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Sustainable Investing

Vision and Mission  

Our vision is to be a leader in sustainable investing, to better protect and generate superior value for our members over the long term.

Climate Change 

We play a role in supporting accelerators of change and are partnering with our portfolio, as well as finding new opportunities, to grow sustainably.

Sustainable Investing Policy 

As OMERS searches the globe for investments that generate long-term, stable returns, we actively assess each opportunity.

ESG at OMERS

OMERS believes that well-run organizations with sound Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices will perform better.

A Letter from Our CIO

headshot of Satish Rai in a circle in front of a window

The world is changing and so is our role as an investor. To protect our members’ retirement, we have a duty to think long into the future and find and grow responsible and sustainable businesses and services, while investing in the highest quality assets around the globe... continue reading





Headshot of Katherine Preston in a circle

Meet Katharine Preston, our Vice President of Sustainable Investing. Learn More


By the numbers

We integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into our investing decisions and ongoing asset management.

$3.3B

Invested in clean energy

3%

Oxford ranks in the top 3% globally on sustainability, GRESB

30%

Goal to achieve a minimum of 30% women on the boards and at the executive management level of S&P/TSX composite index companies


Investing for the future: OMERS portfolio

Here are examples of how OMERS portfolio is leading on ESG:

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Puget Sound Energy

Puget Sound Energy sets “Beyond Net Zero Carbon” goal, targeting net zero carbon emissions, including natural gas sold to customers, by 2045.

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Bruce Power

Bruce Power is an electricity company that delivers clean nuclear power that produces zero carbon emissions, to the province of Ontario.

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Port of Melbourne

Port of Melbourne releases its 2020 Sustainability Report.

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Oxford Properties

Oxford Properties is committed to be a leader in the development and operation of energy efficient, low-carbon buildings.

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Read more about our portfolio in the news





Collaboration

OMERS collaborates with diverse partners to create a more powerful voice and influence on sustainable investing practices. We regularly work with other organizations to advocate for better performance, management and disclosure across ESG factors.   Here are a few examples of the organizations we’re involved with:


OMERS joins Canada’s leading pension plan investment managers calling 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. All 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. Read the statement here


Frequently Asked Questions

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 mission is to deliver secure and sustainable 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 is grounded in four overarching strategies: (1) integrating ESG factors into our investment decision-making processes, (2) actively engaging with our portfolio companies to promote sustainable business practices (3) collaborating with like-minded institutions to exchange information, evolve sustainability practices and advocate for better transparency, and (4) continually adapting our approach to ensure it remains relevant and effective over time.
 
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 manufacturers; and

  • tobacco producers and manufacturers.