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OMERS Unites Climate Approach Into Integrated Climate Action Plan

September 8, 2023

By 2030, OMERS is targeting a 50% reduction in portfolio carbon emissions, growing green investments to $30B, and seeking credible net zero plans for our top 20 most carbon-intensive portfolio companies

September 8, 2023 (TORONTO) – OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, today released our Climate Action Plan (CAP). Building on our ongoing work to become a leader in sustainable investing, the CAP outlines our approach to achieving net zero carbon emissions in our portfolio and operations by 2050.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, with a significant impact on the risk-return profile of current and future investments. We believe that well-run companies, including those with thoughtful and credible plans to address the impacts of climate change, will perform better, particularly over the long term. Our Climate Action Plan sets out our foundational approach to climate, as we navigate the varied and complex risks and opportunities to our investment portfolio,” said Michael Kelly, OMERS Chief Sustainability Officer.

The CAP describes the actions we are taking on our pathway to net zero by 2050, which are in alignment with the Paris Agreement and the latest climate science. It details our approach to managing risk and realizing opportunities across all our asset classes, grounded in our three-pillared approach to Sustainable Investing:

  • Integration – of climate change factors into investment decision-making;

  • Collaboration – at the financial systems level to improve information and resources, and;

  • Engagement – with portfolio companies through their decarbonization initiatives.

We have already committed to reducing our portfolio carbon footprint by 20% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, and have demonstrated progress with a 32% reduction to date from our 2019 baseline. In addition, OMERS and Oxford Properties have raised $2B in green and sustainable bonds to support investment in green and social assets.

The CAP outlines further commitments which include:

  • Growing our green investments to $30B by 2030 (last reported at $19B as at Dec. 31, 2022);

  • Creating a $3B transition sleeve enabling investment in high-carbon assets in need of funding for targeted decarbonization;

  • Collaborating for change with like-minded investors, public policy makers and other key stakeholders to evolve the tools and standards required to better assess climate risk and opportunity, and;

  • Setting a net zero commitment for our own internal operations, in alignment with our portfolio goals.

Our actions are underpinned by our strong governance model and risk management framework. OMERS will report annually on its progress against the goals laid out in the Climate Action Plan as part of our regular Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) aligned disclosures.

More information on our approach to climate change can be found in the climate change section of our website.