River and Mercantile joins Net Zero Asset Managers initiative

River and Mercantile (R&M) has joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, an international group of asset managers committed to backing global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and to supporting investing aligned with net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Launched in December 2020, the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative currently has 87 signatories with USD37 trillion in assets under management. As part of the initiative, which is aligned with R&M’s Corporate Sustainability Pillars and approach to ESG, R&M has committed to:
 
Work in partnership with clients on decarbonisation goals in line with a desire to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner across all assets under management

Set interim targets for the proportion of assets to be managed in line with the attainment of net zero emissions by 2030 or sooner

Make net zero a core focus of existing and new funds
 
In addition to adapting existing strategies to promote sustainable characteristics R&M plans to launch new strategies which will feature sustainable objectives at their core. The firm intends to issue a roadmap within the next 12 months with clearly defined milestones for achieving net zero. This will involve a three stage process:

Data: getting investees’ emissions data
Reduction: engagement to lower emissions
Offset: carbon neutrality for investments
 
Roger Lewis, Head of ESG, River and Mercantile, says: “Eighteen months into what the UN has called the ‘decade of delivery’ for its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, it’s easy to see that No13 Climate Action is emerging as one of the most pressing issues, but also biggest opportunities, of our time. We recognise that financial institutions, especially asset managers as providers of debt or equity, have an important role to play in the process to net zero carbon. Beyond making this commitment, we have been listening to the needs and desired outcomes of our clients around greenhouse gas emissions. We fully understand the costs, benefits and implications of committing to net zero, and will have a credible, robust plan to reach this goal for all of our assets whilst also continuing to deliver strong returns for clients.”
 
James Barham, Group Chief Executive of River and Mercantile, says: “Climate change is real. We have a responsibility as a business and as an industry to use whatever available resources and influence to ensure that we contribute to achieving net zero carbon in line with broader government and societal objectives. We will continue to evolve and develop our thinking to identify whether as a business we can achieve this earlier. We are therefore proud to announce our commitment to be net zero carbon by 2050, covering 100 per cent of assets managed. We acknowledge net zero is a significant undertaking for the Group, and there is always an important balance between the focus on this, broader ESG issues and the real need of all our clients for investment return.”