PFA’s work with climate goals depends on the ability to measure and monitor our equity investments’ CO2 emissions. This is not straightforward as there is still a lack of adequate data for many assets. Therefore, as a default, PFA only measures systematic CO2 emissions from the equity portfolio and not from e.g. the bond portfolio or our alternatives.
PFA’s assessments and benchmarks are based on data from the MSCI ACWI (All Country World Index), which annually publishes estimates for the CO2 emissions of individual companies. Even though MSCI is currently the market standard for measuring CO2 emissions from an equity portfolio, the data used is still subject to a degree of uncertainty. This is partly because a lot of data is retrospective and may be a year or two old; and partly because there are still many companies that do not even publish data on their CO2 emissions. In the latter case, MSCI itself assesses emissions by using comparable companies in the same industry and locality.
MSCI’s assessment takes into account three different aspects of a company’s CO2 emissions. These are known as ‘Scopes’. While there is reasonably reliable data for Scopes 1 and 2, Scope 3 is subject to great uncertainty and is difficult to calculate. Consequently, it is not currently included in the measurement or benchmark of PFA Climate Plus.
• Scope 1 is the CO2 emitted by a company’s activities – e.g. manufacturing, etc.
• Scope 2 is the CO2 for which a company is indirectly responsible – e.g. CO₂ from energy produced for the company.
• Scope 3 is the CO2 emitted by the company’s other indirect activities: in other words, sources that companies do not own, control or manage. This might be, for example, the application of a company’s products.