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Canadian pension funds with an AUM of $ 1.6 billion call for eco-friendly COVID-19 recovery

The chief executive officers of eight Canadian pension funds, which together represent approximately $ 1.6 trillion in assets under management, are calling for a green recovery from the COVID-19 economic crisis.

In a letter published on Wednesday, executives called on investors and companies to put sustainability and inclusive growth at the center of the economic recovery. The signatories are the CEOs of AIMCo, BCI, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, CPP Investments, HOOPP, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and PSP Investments.

“Our goal is to invest in companies that create a better future for their people and communities while delivering the appropriate risk-adjusted returns so that we can deliver on our promise to our members,” said Jo Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan of $ 204.7 billion, disclosed in a press release accompanying the letter.

The signatories said the COVID-19 pandemic and “other tragic events of 2020” exposed pre-existing business strengths and shortcomings in terms of social inequality, including systemic racism and environmental threats.

They are committed to demanding greater transparency from companies about how issues such as diversity and inclusion, human capital, board effectiveness and climate change can contribute to value creation or erosion.

“It is important that they report relevant ESG data in a standardized manner,” the letter said. “We encourage companies to measure and disclose their performance against key industry-relevant ESG factors using the standards of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the framework of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to assess the ESG – to further standardize related reporting. ”

Endorsement of some of Canada’s largest environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment practices (ESG) investment practices follows a survey last week that found 95 percent of Canadian institutional investors avoided such criteria during the pandemic. It also follows an announcement by the Bank of Canada and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) of a pilot to study the economic impact of moving to a low carbon economy.

The story goes on

Central Bank Governor Tiff Macklem welcomed the support for ESG from the financial sector.

“A strong commitment to environmental sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and principles of good governance will not only make our economy and financial system more resilient, but it is the right thing to do,” he said in the press release accompanying the letter.

“Leadership of Canada’s financial sector is vital as we focus on achieving a lasting and equitable economic recovery from the pandemic.”

Jeff Lagerquist is a Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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