Corporate pension plans are a “sleeping giant” for sustainable finance



“We need to activate the multi-trillion dollar corporate pension industry” to direct capital towards sustainable investments, tweeted Lise Kingo, CEO of the UN Global Compact from the Global Private Equity Conference in D.C. “Corporate pension plans remain a sleeping giant,” Kingo told ImpactAlpha.

A new report from UNPRI and the UN Global Compact says half of the world’s largest corporations have signed the Global Compact, a corporate pledge towards sustainability. But only 10 percent of their pension plans have signed the Principles for Responsible Investment to put responsible investment principles into action.

Univest, the in-house asset manager of Unilever’s $26.6 billion pension schemes, signed on to the PRI in 2013. The alignment of Unilever, a corporate leader in sustainability, and the company’s pension plan manager, is all too rare.

Why should corporate pension align with their sponsors? To improve performance, manage risk, align with external managers and boost their sponsors’ credibility and employee retention, according to the report.

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