17 August 2022

Rathbone Greenbank Investments (Greenbank), Rathbones’ specialist ethical, sustainable and impact arm, has today detailed its plan to become a net zero emissions business by 2040. This commitment covers emissions associated with its operations, supply chain and investments.

Greenbank’s net zero emissions plan includes:

  • A commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions from its own operations and supply chain by 2030, in line with Group, using the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) framework, an internationally recognised methodology
  • A continuation of its long-standing strategic engagement programme to encourage corporate action on climate change and drive alignment to net zero emissions
  • A cut of 60% in the carbon intensity of its investments by 2030, with 2020 as a baseline year.

Greenbank has followed the Net Zero Investment Framework (NZIF) to set targets covering the investments it manages. Since November 2019, Greenbank has worked alongside over 70 other investors, representing $32 trillion in assets under management, as part of the Paris Aligned Investment Initiative to develop the NZIF. The NZIF is a strategic framework which asset owners and managers can use to maximise their contribution towards net zero emissions. Greenbank also discloses this net zero strategy today to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, which it has been a signatory to since March 2021.

Rathbone Brothers Plc (Group) has further announced how it plans to achieve net zero emissions across the wider business by 2050 or sooner.

Having undertaken a full emissions inventory, Group will be using the SBTi methodology to set its operational and investment targets, as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

To do so, Group will include direct operational emissions, alongside those linked to suppliers and investments. Using 2020 as a baseline year, it will work to achieve a 42% reduction in operational and supply chain emissions by 2030, in conjunction with 57% of underlying holdings to commit to or set an SBTi aligned target by 2030. This is in line with Group’s objective of achieving 100% investment coverage by 2040.

Delivering on this will see Group build on the 79% reduction in operational carbon intensity per full-time employee since 2013 and complete the transition of our offices to renewable energy sources by the end of 2025. This will aid Group in meeting the 2025 internal target of a 21% reduction across our scope 1 and 2, and operational scope 3 emissions.

Progress towards all these targets, including those of Greenbank, will be tracked through Group’s annual public reporting.

John David, Head of Rathbone Greenbank Investments, said: “Greenbank is a leading ESG investor that has been integrating climate factors into investment decision-making for over two decades. We have long-used engagement and voting to lock-in company ambition on climate change so it is only right that we then set ourselves ambitious and stretching net zero targets which allow us to continue challenging our portfolio companies and teams to do more for the future of our planet. The NZIF provides us with a practical blueprint to make significant progress this decade and beyond.”

Paul Stockton, CEO of Rathbone Brothers Plc said: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that we face globally, and Rathbones will play its part in the fight against it.

“We have always recognised the importance of maintaining a dialogue with the companies we invest in and remain eager to support them towards better, more sustainable long-term performance. Our engagement and collaboration programmes increase our ability to drive some necessary changes and we support several organisations, including the IIGCC (Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change), Climate Action 100+ and the PRI.

“Today’s commitments to interim targets are an important step on our road to net zero. Having released our first TCFD report in our 2020 Annual Report and Accounts, we will continue to share our progress on initiatives, and the challenges we face, in Annual Reports as well as PRI and CDP submissions.”


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Sam Emery                                                                                 Madhu Kalia
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Notes to editors:


Baseline year

The year in which the emission reductions will be calculated from.

The Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative

Greenbank has been part of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative since March 2021, which is a leading group of global asset managers committed to supporting the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with the global ambition set out in the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. At the time of this release the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative has a total of 128 signatories representing $43 trillion in assets under management.

The Paris Aligned Investment Initiative

The Paris Aligned Investment Initiative is a collaborative investor-led global forum enabling investors to align their portfolios and activities to the goals of the Paris Agreement. This initiative was led by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

The Net Zero Investment Framework

The NZIF is a strategic framework which asset owners and managers can use to maximise their contribution towards net zero emissions. Its primary objective is to ensure investors can decarbonise investment portfolios and increase investment in climate solutions, in a way that is consistent with a 1.5% net zero emissions future.

The Science Based Targets initiative

The SBTi helps businesses to set manageable goals that are rooted in science. The SBTi is the lead partner of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, led by a global coalition of UN agencies, business and industry leaders, encouraging companies to set net-zero science-based targets in line with a 1.5°C future.

  • Defines and promotes best practice in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science
  • Provides technical assistance and expert resources to companies who set science-based targets in line with the latest climate science
  • Brings together a team of experts to provide companies with independent assessment and validation of targets
  • The SBTi is the lead partner of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign - an urgent call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies, business and industry leaders, mobilizing companies to set net-zero science-based targets in line with a 1.5°C future.

IIGCC (Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change)

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is the European membership body for investor collaboration on climate change and the voice of investors taking action for a prosperous, low carbon future.

ClimateAction 100+

Climate Action 100+ is an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change.

The Principles for Responsible Investment.

The PRI is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. It works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and to support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment and ownership decisions.

Task Force on climate-related financial disclosures

The Financial Stability Board established the TCFD to develop recommendations for more effective climate-related disclosures that could promote more informed investment, credit, and insurance underwriting decisions and, in turn, enable stakeholders to understand better the concentrations of carbon-related assets in the financial sector and the financial system’s exposures to climate-related risks.

CDP (previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project)

CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts.

Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions

Under the World Resources Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development Greenhouse Gas Protocol the scopes are defined as:

Scope 1 – Direct GHG emissions: emissions that occur from sources that are owned or controlled by the company e.g. emissions from vehicles

Scope 2 – Electricity indirect GHG emissions: emissions from the generation of purchased electricity consumed by the company

Scope 3 – Other indirect GHG emissions: emissions that are a consequence of other activities of the company, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the company e.g. waste, a company’s supply chain and for finance companies the emissions derived from the investments made on behalf of clients.

About Rathbone Brothers Plc

Rathbones provides individual investment and wealth management services for private clients, charities, trustees and professional partners. We have been trusted for generations to manage and preserve our clients' wealth. Our tradition of investing and acting responsibly has been with us from the beginning and continues to lead us forward.

Rathbones has over 1,600 staff in 15 UK locations and Jersey; its headquarters is 8 Finsbury Circus, London.


About Rathbone Greenbank Investments

Rathbone Greenbank Investments specialises in creating bespoke ethical, sustainable and impact portfolios on behalf of its individual, charity and professional adviser clients. Greenbank manages over £2.2 billion of funds (as at 30 September 2021) and is part of Rathbones Investment Management Limited.