CDPQ Reports It Is on Target to Reach Net Zero by 2050

The Québecois pension fund increased its green asset investments by C$29 billion over five years.

Québecois pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec announced it is on schedule to meet its goal of reducing its portfolio to net zero of greenhouse gases by 2050 in its annual sustainable investing report.


According to the CDPQ, it has invested a total of C$47 billion ($34.4 billion) in low-carbon assets, an overall increase of C$29 billion since 2017, and it has reduced the carbon intensity of the portfolio by 53% since 2017.


“Our approach to sustainable investing is based on the integration of ESG factors and the positive impact this can generate for companies at each stage of their growth,” the report stated. “This is why our teams take it into account in all our investment decisions, regardless of the asset class. We therefore make our approach a mechanism for risk management, value creation and innovation.


The CDPQ established its 2025 target for reaching net zero in its Climate Strategy 2021 report, outlining a four-pronged approach: hold US$41 billion in green assets by 2025; reduce the carbon intensity of its entire portfolio by 60% by 2030, compared with 2017; set up a transition envelope of US$8 billion to decarbonize the major industrial sectors’ carbon emitters; and complete its exit from oil production by year-end 2022.


In addition to the US$34.4 billion in green assets and reducing the carbon intensity of the portfolio by 53%, the pension fund confirmed its exit from oil production is “essentially completed.”


The CDPQ also revealed 52% of its actively managed public companies have boards that are comprised of at least 30% women, an increase of more than 27% over two years. Within the pension fund’s own staff, 45% are women, with an aim to increase that to 47% by 2025.


“The combination of the diversified expertise of our teams and their knowledge of the markets allows us to innovate to approach the financing of the transition in a concrete way,” Marc-André Blanchard, CDPQ’s global head of sustainable investing, said in a release.


This year’s report also detailed what the pension fund calls the “six levers of influence” it uses as part of its sustainable investing strategy:


  • Strategic Projects: Deploying strategies, policies and initiatives aimed at asserting the pension fund’s goals in sustainable investment;
  • Leadership: Establishing outreach initiatives in Québec and internationally and committing to collaborative platforms;
  • Accompaniment: Advising its teams on sustainable investment opportunities to enhance their understanding of ESG issues;
  • ESG Integration: Evaluating ESG performance integrated into the investment analysis and decisionmaking process;
  • Dialogue and Engagement: Hold ongoing dialogue with portfolio companies and external managers to promote ESG best practices and value creation; and
  • Shareholder Voting: Exercise its right to vote as a shareholder in accordance with sustainability convictions and priorities.

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