Pyrford International is a provider of global asset management services for collective investment funds, investment management companies, local and state bodies, pension schemes, endowments and foundations. They joined the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative in March 2022 and made their Initial Target Disclosure in September 2023.
Percentage of assets covered by the Net Zero Asset Managers Commitment Statement
8.6% of total AUM (USD $0.748 billion)
Information on interim target(s) covering the proportion of assets to be managed in line with net zero
Engagement threshold baseline
15% of the weight of our portfolio is in companies which have had short-term targets approved under the SBTi framework. A further 46% are in companies with short-term targets registered with SBTi but not yet approved.
A number of companies representing material GHG emissions have been the subject of past engagements but none have yet been engaged with respect to our NZAMI commitments
Portfolio decarbonisation reference baseline
As at February 2023 the portfolio had an emissions intensity of 94.5tCO2e/$m sales and the MSCI ACWI World Index had an intensity of 174.3tCO2e/$m. Our aim is to maintain the intensity of the portfolio below that of the benchmark as the latter moves towards a 50% reduction by 2030 and to then converge with the benchmark at net zero at or before 2050.
Engagement threshold target
We have set an expectation that companies representing at least 70% of financed emissions in equity portfolios committed to using a net zero methodology should be either aligned, aligning or engaged. We expect this threshold to be monitored and achieved on an ongoing basis, with a first checkpoint at the end of 2025.
Portfolio decarbonisation reference target
We have taken a “benchmark-relative” approach to considering portfolio financed emissions intensity, based on the MSCI All Country World Index. The emissions intensity of this benchmark is analysed in 2023 and is assumed to need to decrease by 50% by 2030 reaching net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. Our methodology will compare the portfolio emissions intensity with a net-zero trajectory for the benchmark. This allows us to take account of the starting point of our portfolio, and whether this is below or above the economy-wide average. This produces a reference pathway for us to track progress against.
GHG scopes included:
Coverage of different scopes of emissions varies by asset class. Coverage for large, listed companies in developed markets tends to be high. Coverage for smaller companies, private companies and companies in emerging markets tends to be lower. Given these limitations and the expected evolution of Scope 3 data our focus will initially be on Scopes 1 and 2 where the data is the most extensive and robust, and where companies are most able to bring about change.
Net Zero Investment Framework
We use “The Closing Window” report published by the United Nations Environment Programme in October 2022 to inform our approach. This states that to have a 50% chance of achieving a maximum warming of 1.5 C and a 66% chance of a warming being no higher than 1.5 C in 2100 with limited or no overshoot, Global total GHG emissions need to fall to between 26GtCO2e/year and 34 GtCO2e/year by 2030. Recorded emissions in 2021 were 52.8GtCO2e in 2021, up from 51GtCO2e in 2010. This requires a reduction of up to 50% from 2021 levels. We set this reduction as the pathway for the emission intensity of the benchmark we aim to track to 2030.
Proportion of AUM committed:
Our initial AUM coverage represents the equity component of Absolute Return funds managed for UK-based clients. Clients from this group have been the strongest advocates for embarking on the transition towards “net zero” in the management of their portfolios amongst all our clients.
Participation will be limited to this subset of clients until client preferences and objectives, and regulatory approvals allow for expanding it.
We are limiting inclusion to equity assets until we are confident in a methodology suitable for sovereign bonds, the only other asset class we invest in.
As we implement and develop our net zero methodology with our initial AUM commitment we will discuss our experience with our wider client base. Over time, as we demonstrate that our targets can be achieved without conflicting with our primary objectives of generating long-term, risk-adjusted real returns, we may find a wider portion of our client base support their adoption.
Success in reaching our goals of greater net-zero alignment in the portfolio is dependent on companies acting as we expect in transitioning to a net zero economy, as well as an increase in the availability of reliable data, supportive changes in regulation and increased client advocacy.