Worcestershire Pension selects Minerva for ESG audit

Minerva Analytics has been chosen to carry out an ESG audit of the Worcestershire Pension Fund as it seeks to target the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The committee is seeking to establish a baseline for all of its investment activities, which will help formulate and shape future strategic actions required to meet these goals.

The audit will culminate in a final report and presentation for the committee, presenting findings and giving trustees the information they need to better align the fund’s investments with ESG criteria.

This comes off the back of the UK’s Local Government Pension Scheme ESG framework, which in recent years has seen new requirements introduced to address ESG and stewardship activities in the space, backed up with additional regulations.

A big part of this was intended to help pension funds act prudently when making investment decisions, including ESG factor contemplation. Rob Wilson, finance manager, pensions and treasury management at Worcestershire County Council, said auditing the fund’s ESG strengths is an important first step.

“ESG factors have been fundamental to Worcestershire Pension Fund’s approach to investments and over the past 12 months have continued to enhance its own Responsible Investment approach,” said Rob Wilson.

“We are pleased to have commissioned Minerva Analytics to undertake this work forward on the fund’s behalf.”

Minerva was chosen after successfully entering a mini competition run by the Worcestershire Pension Fund to appoint a consultant for this audit.

The competition was launched after Worcestershire Pension Fund attended workshops held by Pensions for Purpose, which ran in early 2020, that asked members to focus on their assessment of three to five of the 17 UN SDGs to determine which are likely to have the biggest impact and why.

“Worcestershire CC is embarking on a journey towards a more sustainable investment approach,” said Pensions for Purpose director Karen Shackleton. “That journey began with a review of the fund’s investment beliefs.

“It allowed them to prioritise a set of broad SDG goals which can now be reflected thematically across their portfolio, allowing them to capture future opportunities as well as hedging out risks.”

Last Updated: 9 October 2020
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