One year into a five-year plan to reduce its investments in greenhouse gas-emitting companies by 50 per cent, the Bâtirente is on pace to reach its target.

Last year, the defined contribution pension fund announced a number of environmental commitments it intended to reach by 2025, including a pledge to reduce its exposure to climate-related risks by 50 per cent by reducing its investments in greenhouse gas-emitting companies. This year, it reduced its exposure to these investments by 14 per cent. If it continues divesting at this pace, it will reach its target before 2025.

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In 2020, the Bâtirente also pledged to double its capital allocation in impact investments designed to help with the global transition away from fossil fuels — from 13 per cent of its assets under management to 26 per cent. While the pension fund hasn’t revealed the specifics of its impact investments made in the past year, it described its investments in transition-oriented impact investing during the year as significant.

In 2020, the Bâtirente also announced it will encourage shareholder engagement to improve corporate climate performance. This year, Aequo Shareholder Engagement Services held climate-related dialogues with 32 companies on behalf of the pension fund.

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In March, it also issued a resolution calling on Imperial Oil Ltd. to commit to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In May, a shareholder vote to adopt the resolution was defeated. It secured the support of just 14 per cent of the voting shares.

In a press release, chief executive officer Éric Filion (pictured), described responsible investment as a key consideration for the organization. “Responsible investment has been at the heart of Bâtirente’s values and actions for decades and will continue to be so going forward. We recognize that climate change is a major threat and that collective action is urgently needed.”