OPTRUST RELEASES 2019 RESPONSIBLE INVESTING REPORT INCREASED INVESTMENTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY, SUSTAINABLE REAL ESTATE AND ONTARIO GREEN BONDSPosted: May 12, 2020
TORONTO, May 12, 2020 – OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, released its 2019 Responsible Investing (RI) Report, Looking to the Future. The report details the Plan’s RI results and philosophy, as well as the introduction of the new Sustainable Investing and Innovation (SII) team that will build on OPTrust’s record of responsible investing. Highlights of the report and OPTrust’s 2019 RI results include:
- Received an A+ rating for the Fund’s strategy and governance approach to responsible investing from the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
- Expanded OPTrust’s Green Bond holdings with a $100 million investment in Ontario government Green Bonds
- Awarded top ranking in the GRESB 2019 Global Sustainable Index for portfolio company Globalvia
- Maintained an active ownership program, including voting at more than 2,000 company meetings in over 50 countries
- Partnered with the Investor Leadership Network, and committed to accelerating progress on gender diversity issues in the companies and other partners in which OPTrust invests
- Strengthened reporting in accordance with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
We are focused on sustainability, of the Plan and of the planet,” said OPTrust President and CEO, Peter Lindley. “This is reflected in our commitment to overcome the unique challenges we face as long-term investors for the financial benefit of our members and society.”
The report details OPTrust’s progress in measuring total fund exposure to climate risk. In 2019, OPTrust worked with an external partner to conduct their first bottom-up climate risk assessment on a near-total fund basis. This includes beginning to measure and disclose portfolio emissions and establishing a baseline.
“As a pension plan, we are long-term investors and our role is to look far ahead at challenges and opportunities that could affect our members’ retirement security across multiple generations,” said OPTrust CIO, James Davis. “The world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace, but our approach to responsible investing embraces that change and recognizes challenges also bring opportunities.”
OPTrust reached another milestone in 2019 through the introduction of the Sustainable Investing and Innovation team. The team will focus on managing long-term sustainability issues through a capital allocation mandate. With an initial focus on innovations arising from climate change, the SII team will enable OPTrust to more proactively identify and act on emerging climate risks and opportunities.
With net assets of almost $22 billion, OPTrust invests and manages one of Canada's largest pension funds and administers the OPSEU Pension Plan (including OPTrust Select), a defined benefit plan with over 96,000 members. OPTrust was established to give plan members and the Government of Ontario an equal voice in the administration of the Plan and the investment of its assets through joint trusteeship. OPTrust is governed by a 10-member Board of Trustees, five of whom are appointed by OPSEU and five by the Government of Ontario.
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