PME has targeted a 25% reduction in carbon emissions from its equity holdings by 2020.

The €44.5bn pension fund for the metal and electro-technical engineering sector said it would engage with the 10 companies responsible for the bulk of emissions in its portfolio.

PME added that it would consider excluding companies from its investment universum if the dialogue failed to produce results.

According to the metal scheme, the reduction target is part of a new sustainable investment policy.

The pension fund said that total carbon emissions from its equity allocation – 38% of its total portfolio – had slightly increased to 2.98m tons last year.

However, relative to assets under management, emissions dropped from 23.4kg to 21.2kg of carbon dioxide per €100 of invested assets.

It attributed the decrease to the termination of a relationship with a manager with a high-emission portfolio.

Last October, MN, PME’s asset manager, indicated that it a reduction target was not on its agenda.

“We don’t want to commit to such a target, as we don’t want it becoming a goal in itself,” said Karlijn van Lierop, head of responsible investment, in an interview with IPE’s Dutch sister publication PensioenPro.

During recent years, the €382bn civil service scheme ABP, the €185bn healthcare pension fund PFZW, and the €54bn scheme for the building industry BpfBOUW also announced concrete carbon reduction targets.

ABP and BpfBouw, who share asset manager APG, also aimed to decrease their CO2 footprint by a quarter by 2020. ABP said it expected to divest its stake in 1,500 companies to achieve its target.

PFZW, however, was even more ambitious, aiming for a 50% reduction through divesting its holdings in 200 mining and energy firms as well as steelworks.