Employees at two Canadian pension plans are being recognized for their responsible investment achievements.
The British High Commission and the Canada Climate Law Initiative named Barbara Zvan, inaugural president and chief executive officer of the University Pension Plan, and Kim Thomassin, executive vice-president and head of investments in Quebec and stewardship investing at the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec, to the list of 2021 Canadian Climate Champions.
The title recognizes individuals’ contributions toward achieving net-zero emissions in Canada, according to a press release, which noted the list of honourees was announced six months ahead of the United Nations’ 26th climate change conference.
In a statement emailed to Benefits Canada, Gale Rubenstein, chair of the board of trustees at the UPP, said the recognition is “a testament to [Zvan’s] exceptional contributions and courage. . . . Global commitment to a climate-resilient, net-zero economy has never been stronger. This major advance derives from determined, principled leadership by those willing to challenge the status quo with a vision for a better tomorrow. We’re incredibly proud to have one of those leaders at our helm.”
In an email to Benefits Canada, the Caisse said Thomassin and her team are leading the pension plan’s stewardship investment strategy, one of the pension’s keys to achieving a net-zero portfolio by 2050. “The progress made in recent years illustrates the important work our teams around the world do to address this critical issue and our commitment to develop a more sustainable economy. . . . We’ll continue to engage in discussions on the next steps that need to be taken to reduce emissions, limit the impact of climate change and build stronger communities.”