Nest, the automatic enrolment scheme managing the pensions of nearly a third of the UK workforce, has appointed Octopus Renewables, to boost its investment in green energy.
It is committing an estimated £250 million this year in the UK and Europe, which is part of a potential £1.4 billion investment by the end of the decade.
Nest, which currently manages more than £16 billion of UK pension savings, is investing directly in green energy generation to secure stable, long term returns for pension saves while achieving its ambition of becoming a net zero carbon investor.
Octopus Renewables is the largest investor of utility-scale solar power in Europe, in addition to being a leading investor in onshore wind and biomass in the UK, managing a global portfolio valued at more than £3 billion.
Mark Fawcett, Nest’s Chief Executive Officer said: “We want to invest in the energy of the future, not the past. The money we manage on behalf of our members needs to provide steady returns for the next 10, 20, 30 years. Renewable energy projects are fantastic opportunities. Every new site provides greater energy security, increases potential returns and contributes to tackling the climate emergency. We want to deliver bigger pensions for our members, in a better world.
“All minds are focused on how to help Build Back Better from the pandemic and this move means millions of UK pension savers will be playing their part. Investing in British green energy means our members will be investing in projects they can see and touch, a tangible connection to their pension and a way out of the climate crisis. The strong foundations of this kind of investment should help them achieve great returns for their future while directly investing in the future of the planet.”
A YouGov survey conducted in July 2020 of 2,010 adults revealed 65% of pension savers believe their pension should be invested in a way that reduces the impact of climate change, while only 4% strongly disagreed.
More than half of all adults (57%) are worried about the impact of climate change on their lives.