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Pension funds and the climate crisis

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Most of us take for granted the small actions we undertake routinely to ‘do our bit’ for the planet. We recycle, walk when we can, perhaps cycle rather than drive…but did you know that your pension could be undoing all your good work?

Climate change and savings habits are more closely linked than you’d think, and pensions’ part in this is considerable. In fact, the average UK pension pot finances an average of 23 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year,[1] the CO2 equivalent of 9 family cars, through its investments. That’s four times our personal emissions. 

Surprised? Yes, we’re sure you are.

Because we recently carried out research which found that most of the population – specifically, 99.5% of employees - have no idea about the scale of carbon emitted as a result of their pension’s investments.[2]

Tony Burdon from Make My Money Matter said, "We echo Cushon’s call for UK pension schemes to increase transparency around where their members’ money is invested, and its impact on people and the planet. We encourage everyone, from individuals to businesses, to contact their pension provider to find out where their pension is on the road to net zero emissions and make sure it gets there."

Cushon’s latest research provides statistics around how employees feel about both the climate and their pension, and recommendations on how employers should proceed with this knowledge.

Download Cushon’s latest research and learn about the ‘blind spot’ that is a pension pot’s impact on the environment.


[1] (Average UK pension pot is £87,947) x (FTSE 100 CO2e emissions of 480m tonnes / £1.8 trillion market cap =0.265 tonnes per £1,000 market cap) = equivalent of 23.3 tonnes of CO2 emissions per pension pot

[2] Cushon’s Climate Change pensions research - 2021