star Transition), Adrian Benedict (Fidelity International), Kate Bromley (QIC), James Burgess (BTPS), Tracy Burton (Coronation), Jeff Chee (Willis Towers Watson), Helen Christie (Univest), Tom Cullen (S&P Dow Jones Indices), Ed Evers (Ninety One), Charlotte Gibson (Ninety One), Philip Greenheld (QSuper), Arthur Grigoryants (RWC), James Harris (CQSM), Michael Jabs (Kraft Heinz Pension), Liisa Juntunen (QMA), Matt Lanstone (Capital Group), Ben Leale-green (S&P Dow Jones Indices), Alison Loat (OPTrust), Tom Lyons (Allspring Global Investments), Zak May (IFM Investors), Herschel Pant (AXA IM), Jeroen Rijk (PGB Pensioendiensten), Elena Shatrova (Santander AM), Leo Taglieri (Barclays Pension), Jodie Tapscott (AllianceBernstein), Lucy Thomas (NSW Treasury Corporation), Adrian Trollor (NSW Treasury Corporation), Nacho Valiñani (Pensions Caixa 30), Jaco van der Walt (RBC Global Asset Management), Sarah Wilson (Nuveen), Debra Woida (Willis Towers Watson) and Christine Young (Polen Capital).

A summary of the working group papers is available here. If you prefer to explore one of the six steps in more detail, you can read the in-depth papers below.

A roadmap for asset owners to set and meet their climate objectives

Even though many investment organisations have already made a net-zero commitment, it is our belief that the implications of those commitments are not yet fully understood, and the accompanying actions have not yet all been discovered. This paper sets out the thinking behind and the structure of a six-step action plan.

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Setting your climate ambition

Here we explore the beliefs that were material to creating and describing different points on a spectrum of increasing climate ambition.

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Getting our own house in order

We present 32 ideas for actions that asset owners can take to implement their climate ambition. The first 16 actions relate to decarbonising an organisation’s own portfolio, but also form a foundation for the second set of 16 actions which target changing the climate trajectory.

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3D net-zero mandates

In this paper we argue that net-zero commitments pitch us straight into the world of 3D investing (risk, return and impact). We review how the working group believes this will affect our organisations and industry, and then describe 3D net-zero mandates which comprise return and decarbonisation goals and limits to risk.

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Reporting and communication

This paper explores the sixth step in the TAI six-step action plan: to develop reporting and communication frameworks to help asset owners measure progress against climate ambition.
A climate report is a means to prioritise and structure metrics, a framework to measure progress against climate goals to better inform future decision-making.

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Investment beliefs to change the climate trajectory

Detailed work on climate beliefs was delegated to a sub-group, described in this paper. Strong and settled beliefs form the foundation for successful climate action. As the sub-group set out to create ambitious climate beliefs capable of motivating action to change to the climate trajectory, it quickly realised that the process to build the beliefs was an important component of the final result. Consequently the paper includes a focus on getting this process right. The paper then introduces the six climate beliefs that the sub-group settled on; followed by the implications and associated actions arising from these beliefs.

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