Playing our part in protecting the planet

03 November 2020

Solar Panels

You may have seen the term “sustainability” used by businesses to cover a number of things. But what does it mean for the Trustee and how it manages the M&S Pension Scheme?

Put simply, it’s about the Trustee recognising its responsibility to protect the planet and make sure the decisions it makes today don’t compromise the payment of pensions to members in the future. As a significant fund with assets of more than £11bn, the Trustee believes it can make a difference and takes the sustainability of the Scheme seriously.

To do this, the Trustee chooses new investments which provide long-term growth and reviews how all investments meet certain ESG standards.

What does ESG stand for?

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance and is used to provide a picture of an investment or a company’s standards towards sustainability, equality and corporate fairness.

How does the Trustee use these standards to make a positive contribution to the planet?

The Trustee either:

  1. Chooses to invest in companies or investment funds that contribute to a specific ESG theme, such as renewable energy or social housing. Or;
  2. Encourages the companies the Scheme is already invested in to improve their awareness of ESG issues, like their impact on climate change or approach to human rights issues.

We thought you might find it interesting to know more about some of the Scheme’s long-term investments that have a positive impact on the planet today and long into the future.

Greencoat Solar II LP

Greencoat Solar II LP acquires and manages ground mount solar assets in the UK. Each solar farm has a life span of over 25 years and preserves natural habitats through hedgerow and tree planting, placement of bat and bird boxes, and animal grazing from neighbours.

  • As of March 2020, Greencoat owns 64 operating solar farms in the UK, generating enough electricity to power 151,601 UK homes for a year.
  • In 2019, Greencoat's solar farms saved 187,985 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Alvarium Home Long Income Fund (HLIF)

Alvarium Home Long Income Fund (HLIF) works with Local Authorities and invests in high quality accommodation for the homeless. Individuals housed through the scheme are given training and rehabilitation to provide the skills and confidence to find long-term accommodation and re-integrate into society.

So far HLIF has:

  • Provided 2,394 beds to otherwise homeless individuals.
  • Supplied over 1,200 homeless individuals with safe, clean and modern accommodation in North West England alone.