Responsible Investment

We aim to offer advisers and their clients responsible investment choices and challenge companies we invest in to behave more sustainably and responsibly.


Our Retirement Account and workplace pensions offer a range of multi-asset funds with integrated ESG considerations, designed to support your clients varying investment needs.  


It’s been impossible to ignore the rise of ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing in recent years as it has grown in prominence.  Here is a useful reminder of what it is and what it entails.

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Our multi-asset funds integrate ESG factors across Retirement Account and Workplace pensions. Read our interactive guide to find out more.

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Our Retirement Account offers a range of multi-asset funds with integrated ESG considerations, designed to support your clients varying investment needs. 

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Our Workplace pensions offers a range of Pension Investment Approaches (PIA) with integrated ESG considerations, designed to support your clients varying investment needs.

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Pensions have the power to help build a more sustainable future as well as growing people’s savings. Our responsible investment approach aims to benefit your clients, the planet and society.  Watch our short film to see how we’re putting our approach into action.

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image of scottish widow and wind turbines
  • We’ve set out our Responsible Investment and Stewardship Framework, supported by Stewardship and Exclusions polices. They guide our decisions on how we invest, how we select fund managers, and how we challenge the managers of companies we invest in on our customers’ behalf to improve the way they operate.

    Read our Responsible Investment and Stewardship Framework (PDF, 1MB)

    Challenging the companies we invest in to make positive changes in their business practices is at the heart of how we manage investments to create sustainable benefits in the long term for our customers, the economy, the environment and society. By doing this, we aim to protect and maximise our customers’ investments in the long term.​

    Read our Stewardship Policy (PDF, 1MB)

    We won’t invest in companies that fail to meet our strict standards and we’re selling our investments in the worst offenders in areas like coal production, controversial weapons manufacturing or tobacco manufacturing or distribution.

    Our Exclusions Policy (PDF, 715KB)
    Read our case for tobacco divestment (PDF, 748KB)

    Great minds don't think alike: Cognitive diversity in the boardroom

    Our report outlines why we believe cognitive diversity on company boards is important to the long-term success of the businesses we invest in on behalf of customers, helping them make better decisions and drive growth.

    Read the highlights (PDF, 562KB)
    Read the full report (PDF, 1MB)

  • Climate change has far-reaching implications in all areas of our lives, including our savings and investments. Moving to net zero will safeguard customers’ investments from the risks associated with climate change while taking advantage of related investment opportunities, as well as helping to power the UK’s transition to a green economy.

    Read our approach to climate change (PDF, 2MB)

    We’ve published our first Climate Action Plan which sets out our roadmap to halve the carbon footprint of all our investments by 2030 on our path to net zero emissions by 2050 for the benefit of our customers and the environment. 

    Read our climate action plan (PDF, 3MB)

    Climate action plan 2022 progress update (PDF, 1MB) 

    Achieving our net zero targets

    Our specialist Scottish Widows ‘building block’ funds are designed to help us achieve our net zero targets. SW Global Environmental Fund and the decarbonising benchmark funds outlined in this guide are not currently used in our Pension Portfolio Funds which underpin PIA. SW Environmental Fund is available in our self-select range for workplace members and in Retirement Account as a standalone fund. ​

    Read our guide (PDF, 4MB)

    Our report, The Just Way

    The case for a Just Climate Transition, examines how job creation, productivity enhancements, and reducing inequality are all possible in the transition to a low carbon economy. But without considering the challenges and risk to communities, workers and people, these opportunities may never be realised. We advocate for a ‘just transition’ that is as fair and inclusive as possible as the world decarbonises. ​

    Read our just transition report (PDF, 3MB)

    Nature and Biodiversity: The Pensions Imperative

    In our report, ‘Nature and biodiversity: the pensions imperative’ we explore why understanding the value of nature and taking steps to preserve and restore it, is key to a sustainable and prosperous future. By exploring the risks and the opportunities that degradation of nature and biodiversity loss present to our societies and economies, we set out how we can all turn ambition into action on this key issue.

    Read our nature and biodiversity report (PDF, 3MB)

    Our Approach to Deforestation

    Deforestation is one of the drivers of climate change and can lead to degradation of nature and loss of biodiversity. It can threaten businesses and investors directly or be hidden within their supply chains, leading to disruption, financial loss and transition risk. That’s why we’re taking steps to understand deforestation risk and developing our approach to mitigating it.

    Read our approach to deforestation report (PDF, 2MB)

  • Extensive Research

    We’ve carried out independent research to better understand our customers’ views on responsible investment, their priorities and needs, so we’re better able to support them.

    ESG - What resonates with pension investors (PDF, 1MB)
    Scottish Widows 2020 Retirement Report (PDF, 2MB)


    To address environmental risks and opportunities in our investments we’ve worked with our appointed investment manager BlackRock to create an innovative climate transition fund. 

    Explore more (PDF, 2MB)

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Our latest Responsible Investment and Stewardship Report outlines the progress we made in 2022 to deliver on our plans to benefit our customers’ investments and broader society.

Read the highlights (PDF, 566KB)

Read the full report (PDF, 9MB)

Read the 2021 report (PDF, 8MB)

Read the 2020 report (PDF, 55KB)

Our 2022 TCFD Report

Our 2022 TCFD Report

Our 2022 TCFD Report (Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) has now been published. It’s been prepared in line with the recommendations of the TCFD, an independent group from across the G20 who developed these recommendations to improve and increase reporting of climate-related financial information.

Read now (PDF, 6MB) (opens in a new tab)
Signatory of UK Stewardship Code 2021 logo

We’re one of the first signatories to the Stewardship Code 2020 and continue to keep our signatory status. The Code sets a high standard for those investing money on behalf of UK savers. Signatories must demonstrate how they’ve acted on their policies and made an impact. 

Occupation Pensions Stewardship Council logo

We are inaugural members of the Occupational Pensions Stewardship Council, which aims to promote and facilitate high standards of stewardship of pension assets.

Occupational Pensions

How we can help

See our retirement account investment options in more detail

See our retirement account investment options in more detail

Look at the range of competitive options we offer.

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See our workplace pension investment options in more detail

See our workplace pension investment options in more detail

Look at the range of competitive options we offer.

Investment Options

Investment Perspectives

Investment Perspectives

Topical insight and market news from our investment experts and partners.

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