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Our approach to Sustainability

Sustainability has always been at the core of our culture and how we run our business. We approach sustainability from first principles. We are sustainable investors above all because it is the right thing to do.

Our clients are overwhelmingly pension schemes. Their members and beneficiaries represent a broad swathe of society in the UK and Europe across industries, income levels, age groups and cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

The youngest members of these schemes may be over 50 years away from retirement. Many of them will have families who will live into the next century. We believe that our clients’ members and their dependents should enjoy a quality of life similar to or better than that possible at present. This should be in a sustainable and less polluted environment and within a fairer society where they can enjoy financial security.

Cardano Annual Sustainability Report

2021 has been a busy year of sustainable change for us as a business, an industry and as individuals. We are proud of the progress we have made integrating ESG risks and opportunities, and real-world sustainability impact into our investment processes, our advice and DC services.


The report covers :

  • Our commitments to targeting net zero
  • What climate risk means for the covenant
  • Sustainable investing
  • Why climate change is at the top of the NOW: Pensions agenda
  • How our stewardship engagement activity is a critical component of our objectives
  • How we are supporting clients with two reporting frameworks
  • What the future holds


The climate crisis is the biggest challenge the global economy faces. And so, there’s much more to do. As we look ahead to 2022, we have in mind that sustainability is a vast topic and we will continue our efforts in doing the right thing for everyone.

More than just the right thing to do

We believe we can contribute to achieving this in the way we invest and manage their assets. Apart from being core to our corporate values and right for our business, our society and our world, there are other, compelling reasons for investing sustainably:

  • achieving better risk-adjusted returns;
  • acquiring new investment opportunities;
  • anticipating and preparing for sustainability-related policy and regulation.

We incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities into all our investment analysis, decisions and advice. It is clear from empirical and academic evidence that incorporating ESG risks leads to superior risk-adjusted returns.

Making a difference

We believe that sustainable investing can contribute to more sustainable capital markets – and a more sustainable world. We focus our resources where we are passionate, knowledgeable and can have an impact. The real-world impacts we have prioritised are:

  • mitigating the climate crisis;
  • promoting a fairer society;
  • developing sustainable emerging markets.


By incorporating real-world impact, we better understand the risks and opportunities associated with the transition to a more sustainable world. Our Sustainable Investment Policy sets out our approach in more detail.

Climate Crisis

The climate crisis is one of the most fundamental challenges confronting the global economy. The climate crisis refers to global warming and the resulting increase in weather events driven by the emissions of greenhouse gases. We support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. We do this by committing our investment portfolios to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with ambitious interim targets.

A fairer society

Our overriding corporate goal is ‘fair pensions for everyone’. We wish to achieve financial security in old age for pension fund members in an equitable and safe society. We are exploring ways to improve society in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands, to foster diversity and inclusiveness, and to improve the well-being and financial security of pension fund members and their families. We respect and support human rights and avoid human rights abuses.

Sustainable development

We support the sustainable development of nations in the emerging world, where impactful change can be most meaningful and who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change transition. We founded Cardano Development in 2010, an independent foundation, to further our work in frontier economies. Cardano Development strives for stable incomes for households and companies in developing countries.

Tackling the UK housing crisis

Cardano is joining forces with social impact investor Big Society Capital to launch a new Request for Proposals: where we call on real estate fund managers to submit their strategies for tackling the UK housing crisis.

Big Society Capital and Cardano (on behalf of our clients) are intending to target investments of up to £195 million combined in 2022 and beyond.

Our plan to address the climate crises

Sustainability has always been at the core of our culture and how we run our business. We approach sustainability from first principles. We are sustainable investors because it is the right thing to do. Read here what our approach is.

Women in bubble looking over green and city

We invest sustainably, here’s how

We believe that our clients’ members and their dependents should enjoy a quality of life similar to or better than that possible at present. Therefore we seek stable, predictable and sustainable returns. Here, we set out our approach across three categories of investment activity.

We measure and minimise our own firm’s carbon emissions. Where we do have emissions, we offset: we are net zero.

Will Martindale – Group Head of Sustainability

Sustainable Investing

We have always embodied a sustainable mindset and policies. The principle for all our current and future investments is, in addition to achieving financial returns, realising positive real-world impact. When making choices for sustainable investing, we apply the UN Principles of Responsible Investing and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Find our more about our Investment solutions


Find out more about our Advisory solutions

We invest sustainably. Our Approach is investment-led, grounded in science and ambitious. We focus on where we can practically make a difference.

Will Martindale – Group Head of Sustainability


Here you will find all our policies regarding Sustainability including our Sustainable Investing Policy and our Corporate Sustainability Policy.

UK Stewardship Code

Cardano has been approved as a signatory to the UK stewardship code. Read our Stewardship Report for the reporting period 1 January to 31 December 2020.

Public Policy Consultations

Here you will find all our Public Policy Consultations.



Our partners

Our partners: IIGCC - Climate Action 100+ - PRI - The Green Bond Principles - Diversity Project - Cadano Development - The Social Bond Principles - Net Zero Managers Initiative - PCAF - UKSIF