Thinking

Clarasys’ journey to sustainable pension provision

As part of our journey to be as sustainable an organisation as possible, we want to ensure our employees have access to and have the tools they require to switch to a sustainable pension.

Clarasys-journey-to-sustainable-pension-provision-featured-image-Clarasys

As part of our journey to be as sustainable an organisation as possible, we want to ensure our employees have access to and have the tools they require to switch to a sustainable pension.

As an individual, switching to a sustainable pension scheme is one of the most impactful actions you can take, reducing your carbon footprint. According to MakeMy MoneyMatter, it cuts your carbon 21 times more than giving up flying, going veggie, and switching energy providers. That is why, as part of our sustainability vision, Clarasys is embarking on a journey to raise awareness of pension options, giving our employees the tools to make an informed decision about where their money is invested, and encouraging positive change.

Clarasys’ sustainability journey

Clarasys, like many companies in this critical time, is on a journey to become more sustainable. For us, sustainability is about ensuring that individuals, organisations, and systems are built to ensure the ongoing success of society, the planet, and the economy. As part of our vision to spearhead the transition towards a more sustainable world, we are on a path to become B Corp accredited, carbon-neutral, and circular (reduce our waste through reducing, reusing, and recycling materials). Additionally, while we change as a company, we also want to enable our people to play their part in tackling the climate and ecological crisis and major societal challenges if they choose to. 

Why we are focusing on sustainable pensions

Choosing a pension fund is one of the biggest investment decisions in people’s lifetime - pension investments amount to £2.2 trillion in the UK. Therefore, it has huge potential to influence corporate behaviour for the better. This is why we have chosen to focus on pensions as a key step in enabling our employees to lead more sustainable lifestyles.

Historically, ethical funds were built on negative screening and avoidance (e.g. no armaments, tobacco or fossil fuels), limiting investment options. Today, sustainable pensions use Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles as key criteria alongside risk and returns. Many sustainable investments now centre around positive selection, investing in companies that are actively making a difference (net benefit to society and the environment). Additionally, pension funds can use their clout with investees to spur improvements in their ESG performance and retract investments where they do not comply. 

How do we enable our people to make more conscious choices?

As a result, we decided to focus on increasing the visibility of different pension options and ensuring our people can make informed choices.  We looked at when people make key decisions about pensions (e.g. when they join Clarasys) and how we can surface information about choices to them. We are trying to enable our people, with the right tools and knowledge, to make an informed decision as to how they invest their hard-earned money. This includes information about where to find details of what their fund is invested in, what options (both sustainable and normal) are available, and the risk and returns associated with each option.

Pensions can be a touchy topic: people's future livelihoods depend on them, and it is important not to pressure employees. However, they represent a significant investment decision for each and every one of us. Enabling employees to make an informed choice can increase their control over their financial future while creating a positive impact on the planet and society.

If you are interested in Clarasys' journey towards sustainable pension provision, feel free to contact us or wait for the next instalment on our progress. Or, for help building your own sustainability roadmap, get in touch at sustainability@clarasys.com.