Canada’s CPPIB Taps Deborah Orida as Its First Chief Sustainability Officer

The pension fund’s Sustainable Investing group will be moved to the Real Assets department.

Deborah Orida

The C$519.6 billion ($417.2 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has named Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Real Assets Deborah Orida as the pension giant’s first chief sustainability officer, effective immediately. In addition to taking on the newly created role, Orida will maintain her current position with the fund.

In her new role, Orida will lead the refinement and execution of CPPIB’s strategy to steer the fund through the economic transition in response to climate change.

“Climate change, which was only on the horizon when CPP Investments was established nearly 25 years ago, has become the defining issue of our time,” John Graham, CPPIB’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Our enterprise-wide chief sustainability officer will be responsible for our approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters, particularly climate change, working closely with our chief investment officer.”

Orida has led the Real Assets department in making investments to support the transition to a net-zero emissions economy, including investing in more than $7 billion of renewables, 403 green buildings, and decarbonization technologies and services. The pension fund’s Sustainable Investing group, which is led by Richard Manley, will move from the Active Equities department to the Real Assets department.

“As a global institutional investor with a time horizon that spans generations, we must place equal focus on both the risks and investment opportunities associated with sustainability—and particularly climate,” Orida said. “I am looking forward to continuing our work with colleagues across CPP Investments to meet our goal of helping ensure a base for Canadians’ financial security in retirement for generations to come.”

Orida joined CPP Investments in 2009 after spending nine years at Goldman Sachs as a vice president. Prior to becoming CPPIB’s head of real assets, she was senior managing director and global head of active equities, and before that was CPPIB’s manager director, head of private equity Asia. During her tenure at CPPIB, she has also been managing director, head of relationship investments international, and senior portfolio manager, relationship investments. Orida holds an undergraduate degree in law and a bachelor’s from Queen’s University, Canada and a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School, at the University of Pennsylvania.

In April, CPPIB announced it was combining two of its units to form a new investment group with approximately C$17.7 billion in assets under management (AUM) called the Sustainable Energy Group.  The Sustainable Energy Group has five key sub-sector strategies: power and renewables, energy midstream, commodities and alternative fuels, distributed energy and services, and innovation technology and services.

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