Pathfinder first carbon-neutral KiwiSaver

Fresh off its merger with Alvarium, Pathfinder has announced that its award-winning KiwiSaver fund is going carbon neutral and changing its name.

Wednesday, March 24th 2021, 3:00PM

by Daniel Smith

Pathfinder will become the first KiwiSaver manager to offer carbon-neutral funds – cementing its place as a leader in ethical funds management.

CEO John Berry said eliminating C02 emissions from its KiwiSaver funds is a natural progression for the fund manager.

Berry told Good Returns “What we have agreed to do is to buy carbon credits that are linked to fuel efficient stoves that are being put into homes in sub-Saharan Africa. They have gone into close to a million houses and are massively fuel efficient and safer for the families.”

CIO Paul Brownsey said “The reason why we like this offset programme is because it is good from a perspective of reducing carbon credits, as well as being a really strong social impact case.

“In the developing world around four million people die prematurely every year because of inhaling pollution from cooking stoves.”

But Brownsey says going carbon neutral is not only about stoves, “To have a viable carbon offset policy you actually have to work to reduce your carbon emissions.

“Because of the companies that we invest in and the companies that we don’t we have always had much lower emissions than a lot of the rest of the market. But we thought that we had already gone a long way to reducing our carbon emissions so we wanted to take the next step and make ourselves carbon neutral.

“We have calculated the carbon emissions of all the companies that we invest in. We came up with a number based on our ownership, then increased it by 50% in case we missed any numbers anywhere.

“Then we have contracted to buy these carbon credits which will offset our emissions for the 2020 calendar year.

“Moving forward we are going to do this every year.”

Pathfinder made sure that the cost of becoming carbon neutral did not fall on its investors, Berry says.

“The cost is something that we as the managers are going to bear, it is not going to be passed on to our members. It is just an add-on benefit of investing with us.”

Pathfinder also announced the renaming of its CareSaver KiwiSaver to Pathfinder KiwiSaver.

A fitting rebrand for a fund forging a new, carbon-neutral path in the New Zealand KiwiSaver market.

Tags: Alvarium Wealth carbon offset ethics KiwiSaver Pathfinder Asset Management

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