Swansea Council’s award-winning pension fund has taken another big step in its work towards becoming one of the greenest funds of its kind in the UK.
The £2.1bn fund has already taken major steps to reduce its carbon footprint by cutting the amount of cash invested in oil companies and other organisations with a high carbon density.
Now it’s agreed a £30m investment in green energy production companies around the world.
Working with investment firm BlackRock, the fund is investing in a range of solar and wind power infrastructure projects that aim to deliver long-term benefits for the fund and climate change.
Clive Lloyd, chair of the Swansea pension fund committee, said: “This decision is an investment not only in the future of our pension fund but also in the future of our planet.
“We were the first local government pension scheme in Wales – and among only a small number in the world – to commission a review of our equity investment portfolio to find out the exact extent of our carbon and fossil fuel related investments.
“Since then we have moved £0.5bn of assets into low carbon index tracking funds which has reduced further what was already a low level of investments in carbon-related industries.
“This latest step is part of an on-going effort to gain attractive returns for pensioners, reduce our carbon footprint and support climate-friendly energy production.”
The Swansea fund – which Swansea Council manages for Swansea, Neath Port Talbot as well as a number of other employers in the area – has already been recognised at the LAPF Investments Awards, which celebrate outstanding achievement by pension funds and service providers.
Swansea won the award for the fund with the Best Approach to Sustainable Investment in the UK.
Cllr Lloyd added: “Last year we passed a motion in Swansea declaring a Climate Emergency and we urged the UK government to do the same.
“We are making decisions and taking practical steps every day that are making a real difference but we know we can and we will do more. We are determined to make Swansea the most green and energy efficient council in Wales.”