Borough Pension Fund Bets Big on Renewables

£80 million switch being made to reduce investment in fossil fuel industries

An offshore wind farm. Picture: David Dixon

The council’s pension fund is planning to further reduce investments in fossil fuel-based industries and switch funding to green energy projects.

It has announced plans to invest up to £80m in two energy transition funds based on non-traditional renewable projects such as battery storage and green hydrogen.

The Wandsworth pension fund, which also includes Richmond Council’s, said that, subject to due diligence, it intended to invest in the Octopus Energy Transition Fund and the Sandbrook Climate Infrastructure Fund. A maximum of £50m will be invested in one fund, with the total across both not exceeding £80m.

Finance department assistant director Paul Guilliotti said the fund already had significant investments in traditional renewable energy projects – involving generation – and was looking for strong returns and the opportunity to diversify its portfolio.

The Octopus fund will focus on hydrogen, the grid, storage, supply chains and local renewable generation, while the Sandbrook fund will focus on generation, the grid, storage, supply chains and energy efficiency.

Wandsworth’s total fund value is £2.6bn. It has set a net-zero target of 2050, with the goal of achieving a 60 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030.

If the fund fails to perform well any shortfall in funding would by law need to be made up by local council taxpayers.

It’s important the pension fund performs well and gives solid returns on investments - as

Wandsworth and Richmond councils operate a joint pension fund following the 2016 decision to combine the two sets of employees into a shared staffing arrangement (SSA) with a single workforce serving the two councils. The fund is supported by contributions from employees – with most members of staff contributing more than seven per cent of their salaries into the scheme.

The Chairman of the Joint Pensions Committee Cllr Norman Marshall said, “We continually strive to improve the performance of our pension fund so that it can fund our commitments without placing the burden on local taxpayers.

“Investing in renewable energy is not just good for the environment. It delivers a good return for the fund and will also help deliver energy self-sufficiency and security which is crucially important given the reprehensible actions of Russia in Ukraine.”

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


October 26, 2022