Responsible Investment

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



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 or controversial weapons manufacturing. ​

Read our Exclusions Policy -​ (PDF 5MB)

UK Stewardship Code 2021 Image

We’re one of the first signatories to the 2020 Stewardship Code. 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.

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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)

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We set out to address environmental risks in our investments, as well as offering our customers the potential for better returns. Our solution was to create an innovative climate transition fund, with our investment partner BlackRock, which favours companies making the most progress on lowering their carbon emissions and improving water and waste management. The fund gives our pension savers access to the global stock market but with significantly better climate impact.

Find out more - (PDF 2MB)(opens in a new tab)


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 more - (PDF 2MB)



When it comes to having a direct positive impact on the planet or aligning moral values and beliefs, impact and ethical investing come into play. We explain how our approach to environmental impact and ethical investing could help customers to make a difference with their savings. 

Read more - (PDF 3MB)

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Scottish Widows Responsible Investment and Stewardship Report

Our first annual Responsible Investment and Stewardship Report outlines the progress we made in 2020 to deliver on our plans to benefit our customers’ investments and broader society.

Read more (PDF 55KB)(opens in a new tab)

Responsible Investment Q&A

In this short Q&A, Head of Pension Investments Maria Nazarova-Doyle outlines our approach to responsible investment.

How we can help

See our retirement account investment options in more detail

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