Responsible investing is a crucial and integral part of every investment – from deal sourcing, due diligence, and execution to monitoring and asset management. By integrating environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) considerations throughout the investment process, we remain ahead of the risk and opportunity curve, positioning UPP for strong, sustainable long-term performance.
GHG emissions by
with interim emissions reduction targets:
16.5% by 2025
60% by 2030
This means our investment portfolio will emit minimal
greenhouse gases, and 100% of the remaining emissions will be offset by 2040.
We see this commitment as central to delivering long-term value, and an essential beacon for our evolving investment strategy.
Our Climate Action Plan outlines the steps and tools we will take to achieve our net-zero target and manage climate-related investment risks and opportunities, while helping drive the broader global transition to a resilient net-zero world.
The Action Plan speaks to two deeply connected objectives for UPP – growing a strong, resilient fund that secures retirement benefits for our members today and far into the future – and investing in a stable, healthy world for our members to retire into.
As a long-term investor, UPP has a responsibility to promote the health of the capital markets and the financial, social, and environmental systems on which capital markets rely.
This value is embedded in our core investment beliefs and approach, ensuring that every decision we make contributes to the Plan’s sustainability and the health of the capital markets on which our fund relies.
Our ESG focus extends to the highest level at UPP and is embedded throughout the organization.
Every investment professional is responsible for integrating ESG considerations into their investment decisions and communicating UPP’s policies and expectations to external investment managers. We believe this commitment reflects our fiduciary duty to secure sustainable pensions for the long-term.
Reporting directly to the CEO, our Responsible Investing team sets ESG strategy and targets, identifies emerging focus areas and activities, and develops processes and tools to ensure ESG risks, opportunities and impacts are understood and managed from the total portfolio level down to our individual investment mandates.
In general, we favour active engagement and constructive dialogue over excluding or selling investments as a first course of action to influence investee behaviours and effect change.
Our principles-based investment exclusion policy and set of general parameters set out the companies we will not invest in if:
Active Engagement – We engage in proactive dialogue with the companies we invest in and our external investment managers to make our expectations clear on ESG issues such as climate change, reconciliation, and human rights.
For example, through collaborative initiatives such as Climate Action 100+ and Climate Engagement Canada, we’ve joined with leading financial institutions to engage top-emitting companies on the need for stronger climate risk governance, disclosure, and a swift transition to a net-zero world.
Proxy Voting – Proxy voting is a key component of our stewardship program, allowing UPP to influence the oversight and management of ESG factors by publicly traded companies. Our proxy voting policy summarizes our expectations on ESG factors such as diversity on board and climate disclosures, so that Boards of Directors and company management teams know our positions on their policies and practices.
Advocacy – We selectively communicate with regulators and policymakers – either independently or with likeminded peers – to encourage public policy, government regulations and market systems that support a well-managed transition to a net-zero world and the Plan’s broader sustainability objectives.
We are fortunate to house experts and contributors to the global responsible investing community, with deep experience building comprehensive ESG programs. UPP participates in and contributes to collaborative initiatives within this community, to:
These policies will continually evolve as we grow and advance our investment program, driven by our steadfast commitment to the pension promise.
UPP’s Managing Director of Responsible Investing regularly reports on ESG strategies and developments to UPP’s Management Investment Committee, Board Investment Committee, and overall Board. As we progress in our investment approach and Climate Action Plan, formal governance and oversight will include set performance objectives, further public commitments and targets, and transparent reporting on progress in line with the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance requirements and the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.
UPP’s governing investment policies are meant to provide transparency in our investment approach and principled, consistent application of our total fund investment strategy.
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