Canadian Investment Review

OPTrust highlights climate change, gender diversity in report

Written by Benefits Canada Staff on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 at 11:12 am

Green grass us dollar symbol against blue sky © Sergey Nivens / 123RF Stock PhotoesThe OPSEU Pension Trust is highlighting its responsible investing efforts in its fourth yearly report.

The report’s key themes included the pension fund’s focus on better measuring its exposure to climate change risk and promoting of gender diversity.

On climate change, the OPTrust is aiming to get more and better quality information from portfolio companies on these issues. As well, the fund adjusted its proxy-voting practices on related issues, supporting 20 shareholder proposals in four countries on issues like emissions goals and assessment of climate impact.

As far as climate change reporting is concerned, the guidelines from the task force on climate-related financial disclosures has become the industry gold standard, noted the report. “During the year, we engaged with external managers, investee companies and our investment teams to better understand their approach to climate change and commitment to the TCFD recommendations.”

The fund also aligned its proxy-voting guidelines to its commitments to the 30% Club, an investor alliance pushing for 30 per cent of board seats and executive management positions to be held by women by 2022.

“As long-term investors, we are very mindful of slow-rising risk factors such as climate change that often get missed by short-term investors,” said James Davis, OPTrust’s chief investment officer, in a press release. “We’re at the beginning of our climate journey. However, our goal is to reduce climate risk exposure without negatively impacting the fund today and years in the future.”

This is an excerpt from an article originally that appeared on CIR’s companion site, Benefitscanada.com. Read the full story here.

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