Ontario Teachers’ has been an ESG leader in the industry for more than 20 years. Why do you think that is?
AM: Ontario Teachers’ has been a trailblazer in the industry, taking a lead-by-example approach to advancing corporate governance and responsible investing practices. Our early work focused on progressing practices in corporate governance, such as adding transparency to how we vote our shares and being an influential thought leader in the space.
Over the years, our approach evolved as we applied our approach to investing responsibly. In 2010, we developed guidelines for managing climate change and became a signatory to the internationally recognized Principles for Responsible Investing. We later launched a Low Carbon Economy Transition Framework to build a common language around the energy transition.
We’ve made public commitments to be net zero by 2050 and strengthened our proxy voting guidelines for climate oversight, set interim portfolio carbon footprint reduction targets and targets for our portfolio companies to establish decarbonization plans. We continue to take an active stance on embedding ESG considerations across the investment lifecycle. In the last three years, the Sustainable Investing team was involved in and reviewed an average of over 80 potential and realized transactions valued at more than $35 billion annually across asset classes.
Most recently, through our annual review of our proxy voting guidelines, we reinforced existing focus areas for publicly traded companies such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and set higher expectations for increased participation of women in board roles. Along our journey, we have developed substantial climate-related expertise and have worked to make our portfolio companies greener and more resilient. We remain committed to being on top of trends and research in the space and seek opportunities to use our capital and influence to make a long-lasting positive impact as we deliver value.