OPTrust Maintains Long-Term Focus, Releases 2020 Responsible Investing Report

OPTrust Maintains Long-Term Focus, Releases 2020 Responsible Investing Report

TORONTO, May 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today OPTrust released its 2020 Responsible Investing Report, detailing its continued long-term commitment to sustainable investing throughout the volatility of the past year. 

OPTrust is one of Canada's largest defined benefit pension plans. (CNW Group/OPTrust)
OPTrust is one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans. (CNW Group/OPTrust)

OPTrust’s responsible investing accomplishments in 2020 include updating its Statement of Responsible Investing Principles and expanding the emphasis on diversity and inclusion in its Proxy Voting Guidelines, developing a cross-portfolio approach to integrate responsible investing in all its externally managed investments, and building an investing program to allocate capital to opportunities at the intersection of sustainability and innovation.

“Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues create financial and reputational risks, but we also believe that solving these challenges presents significant investment opportunities,” said Alison Loat, Managing Director of Sustainable Investing and Innovation at OPTrust. “We are committed to continually improving the integration of responsible investing principles across the organization, and to finding opportunities that arise when tackling pressing global challenges like climate change.”

In 2020, OPTrust also initiated a renewal of its Climate Change Action Plan and completed carbon risk assessments, including measuring the carbon footprint of its public equity, fixed income, private equity and infrastructure portfolios. Further, the Sustainable Investing and Innovation team also built relationships with sustainability-themed funds, with a focus in the climate space, and made its first investment in early 2021 in a sustainable real assets fund.

Despite the challenges posed by global lockdowns, the organization also continued its work as an active investor. In 2020, OPTrust voted at 2,028 company meetings in 52 countries and engaged 543 companies on key ESG issues. The organization’s responsible investing efforts earned it an A+ for its strategy and governance approach to responsible investing from the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

“Responsible investing is integral to our mission of paying pensions today and preserving pensions for tomorrow,” said Peter Lindley, President and Chief Executive Officer at OPTrust. “While we’ve been on a responsible investing journey for many years, the events of 2020 have given a renewed sense of urgency to the importance of keeping long-term Plan sustainability at the forefront of our investment decision-making and sustainable investing is a key part of that effort.”

Read OPTrust’s full Responsible Investing Report here.

ABOUT OPTRUST

With net assets of over $23 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 98,000 members. OPTrust is a global investor in a broad range of asset classes including Canadian and foreign equities, fixed income, real estate, infrastructure and private markets, and has a team of highly experienced investment professionals located in Toronto, London and Sydney.

MEDIA CONTACT, Claire Prashaw, OPTrust, Director, Public Affairs, 1-416-681-3617, cprashaw@optrust.com 

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