Aviva has launched workplace pension default investment strategy that incorporates ethical and ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations, based solely on its Stewardship funds.
Called the ‘Stewardship lifestyle strategy’, the strategy has ethical and ESG considerations throughout the growth and consolidation phases.
The strategy excludes investments in companies with significant involvement in certain areas including tobacco, pornography and coal mining. It also engages with companies to improve how they conduct their business, and measures the ESG performance of the companies in which the funds are invested.
The funds exclude companies that do not meet certain ethical standards or that harm society or the environment, and engage and support companies that make a positive contribution to a sustainable society and encourage positive environmental, social and governance practices.
The Aviva Stewardship funds were launched in the 1980s. They were the country’s first ethical fund range, and now also incorporate ESG considerations.
Businesses which have their workplace pension scheme with Aviva will be able to use the Stewardship lifestyle strategy as their default. They will also be able to offer it to employees as an alternative to their existing default.
The Stewardship funds are managed by Aviva Investors (AI) and overseen by AI’s Global Responsible Investment (GRI) team, led by Dr Steve Waygood.
Aviva head of workplace propositionsMatt McGill says:“Responsible investing is no longer a ‘nice to have’. The investment and workplace pensions industry can play a huge role in changing the world we live in for the better, and the launch of this lifestyle strategy, utilising the Stewardship funds, is a big step towards that.
“We want to offer people a simple but effective way of ensuring that as they save for their retirement, their investment is being used for the good of society and the planet.”
Aviva Investors chief responsible investment officer Steve Waygoodsays: “Having the option to invest in companies that are in line with your personal beliefs shouldn’t be reserved for the wealthy or the investment professional.
“Using the Stewardship funds to create a workplace pension default means more people will now have access to an ethical investment philosophy.
“As a result of auto-enrolment and the boom in pension saving, more and more people are now investors. Their hard-earned savings can be used to make the world a better place.”