MSCI commits to net-zero emissions before 2040

American finance firm MSCI has announced its intention to reach net-zero emissions before 2040, pledging to revamp its current decarbonisation goals and align with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

MSCI commits to net-zero emissions before 2040

Revised targets will be published at an as-yet-unspecified date

MSCI, which provides an array of tools, services and indices for the investment community, has confirmed today (19 April) that it is updating its climate action plan in an attempt to reach net-zero emissions prior to 2040.

The company was currently progressing towards a goal of reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2035 and Scope 3 emissions by 20%.

MSCI will focus on decarbonising electricity consumption and business travel while investing in green building technologies for its offices. The company will also strive to decarbonise its value chain and will engage with major suppliers to encourage them to set net-zero goals.

Revised targets will be published at an as-yet-unspecified date, with interim targets set to be developed that are in alignment with TCFD recommendations.

MSCI’s chief executive Henry Fernandez said: “Companies have a fundamental responsibility to reduce their impact on the planet and join the journey to a decarbonized economy. MSCI’s commitment reflects our obligation to be good stewards of the capital that long-term shareholders entrust to our company.

“MSCI’s efforts to achieve net-zero before 2040 will drive a transformation of our company, culture and our actions to the benefit of all our stakeholders.  We believe this action is needed as we play our part to unshackle the world from the fossil fuel era and ignite a new world of sustainable growth.” 

Financing change

MSCI is the latest in the finance sector to align with the net-zero movement.

Earlier this year, a coalition of 35 big-name investors applied a new net-zero investment framework to their portfolios, with $8trn of assets covered.

Among the first adopters of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change’s (IIGCC) framework are Scottish Widows, Aberdeen Standard, Brunel, Nest, Legal & General Asset Management, the Church of England Pensions Board and the Environment Agency Pension Fund. Collectively, the 35 initial adopters are applying the model to $8trn of assets.

The framework was first trialled in real-world scenarios in the second half of 2020, on portfolios totalling $1.3trn

Here in the UK, net-zero roadmaps have been outlined by asset owners including Scottish WidowsLegal & General Real AssetsOrchard Street and Aviva. While globally, Wells FargoCitigroupGoldman Sachs and Bank of America have all set new targets on net-zero financed emissions.

Matt Mace 

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