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TORONTO, March 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) today unveiled its climate plan for achieving net zero in its portfolio by 2050. The plan, which seeks to leverage climate-related opportunities while also managing risks, includes an expectation of deploying $23 billion in green investments by 2030. “Our climate strategy: good for the Plan and the planet” is the natural next step for HOOPP and its long-standing commitment to sustainable investing.
The plan recognizes that climate change poses both risks and opportunities, and that managing these as part of the investment process is essential to our fiduciary responsibility to deliver on the pension promise to Ontario healthcare workers. HOOPP has committed to achieving net-zero emissions in its portfolio by 2050 by reducing the portfolio’s carbon footprint through real-world emissions reductions.
“Our climate change strategy has been built on the belief of doing what’s good for our pension plan and good for our planet,” said President & CEO Jeff Wendling in his letter introducing the plan. “We believe we can contribute to the transition to a net-zero economy through our carefully selected interim targets. To achieve these targets, we will seek to grow the percentage of our investments with credible, science-based transition plans, and increase our green investments – which should, in turn, lead to reductions in our investment portfolio’s carbon footprint.”
HOOPP CIO Michael Wissell said: “HOOPP is starting from a very strong position on our path to net zero. We were the first pension plan in Canada to enact a greenhouse gas policy on our real estate portfolio, a portfolio that is recognized as a global leader in sustainability. Other examples include our ongoing investment in green bonds, transition-enabling infrastructure and our recently implemented $1 billion portfolio allocation to climate change equities.”
HOOPP’s climate plan was purposefully designed to lower its carbon footprint through real-world emissions reductions. By 2030 we expect to:
HOOPP has also committed to being net zero within its own operations in the coming years.
HOOPP is a founding member of Climate Engagement Canada (CEC), a finance-led initiative that drives dialogue between the financial community and businesses to promote a just transition to a net-zero economy. This includes an expectation that companies should disclose in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Wissell said: “Climate change is a global issue that requires collective action, including enhanced and standardized reporting of information by companies. To that end, we want to have 80% of our assets providing reported emissions by 2025, for more accurate measurement of progress.”
He added: “As an institutional investor, HOOPP has an important role to play and there are actions that we can take. But we know that we will have a greater impact when we work in collaboration with other investors and directly with the businesses we invest in. Engagement is key.”
About the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan
HOOPP serves Ontario’s hospital and community-based healthcare sector, with more than 630 participating employers. Its membership includes nurses, medical technicians, food services staff, housekeeping staff, and many others who provide valued healthcare services. In total, HOOPP has more than 435,000 active, deferred and retired members.
HOOPP operates as a private independent trust, and is governed by a Board of Trustees with a sole fiduciary duty to deliver on the pension promise. The Board is jointly governed by the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and four unions: the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union (OPSEU), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). This governance model provides representation from both management and workers in support of the long-term interests of the Plan.
James Geuzebroek, Director, Media & External Communications