Responsible Investing

Our Approach to Responsible Investing

CAAT believes that sound investment decisions must be informed by environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations. We see Responsible Investing as key to the long-term strength of the Plan.

CAAT is guided by the core principles of our Responsible Investing Policy: our beliefs, governance, integrating ESG factors into investment processes, and stewardship.

Our commitment to Responsible Investing was formalized in 2007 in the form of our Responsible Investing Policy. This policy is reviewed and updated, as ESG factors are increasingly integrated into the Plan’s investment approach.

Explore the sidebar to the left to find out more about our Responsible Investing Policy, how we define ESG, and how we work with partners to encourage more comprehensive disclosure of ESG risks.

Defining ESG

CAAT takes a long-term approach to investing, and part of that approach includes a focus on Responsible Investing. Responsible investing means incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions.

While ESG factors are often interrelated, they can generally be broken down into the following:

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How does an organization treat the natural world?

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Does an organization respect all people?

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Is an organization run in an ethical and transparent manner?

Our Beliefs

We have an obligation to invest responsibly

Responsible Investing is an extension of the Plan’s responsibility to members. Incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions is critical to evaluating opportunities and addressing financial and other risks to the Plan over the long term.

Climate change is a risk, but also an opportunity

Climate change presents significant investment opportunities and systemic risks. CAAT incorporates the potential impacts of the transition to a low-carbon economy and the physical impacts of different climate outcomes into our investment decisions.

Equity drives results

Equitable employment practices at investee entities, including fair wages and safe working conditions, contribute to improved long-term investment results.

It all starts with governance

Good governance is key to CAAT’s long-term viability. Companies that exhibit good governance practices are also better positioned to address environmental and social issues.

We can’t do it alone

Responsible investing requires close collaboration with both investee companies and other long-term investors. It is a valuable tool to promote change and foster success.

We are committed to incorporating these factors into our investment approach. Explore the sidebar to the left for more on our approach to responsible investing.

Our Responsible Investing Policy

CAAT’s commitment to responsible investing was formalized in 2007 in the form of our Responsible Investment Policy.

Read the Responsible Investing Policy

Core to this policy are:

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Supporting sound governance through continuous review of RI policies and ESG considerations.

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Encouraging the integration of ESG factors in investment processes.

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Maintaining good stewardship through proxy voting, continuous engagement and collaboration.

1. Governance

Responsible investing requires consistent oversight with an eye toward continuous improvement. The Plan's Board of Trustees reviews and updates the Responsible Investing Policy at least every three years. The Board also reviews reporting from the Investment team concerning the Plan's Responsible Investing activities.

Plan staff are responsible for integrating ESG considerations into investment decisions.

2. Integrating ESG factors

CAAT actively collaborates with our external investment partners to ensure that consideration of ESG factors is built into their investment processes. ESG factors are a key consideration in our due diligence process for working with existing and potential managers. We consistently monitor this through an annual survey of our investment partners to evaluate the role ESG considerations play in their portfolio management practices.

CAAT’s approach to ESG involves two primary focus areas: climate change and labour matters. CAAT is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), which aim to identify and manage climate change risks and opportunities. CAAT also supports and encourages fair working conditions by supporting the International Labor Organization (ILO) principles addressing collective bargaining rights and the right of workers to be free from discrimination.

3. Stewardship

CAAT maintains diligent stewardship practices within our approach to Responsible Investing, and examines shareholder proposals on ESG issues, carefully considering the possible effects on the long-term shareholder value. This includes using our proxy voting power to ensure that the companies in which we invest are being run in the best interests of our members and in a manner consistent with our Responsible Investing Policy.

CAAT is committed to collaborating with like-minded organizations, investors, regulators and legislators to exchange information and advocate for better transparency and performance on Responsible Investing standards and practices.

Responsible Investing Highlights

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North American Greenhouse Fund

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North American Greenhouse Fund

This Fund provides capital and expertise to acquire, build and/or expand North American greenhouse facilities in collaboration with food producers. The Fund is one of the first to institutionalize sustainability reporting in lease agreements measuring resource use and/or community impact across energy, water, carbon and employment.

Pattern Energy

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Pattern Energy

Pattern Energy is a publicly listed, leading U.S.-based renewable energy company, which owns operating renewable projects in the U.S., Canada and Japan. A portion of the net proceeds of the offering were used to finance the acquisition of two operating wind assets in Ontario and New Mexico.

Canadian Farmland Fund

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Canadian Farmland Fund

Owned by Canadian entrepreneurs, and in investment partnership with local top-tier farmers, the Fund’s investment strategy focuses on buying, converting, and operating high quality farmland in Ontario and Alberta. Environmentally, the Fund has increased productivity of nearly 5,000 acres of farmland, all in areas where there is 100% water sustainability.

Kingston Solar Project

Kingston Solar Project

Kingston Solar Project

This 100-megawatt ground mounted solar generation facility was the largest solar generation facility in Canada and one of the largest in North America, with vital solar panels and associated parts supplied by Canadian manufacturers. Electricity generated by the facility is purchased by the Ontario Power Authority.