11. 12. 2023


The investor group engaging with CEZ Group in the framework of Climate Action 100+ (Generali Investments, Robeco) have welcomed the announcement that the Science Based Target Initiative has validated overall net-zero, near-term and long-term science-based emission reduction targets of the CEZ Group as being aligned with a “1.5°C” Paris Agreement goal.

The SBTi assessed CEZ’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all three Scope categories. CEZ addresses Scope 1 (direct emissions from production, industrial processes, and company-owned vehicles) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions associated with the consumption of purchased energy - electricity, heat, steam or cooling which are not generated directly in the company) as part of its plan to reduce the intensity of its emissions 83% per MWh by 2033 from a 2019 base year. In the Scope 3 category (indirect emissions which are related to the company’s activities, and which originate from sources outside the company’s control or ownership), CEZ wants to reduce emissions by 58.8% within the same timeframe. CEZ Group commits to reach net-zero GHG emissions across the value chain by 2040.

Francois Humbert, Lead Engagement Manager in Generali Investments said: “Such an achievement, as the SBTi 1.5°C validation in October 2023, following the well below 2°C in June 2022 (see previous Joint Statement here), is the result of a long-term partnership with the company started in 2018, understanding the mutual benefit of a Just Transition. While we have been very much involved in the initial introduction of the SBTI methodology to CEZ for the well below 2°C achievement, CEZ has naturally continued the journey, seeing the benefits of such recognition for the issuer, submitting their updated climate strategy to SBTi for a 1.5°C approval. This is the demonstration that collaborative engagement generates virtuous circles for all parties, with lower efforts and higher efficiency for all. Such a result for a company having 4.3 GW of coal in 2022 (from 8.1GW in 2015 to be phased out by 2033) and 32% of coal in the energy mix is a great example for all issuers in countries with an energy mix highly reliant on coal. Generali Investments is glad to have been involved in the whole process: highlighting the importance of SBTi validation at the 2020 CEZ Annual General Meeting, and organizing a subsequent workshop between CEZ and CDP, suggesting our fellow CA100+ investors to join as well. In the framework of our CA100+ discussion, as co-lead, we have also been supporting CEZ in their pursuit for an alignment with SBTi expectations. We will continue to work jointly with CEZ towards a complete coal phase out possibly achieved before 2033. We are also glad the progresses made by CEZ have been reflected in CA100+ benchmark.”

Peter van der Werf, Head of Engagement  in Robeco said: “We commend CEZ for setting externally-verified science-based targets in the near- and long-term as part of its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2040 in line with a 1.5°C pathway. This is a great outcome of our engagement with CEZ as co-lead of the Climate Action 100+ initiative over the past three years, and is in line with Robeco’s commitment to decarbonize our investments in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. We encourage CEZ to continue aligning its decarbonization strategy and capital investments with its new ambitious targets. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with CEZ in the pursuit of a net zero emissions future.”

Marco Marinucci, ESG Officer in Generali Investments CEE said: “The transparency efforts showed by CEZ in disclosing targets, ambitions and challenges continues a long tradition from this company on considering the dialogue with stakeholders an added value, which is recognized by long-term investors. Further milestones can be achieved focusing on the social dimension.”

“I am very pleased that CEZ has received a validation of its short and long-term decarbonization targets from SBTi. External validation compliant with 1.5°C” scenario is increasingly being requested by institutional investors and banks. CEZ Group has already made great progress in decarbonization. Scope 1 emissions were reduced by 33% to 18.2 m t CO2e in 2022 compared to 27.2 m t CO2e in 2019, representing a cumulative emission savings of 20.8 m t CO2e during these three years. We are committed to continue the journey. Our strategic target is to decarbonize our generation portfolio and to reach net-zero by 2040. I value the ongoing dialog with investors of CA100+ initiative. They clearly communicate their expectations and helped us recognize the importance of external validation by SBTi.” says Barbara Seidlova, Head of Investor Relations at ČEZ.

SBTi: The SBTi is an initiative which defines and promotes ambitious science-based approaches to setting climate targets, provides technical and expert support to companies wishing to set climate targets, and independently evaluates these proposed corporate targets. More than 6,700 companies from all around the world have currently registered their climate targets with SBTi and over 4,000 have their science-based targets validated. The initiative is the result of collaboration between the international entities CDP (a not-for-profit charity which runs a global information system for investors, companies, cities, countries and regions to manage their environmental impacts), the United Nations Global Compact (a pact to encourage businesses and companies around the world to implement sustainable and socially responsible measures and report on their implementation), the World Resources Institute (a global not-for-profit organization which works with political, business and civic leaders to research, design and implement practical solutions which improve people’s lives while enabling nature to thrive) and the World Wildlife Fund (international organization dedicated to conserving biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources, reduction of pollution and stemming of climate change).

CA100+: Climate Action 100+ is an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. 700 investors, responsible for over $68 trillion in assets under management, are engaging companies on improving climate change governance, cutting emissions and strengthening climate-related financial disclosures. The work of the initiative is coordinated by five regional investor networks: the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC), Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). It is supported by a global Steering Committee. Launched in December 2017, Climate Action 100+ garnered immediate worldwide attention. Designed by investors for investors, the initiative aims to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change.

CEZ Group is one of the most important economic entities in the Czech Republic. It operates in Western and Central Europe. The main business activities are the generation, distribution, trade and sale of electricity and heat, the trade and sales of natural gas, the provision of complex energy services and coal mining. It is one of the ten largest listed utilities in Europe with 30,200 employees.

Generali Insurance Asset Management S.p.A. Società di gestione del risparmio (“GIAM”): GIAM, part of Generali Investments’ ecosystem, partners with clients of all sizes to develop and manage customised LDI solutions to help them achieve their long-term investment goals. They offer Asset Liability Management (ALM), Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) and Capital Management, and benefit from extensive proprietary research and ESG analysis resources. The firm has managed bespoke segregated LDI mandates for pension schemes and insurers since 2005 and have managed Generali Group insurance portfolios and pension mandates since 1998.  GIAM has been involved in CA100+ since 2018.

Robeco is an international asset manager that uses a combination of fundamental, sustainable, and quantitative research. We offer our clients an extensive selection of active investment strategies that cover a broad range of asset classes. As of June 2023, we managed €181 bn in assets, €178 bn of which is in ESG-integrated strategies. To manage climate-related risks and opportunities we act as responsible stewards to our investments. Our Active Ownership team engages with companies on how companies manage climate-related risks. Robeco has been a signatory of the Climate Action 100+ initiative since its launch and we act as co-lead investor with nine focus companies.