Wealth Strategies

The ESG Phenomenon - Manulife

Editorial Staff, 10 May 2021

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Developments and commentary in and around the ESG investment space.

Manulife
Canada-based financial services group Manulife has announced that it is committing to the “net zero” carbon emissions target by 2050, part of a trend of firms pledging to put their financial muscle behind the idea.

The group had C$1.3 trillion ($1.0 trillion) as of the end of March, making it one of the largest such entities in the world.

Among specific details, the group said that it has signed up to the Science-Based Targets initiative to guide its target setting, measurement, and progress reporting. Manulife will also continue to grow its $39.8 billion portfolio of green investments, such as renewable energy and energy-efficient real estate, it said in a statement last Friday.

“Through the commitments we’ve set out today, we are accelerating work to reduce our own emissions and build a portfolio of climate-smart investments,” Roy Gori, president and CEO, Manulife, said. “In making clear commitments on climate, we are setting a robust plan for our operations and our own investments. We are actively developing innovative products and services designed to contribute towards the urgent, global fight against climate change.”

The firm said that it is taking a sector-based approach, focusing first on the heavy emitting industries, such as power generation, to establish near-term emissions reduction targets.

“Our approach is centred on two core principles. First, that there is an immediate need to take action on climate change today; and second, that our actions result in real change versus create the perception of change,” Sarah Chapman, global chief sustainability officer, Manulife, said. “Accelerated de-carbonisation of Manulife’s portfolio is a top priority for achieving our 2050 ambition.”

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