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Varma Becomes First Finnish Pension Fund to Secure SBTi Validation

Varma has become the first Finnish pension fund to receive official validation for its emission reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). This makes Varma the third pension company worldwide to have its science-based targets validated. Hanna Kaskela, Senior Vice President of Sustainability and Communications at Varma, said: “It is very important to us that our climate targets are based on science. The climate is warming at an alarming rate, and emissions must be reduced immediately if we want to stop global warming. We want to be sure that our targets are aligned with international climate agreements.” Varma’s science-based target entails a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to its own operations – Scope 1 and 2 – by 2030 compared to 2021 levels. Further, Varma has set an “ambitious” target for its indirect emissions – Scope 3 – aiming to increase the share of companies committed to the SBTi in its investment portfolio to 51 % by 2027. The pension fund’s portfolio consists of listed equities, corporate bonds, and real estate funds, constituting 45% of its €57.4 billion (US$60.5 billion) investment holdings. “We encourage companies to set their own climate targets,” added Kaskela. “When our investee companies set ambitious emission reduction targets for their own operations, our overall emissions also decrease.” The SBTi is a collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute, and the World Wide Fund for Nature. It supports companies in setting and validating short- and long-term targets for emissions reduction.

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