OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans with $109 billion in assets announced a new commitment, aiming to reduce the carbon intensity of its portfolio by 20% by 2025.

In a statement announcing the new target, Satish Rai, Chief Investment Officer at OMERS, said:

“Setting an ambitious, but tangible, short-term goal is critical to ensure our approach remains fit-for-purpose and that today’s leadership is accountable. The complexities of climate change and its impacts means companies must evolve their strategy to stay ahead of the curve.”

OMERS completed its first total portfolio carbon footprinting exercise based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), measuring the carbon footprint across the company’s investments. In addition to assessing total portfolio emissions, the initiative also provided OMERS with insight into areas of carbon intensity, as well as a benchmark against future progress.

According to OMERS, its approach to climate change aligns with the pillars of its sustainable investing framework, encompassing Integration, Engagement, Collaboration and Adaptation. In pursuing its new goal, the company said that it will engage with portfolio companies to promote sustainable business practices and to support their transition to a low-carbon economy, as well as actively allocate capital to lower-carbon opportunities.

Rai added:

“We all have a role to play in delivering a more sustainable future. Factoring the risks posed by climate change into our investment decisions is essential to ensure that we continue to generate stable returns for our members over the long-term. We have made this commitment because we know that integrating ESG factors into our investment approach is a key part of delivering value for future generations.”