OPTrust bolsters climate change strategy with new targets and climate data program
Targets 30% reduction in carbon footprint by 2030 in support of net- zero ambitionPosted: December 5, 2023
TORONTO, December 5, 2023 – Today OPTrust released a one-year update to its enhanced climate change strategy, as well as detailed reporting in its 2022-23 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Building on the strategy's roadmap, OPTrust has released the first phase of interim targets as it advances its net-zero ambition, including a 30% reduction in carbon footprint by 2030, from 2022 levels.
"OPTrust's climate change strategy is designed with one purpose in mind: to protect our pension promise over the long term," said Peter Lindley, President and Chief Executive Officer at OPTrust. "We understand the urgency of the climate crisis to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our investments. Building extensive data and meaningful targets into our investment process helps us ensure that we will have a sustainable pension plan for generations to come."
OPTrust's new Climate Metrics Framework allows the fund to track climate considerations across five categories: carbon exposure, climate exposure, stewardship, solutions and process. The data collected will help steer risk management, strategic investment and data enhancement, aligning OPTrust's diverse investment structure with the low-carbon transition.
"At OPTrust, we take an innovative, hands-on approach to identifying climate risk and finding new opportunities in the transition to net-zero," said Chief Investment Officer James Davis. "Whether directly or through our external investment managers, we are active owners who use our seat at the table."
In addition to the interim emissions reduction target, stewardship and process goals are expected to meaningfully improve the integration of climate considerations in OPTrust's investment processes, as well as the coverage and quality of emissions data. By 2025 the fund aims to:
- Implement enhanced climate due diligence on 100% new of direct investments and external investment partner commitments.
- Phase in climate evaluations on core, strategic investment partners.
- Engage with 100% of core, strategic investment partners and higher-risk directly owned assets to advocate for collection and reporting of emissions data.
With net assets of almost $25 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 106,000 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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