Earth Day 2024

Earth Day which takes place on 22nd April 2024, is an annual initiative focusing on raising awareness and encouraging positive change towards protecting the planet. With this in mind, we are taking a look at efforts the Fund has made in implementing impactful environmental, social and governance (ESG) actions.

This year, the Earth Day theme is Planet vs Plastics, which aims to raise awareness of the harms of plastic pollution with a commitment to end plastics for the health of the planet and humanity. The global initiative is demanding a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by 2040. As a result, there is increasing pressure on companies to take steps to reduce plastic usage and find alternatives for their product ranges.

The North East Scotland Pension Fund (NESPF) as a responsible investor is a member/signatory of various ESG initiatives where collaboration with other investors helps to influence companies across a range of ESG themes, including plastic-related impact.

Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF)

One such initiative is the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF). A group with combined assets of over £350 billion, the LAPFF brings together local authority pension funds, including the NESPF, to use their collective size to influence and promote high standards of corporate responsibility. One of the LAPFF’s key ambitions is to pave the way towards a net zero economy.

LAPFF is a member of As You Sow’s Plastic Solutions Investor Alliance (PSIA), which engages publicly traded companies on the impact of plastics, and joined a collaborative call hosted by the alliance. LAPFF is committed to encouraging companies to research alternatives to single-use plastic. LAPFF continues to support the PSIA and will be engaging with companies on plastic usage throughout the coming year.

The LAPFF engaged with Nestlé who have made a commitment to make 100% of their packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and to reduce their use of virgin plastics by one-third in the same period. So far, 87% of their total packaging and 66% of their plastic packaging is recyclable or reusable.

The LAPFF also worked with PepsiCo. The company committed to cut virgin plastic from non-renewable sources per serving across our global beverages and convenient foods portfolio by 50% by 2030.

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

The Fund is also working on reporting on the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations and producing Climate Scenario analysis for the first time during 2024. The TCFD disclosures should encourage more effective thinking and awareness of the impact organisations have on climate change (Governance) as well as the impact of climate-related risks and opportunities on organisations (Strategy). This will help identify market risks or systematic risks within the Fund investments and we are also looking into TCFD disclosure for the Fund which will measure our carbon footprint and help the Fund align with a low-carbon economy.

You can read more about our role as a responsible investor here. This highlights our Collaborative Engagement and Voting.

We also recently published our Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Assessment Report and Summary Scorecard

Going Greener

As well as our targeted investment efforts, the Fund is dedicated to making a conscious attempt to operate more sustainably in our day-to-day activities.

Actions the NESPF is taking to operate in a greener way include:

  • Using electricity which is 100% supplied through renewables
  • Recording waste and reducing the amount sent to landfill
  • Monitoring water usage
  • Using online portals to reduce paper-based communications (saving around 145,500 sheets of paper each year)

Being within the wider organisation of Aberdeen City Council, the Fund also adheres to the council’s climate change ambitions. Aberdeen City Council recently placed in the top ten of single tier UK councils, and joint second in Scotland, for their climate change achievements, and continues to work towards operating in a greener way.


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