Responsible Investing

OPTrust's responsible investing strategy is integral to our mission of paying pensions today, preserving pensions for tomorrow.


Why Responsible Investing Matters to Us


We recognize that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors can materially impact investment risk and return, as well as OPTrust's reputation. We strive to identify, assess and manage related concerns and opportunities throughout our investment process.

ENVIRONMENTAL

Long-term, sustainable economic growth necessitates responsible stewardship of natural resources, and firms embedding these considerations into their operations benefit from improved resource efficiency, adherence to regulatory requirements and shifting consumer preferences. Moreover, climate change is one of the most significant risks facing the world and its complexity requires innovative thinking to find solutions. As the world transitions to new energy sources and is impacted by extreme weather events, keeping environmental considerations at the forefront of investment decision-making is key to long-term success.

SOCIAL

When workplaces lag on health and safety, labour or diversity practices, this can impact their reputation, performance and ability to attract and retain talent. We advocate for responsible treatment of human capital and communities, and are committed to supporting inclusion and equitable treatment of underrepresented groups within our organization, at our investee companies and in the broader business community.

GOVERNANCE

As a long-term investor, OPTrust believes that good governance practices contribute to stronger long-term performance and enhance shareholder value. We actively exercise our voting rights for public securities held within our portfolios according to OPTrust's Proxy Voting Guidelines. The Guidelines outline our expectations on topics such as board composition, executive compensation, shareholder rights and the disclosure of ESG information.

In our private markets investments we hold more substantial ownership stakes, granting us governance rights and board representation that allow us to play a more active role in asset management.

Our Responsible Investing Journey


Responsible investing is the product of a natural evolution of our approach to investing. Our journey began with a risk-management lens, but we're now looking beyond just managing ESG risks to also find new opportunities at the intersection of sustainability and innovation.

Highlights include:

  • 1997

    OPTrust Trustees adopt first proxy voting guidelines

  • 2007

    ESG integrated into Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures

  • 2008

    Two dedicated staff positions established to oversee ESG integration

  • 2010

    OPTrust becomes a signatory of UN Principles for Responsible Investment

  • 2014

    First annual Responsible Investing Report released

  • 2016

    Endorsed the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations

  • 2017

    OPTrust divests from tobacco firms

  • 2020

    Launch of new Sustainable Investing and Innovation team

  • 2021

    Instituted framework for evaluating responsible investing in externally managed investments

Looking up to tree canopy

Climate Change


The global path to net zero

The world economy is on a highly complex, multi-decade transition to one that produces fewer greenhouse gases to prevent dire consequences to our planet, industries and way of life.

To deliver on our mandate over the long term, OPTrust is committed to building a portfolio that addresses the risks and seizes the opportunities presented by climate change and the global transition to a net-zero economy.

Learn more about OPTrust's approach to climate change

Guiding Documents


Our commitment to responsible investing is embedded in our governance and reflected in our Board-approved policies.