The Church Commissioners for England yesterday won two categories in the inaugural IPE Transition Awards: Outstanding Contribution in Transition Management and Leadership in Energy Transition & Net Zero.

Sofia Bartholdy at Church Commissioners receiving Transition award

Sofia Bartholdy, Church Commissioners, receiving the Outstanding Contribution in Transition Management from Josien Piek, Ninety One

The Commissioners have backed the Transition Pathway Initiative’s ASCOR tool, covering 25 countries and providing data and insights into sovereign exposure to climate risk and how governments plan to transition to a low-carbon economy. In 2023, they also adopted a transparent net-zero, divestment and exclusion strategy.

Last year, the Commissioners also sold all remaining oil and gas companies and said that they would vote against all directors at the AGMs of Exxon, Occidental Petroleum, Shell, and Total, in response to their failure to meet climate change objectives.

ERAFP, France’s public sector pension scheme, won the award for Overall Performance. Its core values are defined in a socially responsible investment (SRI) charter adopted by the board in 2006, and it has had an ESG policy from the outset.

One of the steps ERAFP has taken towards meeting its net-zero goals is awarding mandates tracking indices based on the European Union Paris-Aligned Benchmark (PAB) and EU Climate Transition Benchmark (CTB).

The fund also recently adopted a dedicated fossil fuel strategy, whereby from 2030, ERAFP will no longer invest in oil and gas companies developing exploration or production projects, unless they have a credible strategy to maintain temperature rises to 1.5°C by 2100.

APG Asset Management won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Stewardship. The firm has shown significant engagement with the European renewables industry, including areas such as electrical vehicle charging network development and wind farm repowering. It has also introduced science-based net zero targets into its strategy.

 IPE Transition Awards 2024Winner Highly Commended 
Outstanding Contribution in Transition Management Church Commissioners For England ERAFP
Overall Performance ERAFP N/A
Outstanding Contribution to Stewardship APG Asset Management Brunel Pension Partnership
Stewardship Campaign & Strategy Wiltshire Pension Fund ERAFP
Transparency & Communication on Transition Strategies PensionDenmark ERAFP
Leadership in Energy Transition & Net Zero Church Commissioners for England NEST
Private Markets Investments Brunel Pension Partnership PensionDenmark
Public Market Investments Environment Agency Pension Fund Pension Caixa 30

“IPE is commended for taking up transition to net zero as a thematic area around which to build awards criteria, considering the urgency and importance of this topic to society,” a judge noted.

The awards followed a day-long IPE Transition Conference, which explored key issues and challenges presented by the transition to a low-carbon economy from an institutional investment, regulation and policy perspective.

A full list of the Transition award winners, IPE awards’ scoring methodology and judging is available here.