Trustees at defined benefit pension schemes are planning to reduce their training on responsible investment.
Despite the risks associated with environmental and social factors continually evolving, a Hymans Robertson survey reveals that the number of trustees planning to take training on responsible investment (RI) issues this year has fallen to 20%, from a high of 31% in 2021 and 26% in 2020. Only 30% of respondents plan to commission analysis of how climate risks impact their long-term objectives.
Just 45% of trustees planned to commission an RI investment review, which provides key information on how managers are handling the sustainability of their investments, including stewardship. This is down significantly from 2020’s all-time high of 57%.
Hymans Robertson described the findings as “worryingly low” and said that they could result in unknown exposure to risks from climate change and biodiversity loss.
“When coupled with the fall in trustees planning to receive training on the matter or including RI considerations in their upcoming governance plans the conclusion is, at best, that trustees feel their current RI approach and investments are sustainable and aligning with the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said senior responsible investment consultant and net-zero lead Mhairi Gooch. “At worst, it points to overconfidence, or a misunderstanding of the constantly changing nature of climate change.”