Building New Norms – responsible investment strategy from NEST

12 October 2018

According to a report from NEST on responsible investment, 73 per cent of savers believe it's important for pension schemes to consider environmental, social and governance risks when putting together a portfolio.


Mark Fawcett, NEST CIO said:

“Generating interest in pensions is hard at any time, engaging savers who haven’t made an active choice to join a pension scheme is even harder. We, and others across the industry are beginning to take a closer look at how we can better connect people to their pension savings.

The research we present in this report shows that responsible investment, in all its forms, may be a way of achieving this. Our findings show that we can build members’ trust and confidence in saving by improving awareness and understanding of how we invest responsibly.”


The report reveals that more workers are now considering the quality of an employer’s pension when deciding where to work. 37% in 2017 compared to 15% in 2014.

However, engagement in pensions is still low. Across the working population, 17% of workers can’t name their pension provider.


A key focus of the responsible investment report, 'Building New Norms' is to present the thinking on how NEST might communicate its responsible investment strategy to millions of members and think about channels for engagement and feedback. It intends to use some of the information presented in this report to create a summary report specifically for members.

NEST does recognise the vast challenge of being able to communicate to and effectively engage with over 7 million members. However, with real commitment and the help of stakeholders NEST hope this is a challenge it can successfully overcome. 

The report covers five key topics:

Thinking about members - looks at the key findings from some of the research NEST has done with members over the year.

ESG issues - how NEST is addressing specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues

Creating better functioning markets - looks at how NEST has engaged with stakeholders and industry bodies and the contribution it is making to help raise standards across the investment industry

Active ownership - provides a snapshot of key voting decisions and engagements undertaken with investee companies over the year

Looking ahead - describes NEST priorities over the next year


The full report Building New Norms is available to download.