New case studies aim to generate more investor climate action plans and accelerate the global net zero transition

12 January 2022

The Investor Agenda highlights the leading best practices from Allianz, Aware Super, CalSTRS, Cathay Financial Holdings, FAMA Investimentos, IFM Investors, Mirae Asset Global Investments, PensionDanmark, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, UniSuper in issuing and implementing Investor Climate Action Plans (ICAPs)

In an effort to generate worldwide momentum that will lead to more institutional investors implementing bold climate action plans, the Investor Agenda published today a set of case studies highlighting the leading best practices for Investor Climate Action Plans (ICAPs).

The 10 investors featured in the case studies are from five continents, including three from Asia: Cathay Financial Holdings (Taiwan), Mirae Asset Global Investments (South Korea), and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management (Japan). The other investors featured are: Allianz (Germany), Aware Super (Australia), CalSTRS (US), FAMA Investimentos (Brazil), IFM Investors (Australia), PensionDanmark (Denmark), and UniSuper (Australia).

The case studies detail how their climate action plans are aligned with some or all of the actions outlined in the Investor Agenda’s ICAPs Expectations Ladder, released in May 2021. The framework sets out clear expectations for ICAPs, wherever investors are on their climate journey, including steps for investors to deliver on their climate commitments and support the global goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 or sooner. The Ladder calls for actions within the four interlocking areas of the Investor Agenda: investment, corporate engagement, policy advocacy, and investor disclosure, with governance as a cross-cutting theme across all areas.

The case studies come as more than 271 asset managers and asset owners with nearly $60 trillion in assets under management have now committed to issuing ICAPs through the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative and Paris Aligned Investment Initiative, both of which have been endorsed by the Investor Agenda and the United Nations Race to Zero campaign. Asset owners in the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance initiative are committing to meet actions in line with the ICAPs framework.

“The Investor Climate Action Plans (ICAPs) are best practice climate transition plans for investors. We are publishing these case studies to showcase examples of investors taking action to publicly disclose ICAPs, and to improve transparency and accountability in transition planning,” said Rebecca Mikula-Wright, CEO of AIGCC and IGCC, and founding partner of the Investor Agenda. “The ICAPs are a critical way to help mobilize greater numbers of investors globally, but especially in Asia Pacific, where we need to see more investors using these frameworks to help with climate integration into their portfolios. We believe they will empower other investors to map out their own climate action plans and, in turn, encourage others in the region and around the world to do so too.”

The ICAPs Expectations Ladder uses a tiered system approach, from Tier 4 to Tier 1, to measure progress, with Tier 4 being where investors are beginning to think about climate action and Tier 1 being where investors are net zero standard setters. Investors need to meet most, if not all, of the actions in a Tier before they can progress to a higher Tier. Among the case studies released today, most of the investors sit in the highest ambition Tiers in one or more areas. We have also included examples where investors may sit in Tier 3. These are intended to cross a diverse range of tiers for guidance to all investors including those just starting out their ICAP journey.

Highlights of the ICAPs case studies from Asia:

Cathay Financial Holdings (Taiwan)
Cathay is a leader across Asia in integrating climate change risks, opportunities and other ESG factors into its investment and other business processes, and has implemented multiple climate-related initiatives through its Corporate Sustainability Committee and TCFD Task Force. Cathay is currently undertaking multiple Tier 1 and Tier 2 actions of the ICAPs ladder across the corporate engagement and policy advocacy pillars.

Read the Cathay Financial Holdings ICAP case study here.

Mirae Asset Global Investments (South Korea)
Mirae Asset Global Investments (Mirae Asset) takes a collaborative approach in managing a fully diversified investment platform, and is working towards multiple Tier 2 actions within the ICAPs ladder under the investment pillar. Mirae highlights their approach to integrate climate change in their traditional investment strategies through thematic investing, divestments, and engagement, as well as in assessing climate-related risks as part of their risk management processes, and monitoring temperature alignment for some parts of their portfolio.

Read the Mirae Asset Global Investments ICAP case study here.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management (Japan)
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management (SMTAM) is undertaking multiple Tier 1 and 2 actions within the ICAPs ladder on Policy Advocacy including being a long-time supporter of collaborative investor statements, actively participating in member-based associations and encouraging governmental bodies to include climate change as part of their agenda. SMTAM also undertakes multiple actions across different tiers of the ICAPs Corporate Engagement pillar as an active participant in multiple collaborative engagement programs, on top of bilateral engagements with portfolio companies on climate change, and has established an escalation strategy on their voting guidelines.

Read the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Global Asset Management ICAP case study here.

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