TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2021 /CNW/ - University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation ("UTAM") joins more than 35 other institutional investors, managing a total of more than $5.5 trillion in assets, in signing a new Canadian Investor Statement on Climate Change, released today.
Coordinated by the Responsible Investment Association (RIA), the Statement is the first of its kind in Canada, bringing together institutional investors to call for increased climate accountability in the corporate sector. It urges companies to act on material climate risks, including through their lobbying activities and industry associations. Signatories include four of Canada's largest banks, several large investment firms and other major institutional investors. UTAM represents the University of Toronto, one of only two university signatories.
The Statement outlines the actions major Canadian investors and financial institutions will take to advance the global pursuit of net zero, such as disclosing financed emissions and setting an expectation that investee companies will establish emissions reduction targets and report on their progress.
The Statement's release comes in advance of COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, which takes place from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow, Scotland.
"We're pleased to collaborate with like-minded investors in calling for companies to take action on climate change and make meaningful progress towards net zero," says Chuck O'Reilly, UTAM's President and Chief Investment Officer. "The Statement is a clear message to investees that they need to assess and manage their climate-related risks."
RIA worked closely with the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative in the development of the Statement to ensure Indigenous perspectives were incorporated into the Statement. "By centering reconciliation and a just transition, this statement adds a Canadian perspective that is missing from the global conversation," says Dustyn Lanz, CEO of RIA. "The signatories recognize that Canada's path to net zero depends on a transition that leaves no one behind and supports the transformation of every sector, while aligning itself with Indigenous rights for self-determination."
The RIA is Canada's industry association for responsible investment. It brings together asset managers, asset owners, advisors and service providers who support its mandate of promoting responsible investment in Canada's retail and institutional markets. UTAM has been a member of the RIA since 2016. Lisa Becker, our Chief Operating Officer, serves on the RIA's board as Treasurer and the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.
Signing the Statement is consistent with and reinforces UTAM's commitment to other collaborative investor initiatives, including the 2021 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis and the University Network for Investor Engagement (UNIE), as well as our promotion of sustainability-focused investment strategies such as the Impax Global Opportunities Strategy.
UTAM is the investment manager of the University of Toronto's Pension, Endowment and short-term working capital assets. UTAM's Board of Directors delegates day-to-day investment management activities to UTAM. Our team of almost 30 professionals works closely with the Board, the expert Investment Committee, the university administration and various governance bodies in our management of the university's assets.
SOURCE University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM)
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