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A Collective Commitment

2021 Responsible
Investing Report




message from the
president and ceo

Peter Lindley

"Established 15 years ago, OPTrust's Responsible Investing program has evolved in sophistication, impact and reach, owing to the strong expertise of our investment teams and their steadfast approach to identifying and managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. 2021 was a year of significant achievement for OPTrust. We strengthened our ESG capabilities, advanced inclusion, diversity and equity in our portfolios, invested in climate solutions and continued our climate strategy renewal, among other priorities."

Peter Lindley
President and Chief Executive Officer

message from the
chief investment officer

"We believe investing responsibly is critical to the sustainability of our pension plan. Over the past year, we made significant progress building out our tools and capabilities to help embed ESG considerations in everything we do. Our program continues to grow and mature, and it is gratifying to see that our commitment to continuous improvement helps provide peace of mind for our members."

James Davis
Chief Investment Officer

James Davis

message from
sustainable investing and innovation

Alison Loat

"When I joined OPTrust in 2019, I was inspired by the organization's commitment to keep the Plan sustainable for our members and their families. Over the past two years, it's been an honour to build on OPTrust's legacy of investing responsibly with my colleagues in the Sustainable Investing and Innovation team, the Investment Division and the broader organization. As this report suggests, it is a collaborative and rewarding experience and I'd like to thank every member of the team for their efforts and commitment."

Alison Loat
Managing Director, Sustainable Investing and Innovation

responsible investing
2021 highlights

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Voted at 1,744 company meetings in 51 countries

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Engaged 410 companies on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues

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Rolled out our Responsible Investing Partner Evaluation framework to 100% of new externally-managed investments

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Revised our Proxy Voting Guidelines to keep up with evolving best practices in corporate governance

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Initiated an ESG data program to better track and understand our responsible investing performance across the total fund

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Strengthened our private markets ESG capabilities with a sample ESG policy and policy library

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Created toolkits to assist investment teams in advancing inclusion, diversity and equity in their portfolios

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Continued to be an active voice in investor collaborative initiatives, including the Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Task Force, UNPRI Asset Owner Technical Advisory Committee and the Thinking Ahead Institute's climate change working group

case study

575 Princess Street, Kingston, Ontario

OPTrust partnered with three other investors to develop the Geo – the first large multifamily residential building in Kingston to utilize a geothermal energy source, which will significantly lower its carbon footprint by decreasing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

case study

Kinetic, Australia and New Zealand

As Australia and New Zealand's largest mass transit bus operator, Kinetic is investing in lower-emissions transportation and community engagement by establishing the first large-scale electric public bus service in the region and advancing diversity and inclusion within its organization and local communities.

progress through
partnerships

"As the global economy shifts to more sustainable operations, we are keeping our focus on the future and the opportunity to contribute to the innovation that is necessary to enable the transition. The funds we are partnering with are on the front lines of the climate crisis – finding, and allocating capital to, companies whose innovations are playing leading roles in the low carbon transition, across diverse industries such as clean technology, transportation, agriculture and resource efficiency. These investments will contribute to the financial health of our fund while supporting sustainable prosperity for future generations."

Lindsay Saldanha
Associate Portfolio Manager, Sustainable Investing and Innovation

James Kisil
Portfolio Manager, Sustainable Investing and Innovation

Lindsay Saldanha

James Kisil

In 2021, OPTrust voted at 1,744 meetings in 51 countries.

The map below indicates the percentage of votes cast by geography.
climate change strategy

learn more about our
approach to climate change

We have undertaken a number of initiatives to ready our portfolio for a net-zero future.

download the
2021 Responsible Investing Report

OPTrust's Responsible Investing program is integral to our mission to provide sustainable pension security for our members.

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With net assets of over $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 100,000 members.

OPTrust

1 Adelaide Street East, Suite 1200
Toronto, Ontario M5C 3A7

Tel: 416 681-6161 in Toronto
1 800 906-7738 toll-free in Canada

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