Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative: What It Is and What It Requires (Part One of Two)

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is a growing trend in the private funds industry, and a lot of the focus has been on the “E” element of ESG. To that end, the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (Initiative), which was launched in December 2020, is an international group of asset managers committed to the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner by supporting investing aligned with that net zero emissions goal. To date, 220 asset managers with $57 trillion in assets under management have committed to the Initiative – but what does that commitment actually entail? This article, the first in a two-part series, provides an overview of the Initiative, including who can participate in it, what asset managers should consider when deciding whether to commit to the Initiative and what that commitment requires managers to do. The second article will discuss applying the commitment to new funds versus existing funds, explain the role a firm’s CEO should play in the process, spell out the steps that managers should take to comply with the Initiative’s requirements and include a checklist that managers can use to guide the process. See “Manager and Investor Interest in ESG Is Growing, According to Recent Global Hedge Fund Study (Part Two of Two)” (May 20, 2021).

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