Canada’s eight largest pensions issue call for ESG disclosure

Canada's eight largest pension funds, representing about C$1.6 trillion in assets under management, issued a call to companies and investors to provide consistent and complete environmental, social, and governance information.

Canada’s eight largest pension funds, representing about C$1.6 trillion in assets under management, issued a call to companies and investors to provide consistent and complete environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information to strengthen investment decisions and better assess and manage ESG risk exposures. The pension funds are AIMCo, BCI, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, CPPIB, HOOPP, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and PSP Investments.

PRESS RELEASE

VICTORIA, BC, EDMONTON, AB, TORONTO and MONTREAL, Nov. 25, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, the CEOs of Canada’s eight leading pension plan investment managers, representing approximately $1.6 trillion in assets under management, are joining forces to help shape a future defined by more sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

For the first time, the CEOs of AIMCo, BCI, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, CPP Investments, HOOPP, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and PSP Investments have issued a joint statement. Together, they call on companies and investors to provide consistent and complete environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information to strengthen investment decision-making and better assess and manage their collective ESG risk exposures.

The signatories further commit to strengthening ESG disclosure within their own organizations and to allocate capital to investments best placed to deliver long-term sustainable value creation.

The joint statement declares, “How companies identify and address issues such as diversity & inclusion, human capital, and climate change can significantly contribute to value creation or erosion. Companies have an obligation to disclose their key business risks and opportunities to financial markets and should provide financially relevant, comparable and decision-useful information.”

The signatories recognize that while companies face a myriad of disclosure frameworks and requests, it is vital that they report relevant ESG data in a standardized way to provide clarity and improve data flow. They ask that companies measure and disclose their performance on material, industry-relevant ESG factors by adopting the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

The statement recognizes the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent events that have highlighted long-standing inequalities revealing business strengths and shortcomings concerning social inequity, including systemic racism, environmental threats, and board effectiveness. The signatories call on companies and investment partners to seize the tremendous opportunity available at this historic moment to actively take steps to drive lasting change.

“We are inspired by this opportunity to help confront the most urgent challenges facing our global community and create more inclusive economic growth. We encourage other parties committed to our vision to join us on this journey towards a more sustainable future for all,” the statement concludes.