The carbon footprint of Bâtirente’s overall equities portfolio is 35 per cent lower than its benchmark, according to a report by the Quebec-based pension fund.
The report also shows that the carbon footprint for Bâtirente’s three equity funds — global, small-cap and Canadian — is lower than their respective benchmarks. In the case of the small-cap fund, it boasts a carbon footprint that’s 20 per cent lower.
Participants in the Montreal carbon pledge, such as Bâtirente, commit to measuring the carbon footprint of their equity portfolios.
“Beyond the Montreal carbon pledge, Bâtirente continues its climate risk actions and pursues its efforts in favour of energetic transition,” said Daniel Simard, chief executive officer of Bâtirente, in a press release.
“We continue our efforts to raise the awareness of third-party investment managers we work with to the benefits of integrating extra-financial risks and especially carbon risk, into business valuation.
One of the fund’s actions is a private firm called Aequo Shareholder Engagement Services, which it formed in 2016 with Regroupement pour la responsabilité sociale des entreprises, a Montreal-based group that promotes corporate social responsibility.
In 2016, Bâtirente’s shareholder engagement activities included an energy transition strategy and setting greenhouse gas reduction targets with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and addressing the exposure of assets to carbon-related risk with the Bank of Montreal and the TD Bank Group.
“We believe that these activities will inevitably lead not only to reducing the carbon footprint of our portfolios but also to reducing the impact of climate change while respecting our responsibilities towards the members of our retirement system,” said Pierre Patry, chair of Bâtirente’s board.