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OPTrust Becomes a Signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

posting date Posted: May 27, 2010

Toronto (May 27, 2010) – OPTrust announced today that it has become a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The PRI is an investor initiative in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the UN Global Compact with more than 700 signatories worldwide and representing US$ 20 trillion in invested assets.

Signing the PRI is consistent with and in support of OPTrust’s Statement of Responsible Investing Principles (SRIP) which was adopted in March 2009.

OPTrust has many ongoing activities as part of its responsible investing program, including active proxy voting, integration of ESG considerations into investment decision making processes, and corporate engagement through various investor coalitions. As a PRI signatory, OPTrust is gaining access to a best practices framework which will help guide its future activities.

“Signing the PRI represents an important step in OPTrust’s continuing commitment to integrating environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations into its investment activities,” says Morgan Eastman, Chief Investment Officer of OPTrust.

“This commitment is based on the recognition that ESG issues have the potential to affect the performance of OPTrust’s investment portfolios over the long term. Taking appropriate steps to address potential risks in these areas is therefore consistent with OPTrust’s fiduciary duty to plan members, retirees and sponsors,” adds Eastman.

"We are delighted that OPTrust has signed the PRI,” states James Gifford, Executive Director, PRI. “This continues the strong momentum within responsible investment postcrisis. OPTrust's participation will add greatly to the PRI's Canadian activities and it has a lot to offer in terms of integration of ESG issues and active ownership within mainstream pension management.”