Insurance Asset Risk Awards 2022 - UK & Europe

Climate mitigation investment initiative of the year - Aviva Investors

Aviva Investors has won the climate mitigation investment initiative of 2021, based on its climate engagement escalation programme (CEEP).

The programme launched in January 2021 with letters to 30 "systematically-important carbon emitters" that, between them, pump about one-third of all the damaging emissions. The worst are spotlighted, with the hope that positive change among them feeds into wider industrial practice.

CEEP runs on companies for one to three years, scoring progress by five categories – targets, transition plans, governance, disclosure and lobbying - and applying "open and constructive dialogue" to help with climate strategy, management and reporting.

Aviva Investors' ESG team have latitude to reward or penalise specific emitters, after undertaking 'multi-pronged company engagement'.

Shareholder alliances then galvanise broader pressure, votes are cast and resolutions set and, if all else fails, divestment follows.

Aviva Investors says: "We owe it to ourselves, our clients, and the planet to decarbonise the global economy. It is a fiduciary duty. Helping the oil and gas, metals and mining and utilities sectors correct course is part of that responsibility. In the face of arguably the greatest market failure in history, investors need to find their voice and up the ante on climate engagement, as we believe the CEEP will do."

Judges said CEEP is "a very clear engagement strategy that should be commended". Focusing on the main systematically important carbon emitters is a great idea to have real impact, judges said.