John Laing targets 2030 for 70% net-zero alignment

The firm has launched a new sustainability strategy and is among the first infrastructure investors to set such a goal, according to sustainability head Sandrine Lalmant.

John Laing, the British infrastructure investor owned by KKR, has set an interim target of aligning 70 percent of its AUM with net-zero by 2030, as part of its ongoing commitment to reaching full alignment by 2050.

The target forms part of the firm’s new sustainability strategy, which was unveiled in its sustainability report last week. The strategy is centred around six pillars: climate change, resource use, biodiversity, communities, DE&I, and responsible business. These pillars have been incorporated into the investment screening process and will help the firm “determine where best to prioritise and deploy” resources, per the report.

“There’s been a dramatic change in the organisation because we’ve used the sustainability strategy to reframe our investment and asset management processes”, head of sustainability Sandrine Lalmant told New Private Markets. “Using the same framework throughout the investment lifecycle improves internal communication and ensures consistency of approach.”

While the move is by no means mainstream, a handful of infrastructure managers have set interim decarbonisation targets. Sustainable infrastructure specialist Actis, for example, committed to aligning 60 percent of its AUM with net-zero by 2030 earlier this year.

“It’s becoming much more common in private equity, but in infra, I believe we are one of first seven infra investors to set such a target,” Lalmant said. The firm declined to disclose what percentage of its assets currently align with net-zero.

The firm has also scaled up its data collection processes. Ninety percent of the portfolio is now collecting Scope 1 and 2 emissions data, with the entire portfolio estimating Scope 3 emissions. This represents an increase of 60 percent and 40 percent respectively compared with last year.

Despite having set a portfolio-level target relating to climate, the firm has not done so for other areas under the strategy. “For the other pillars, our targets are not cross-portfolio, given variance between asset types, but we will include asset-specific targets in each asset’s ESG action plan,” said Lalmant.