GHG emissions reduction target by 2030
Portfolio carbon footprint reduction since 2019
in Green Assets
We incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance factors across the various stages of our investment lifecycle.
ESG at OMERS
We believe well-run organizations, with strong Environmental, Social and Governance practices will perform better over time.
Policy & Resources
We seek to uphold high standards of integrity, honesty and fairness, in our own sustainable investing activities, as well as the broader initiatives we participate in and lead.
Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. As an institutional investor we have an important role to play as the world transitions to a lower carbon economy.
Sustainability is engrained in our culture and is an integral part of how we invest.
Read answers to some frequently asked questions about OMERS approach to sustainable investing.
Meet Katharine Preston, Vice President of Sustainable Investing
Katharine Preston joined OMERS in August, 2019 as Vice President, Sustainable Investing. In this role, she assists OMERS with evolving its sustainable investing practices and liaises with OMERS investment, risk and communications teams on matters such as ESG integration, climate risk, and stakeholder communications and reporting... continue reading
Our Journey so far:
OMERS has a long commitment to Sustainable Investing, with significant progress made over the past two decades, and much more to come.
Our Sustainable Investing program was formalized in 2019 with the creation of a dedicated Sustainable Investing team, committee and board-approved Sustainable Investing Framework. This Framework refers to the combined Sustainable Investing Policy, ESG Guidelines, Climate Change Guidelines and ESG Assessment Procedures.
Since 2019, significant progress has been made, including implementation of key processes, development of climate metrics and related targets, and engagement with leading global industry organizations. Our journey continues as we set interim emissions-reduction goals, further implement climate and sustainability reporting standards, explore climate physical risk assessment, and continue to advocate for standardized ESG reporting standards.
First sustainable energy investment
Introduction of responsible investing principles
Established Proxy Voting Guidelines
Real Estate carbon reduction target established
Oxford publishes first sustainability report
Founding member of A4S
30% Club commitment
Founding ILN Partner
Board approved Sustainable Investing Framework
SI Committee convened
Dedicated VP of SI joins OMERS
Endorsed TCFD and issued first TCFD report
Launch of new SI website
Maturing ESG integration processes
Calculated first portfolio carbon footprint
Established first Carbon Reduction Goal for 2025
Announced Net Zero 2050 goal
Conducted climate change scenario analysis
Founding partner Climate Engagement Canada
ESG Scorecards in place for all BUs
Further TCFD Implementation
Define 2030 reduction goal
Explore climate physical risk assessment
Frequently Asked Questions on Sustainable Investing
Sustainable investing, sometimes referred to as ESG investing, integrates environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions. Sustainable investing is based on the belief that companies’ efforts to address environmental risk, foster positive relationships with stakeholders and implement effective governance structures that promote responsible business practices are key determinants of long-term performance.
At OMERS, our core strategy is to deliver sustainable, affordable and meaningful pensions to our members. We believe that well-run organizations with sound ESG practices will perform better, particularly over the long term, and that investing in these companies is consistent with our fiduciary duty.
Our approach to sustainable investing involves incorporating an adaptive mindset, enabling us to dynamically manage risks and capitalize on opportunities in a constantly changing environment, employing the following principles:
Integration: of material ESG factors into our investment analysis, providing a holistic view of value and risk
Collaboration: with like-minded partners, to influence change and contribute to the health of global financial, economic, social and other systems that are critical to our future success
Engagement: of our members’ capital, engaging with companies to influence positive change, enhance value and drive tangible outcomes, in line with our long-term focus
Our Sustainable Investing Policy can be found here.
We believe the world is transitioning to a lower-carbon economy, the pace and scope of the change will largely be determined by government policies, innovation and technological disruption/adoption. As long-term investors, we see significant opportunities to invest in clean energy and our portfolio is shifting to reflect this.
While OMERS continues to carefully and selectively invest in traditional energy assets as part of a balanced and diverse energy portfolio, clean energy is a significant and growing part of our strategy. Our commitment to clean energy is reflected throughout our portfolio, including through the achievements of our real estate arm, Oxford Properties which is ranked in the top 3% globally for sustainability and through our investments in Environmental Resource Management (ERM), Bruce Power, Arctern and Leeward Renewable Energy.
We believe that as the world transitions to a lower-carbon economy, there is a vital role for responsible, long-term investors such as OMERS to provide leadership on the cleaner and safer production and transportation of traditional energy. Today, we believe that traditional energy assets still form part of a balanced and diverse energy portfolio, and that to divest completely from traditional energy would mean that we lose our voice, and influence, in a very significant portion of the energy market. We use our influence as investors to help ensure that the traditional energy companies we have ownership positions in adopt a proactive approach to creating long-term, effective, relevant and transparent ESG strategies.
Any industry or sector exclusions are determined based on a set of criteria approved by our Senior Executive Team that consider risks posed by ESG factors, as well as OMERS fiduciary duty.
We believe that investments in companies engaged in the following activities meet those criteria, and therefore do not meet our risk-return requirements:
civilian firearms manufacturers;
cluster munitions and anti-personnel landmines manufacturers; and
tobacco producers and manufacturers.