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The ESG Toolkit for Pension Chairs and Trustees

A toolkit of resources designed for pension scheme trustees 

An ESG toolkit for Pension Chairs and Trustees

This toolkit of resources supports chairs and trustees of pension schemes identify the practical steps to embedding ESG considerations into their investment decisions, reporting, and engagement across the investment chain. The toolkit will support trustees in their discussions with fellow trustees, as well as consultants and fund managers, about steps they should take.

Allocating funds to sustainable outcomes

The pensions industry is in both a position of vulnerability and power, being highly exposed to the risks of an unsustainable future and in a strong place to influence more sustainable outcomes. 

While current initiatives are enabling the pensions industry to take steps in directing finance towards sustainable outcomes, the current trajectory remains unsustainable and much more needs to be done to create a tipping point.

Embedding ESG factors into the investment process of a pension scheme is essential for effective risk management, innovation and return on investment. It speaks to the heart of fiduciary duty and it also helps address the diverse demands of beneficiaries which, in turn, can lead to better engagement with their pension and also their employer.

The Toolkit

Maturity map

Enabling trustees to assess where they currently are on their ESG integration journey and how to progress.

Practical examples

Detailing what good looks like and bringing to life the practical steps peers are taking.


Resources to highlight top tips for chairs and trustees on specific elements on ESG integration, including different asset class portfolios.

To find out more about the toolkit and how it can be used, please take a look at this presentation.

The toolkit is a ‘live’ document, meaning we will be continually adding new resources and best practice stories to it. If you have a great example demonstrating practical steps that trustees can take, then please email Kerry.Perkins@a4s.org.


“A4S’s ESG Maturity Map helps put the trustees back in control of the agenda. It enabled me and my peer trustees to challenge and probe further into previous statements and responses from our investment consultants."

Marcus Hurd, Professional Trustee, ndapt

We used the A4S Maturity Map in a Climate Training session with our Board. It was extremely useful to give the Trustees a picture of where we were, vis-à-vis other schemes, and where we might aspire to be across different parameters. It provided a good framework to prompt a thought-provoking discussion around our status, our goals and our specific areas of focus when it comes to climate risk.”

Catherine Claydon, Chair of BBC Pension Scheme and British Steel

“It is often hard to navigate through the plethora of information to pick out the key practical steps that pension scheme trustees should take to integrate ESG considerations into their investment strategy and processes. A4S’s ESG Toolkit for Pension Chairs and Trusteeshas been specifically written for trustees in mind, to help them with this challenge and support our discussions with fellow trusteesand our members”

Russell Picot, Chair of the HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme and Co-Chair of A4S’s Asset Owners Network

“The events of 2020 have reminded everyone that we live in an uncertain world. The impacts of climate change on infrastructure, like floods and subsidence, create risks for investors. Portfolio managers need to quantify and plan for physical risk to achieve steady long-term returns, but, in the short-term, this work will also connect your pension funds with the public who increasingly demand action on the climate emergency. A4S’s ESG Toolkit for Pension Chairs and Trusteeswill help you navigate through a changing landscape.”

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency,and Co-Chair of A4S’s Asset Owners Network

Accounting for Sustainability is a Charitable Incorporated Organization, registered charity number 1195467. Accounting for Sustainability is part of The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation (PWCF) Group of Charities.
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