The Alberta Investment Management Corp. has received a top grade in a survey of the environmental, social and governance integration and performance of signatories of the United Nations’ principles of responsible investing in 2021.

The PRI, an organization founded by a group of institutional investment organizations, launched the pilot survey to track the ESG performance of its signatories. According to its website, more than 3,000 financial institutions participated with combined assets of US$138.2 trillion. Respondents received a percentage score for each of the survey’s 16 categories.

Read: AIMCo assets declined 4% in Q2: report

While the PRI hasn’t published the overall results, the AIMCo reported it received a 100 per cent score in the real estate category. According to Carmen Velasquez, director of responsible investment at the AIMCo, the score reflects a decade of hard work from the organization’s real estate team. “They do a tonne of data collection.”

The AIMCo also received scores above 90 per cent in four other categories: responsible investing and stewardship, fixed income, corporate fixed income and securitized fixed income.

According to Velasquez, the AIMCo’s fixed income team’s incorporation of ESG criteria into the investment process has provided unexpected benefits.”The team has a notional rating system they use in the investment process that incorporates ESG. If there’s a flag in the E, S or G categories, they often find there’s other problems.”

With two exceptions, the AIMCo received scores above the average for each category. It scored a 57 per cent in the infrastructure category, which had an average score of 87 per cent. In the listed equity (quant) category, it scored 45 per cent, while the average was 67 per cent. Velasquez says the AIMCo has improved in both areas since its completion of the survey.

In a recent reorganization, the infrastructure and responsible investing teams began reporting to the same person — Ben Hawkins, executive managing director and head of infrastructure, renewables and sustainable investing. “We’re [now] working very closely with the infrastructure to improve post-investment monitoring,” says Velasquez.

Since participating the the survey, the quantitative equity team has received information on responsible investing dating back to 2007, she says. “The quant team is working to incorporate it better into their work.”

Read: AIMCo opening second office in Alberta