Thursday, September 25, 2014

Montreal Carbon Pledge Attracts Large Institutional Investors

A group of large institutional investors have signed on to the Montreal Carbon Pledge, agreeing to measure and publicly disclose the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios on an annual basis.

Overseen by the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, the pledge hopes to attract $3 trillion of portfolio in time for next year’s UN climate change conference.

"We are proud to launch the Montreal Carbon Pledge, a commitment by investors to translate climate talk into walk," said Fiona Reynolds, Managing Director of the Principles for Responsible Investment. "The first step to managing the long-term investment risks associated with climate change and carbon regulation is to measure them, and this initiative sets a clear path forward."

Carbon footprinting enables investors to quantify the carbon content of a portfolio, the PRI said, noting that 78% of the largest 500 publicly listed companies now report their carbon emissions.

Eight funds are inaugural participants in the Montreal pledge, including the $298 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System and France’s public sector pension plan known as ERAFP. The only Canadian fund to commit so far is Montreal-based B√Ętirente, which manages $1.2 billion in assets.

Batirente chief executive officer Daniel Simard said the pledge is the next step in the fund’s commitment to socially responsible investing.

“We think we must move to a new stage in responsible investment, and that is about capital allocation,” he said in an interview with the Globe & Mail. “For us, measuring our footprint means considering reducing our carbon footprint. So we will need to see how we can rethink our asset management in these terms.”

Toby Heaps of Corporate Knights told the Globe a number of Canadian investors have been reviewing the pledge and may sign on, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which said it is assessing the new initiative.

No comments:

Post a Comment