Fidelity accelerates net zero goal by a decade

The US asset manager has also set other ESG objectives, according to its latest corporate sustainability report.

Fidelity International intends to achieve company-wide net zero carbon emissions by 2030, 10 years earlier than its previous target.

“We’ve worked hard in the last year to improve the data on our carbon emissions in all the locations we operate in globally, and that has given us the confidence that we can be more ambitious in our target,” said Paras Anand, chief investment officer of Asia Pacific of Fidelity, introducing the report release this week.

“We believe that this sort of continuous improvement is vital to ensure that we are placing our impact on the environment as the key consideration in our overall business strategy.”

With widespread Covid lockdowns, business travel has been significantly restricted, thus sharply reducing carbon footprints, said Anand. Even with restrictions eased in the post-pandemic environment, Fidelity has introduced stricter policies to limit travel for internal meetings to cut down carbon emissions.

The advance in online communication platforms also makes it easier to collaborate across borders and time zones. Even though online communication cannot completely replace face-to-face interaction, Fidelity expects e-meetings can reduce travel requirements when speaking stakeholders in the long run.

Other measures taken to achieve the carbon emission target include switching to electric passenger cars from traditional cars in India, and moving employees to a more energy-efficient office in London.

Immediate objectives

Additionally, Fidelity has committed to other ESG short-term goals by 2024, including a 25% reduction in energy consumption, 25% waste reduction and 80% increase in its recycling rate compared with 2019 levels.

To improve workplace diversity, 35% of the global senior management roles are to be held by women and 45% of the global workforce are to be women by 2024. 

The firm will also conduct ESG monitoring for 90% of their “high-risk” suppliers, while 95% of tenders will have to include at least one “diverse” supplier.

Employees will also be required to increase their number of volunteering hours, with more than 200 charities supported by Fidelity.

“Our aim is to apply that same thinking to climate challenge and sustainability issues more broadly,” said Anne Richards, chief executive officer at Fidelity.

The new targets add to other net zero initiatives previously announced including a commitment to investing aligned with net-zero emissions on or before 2050.