University Pension Plan Ontario unveils roadmap to net zero emissions by 2040

Its Climate Action Plan focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5% by 2025 and 60% by 2030

Net Hero Podcast

University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP) has announced its formal commitment and unveiled its action plan to achieve net zero emissions across its portfolio by 2040 or sooner.

Its Climate Action Plan focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing “climate readiness in the real economy”, aiming for a 16.5% reduction by 2025 and 60% reduction by 2030, compared to a 2021 baseline.

UPP, which has more than CAD$11 billion (£7bn) in assets under management, also plans to implement a Climate Transition Investment Framework and invest only in new mandates and assets that align with a net zero transition and reduce the emissions intensity of its assets while developing processes and tools to evaluate climate-related investment risks, opportunities and impacts across the portfolio.

In addition, it intends to engage with a minimum 20 top-emitting companies in its portfolio to encourage a swift transition to a net zero and climate resilient future.

UPP – a new jointly sponsored pension plan created by and for Ontario’s university sector – is also joining the UN-Convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which includes a commitment to annual, public disclosures on portfolio emissions profile and reductions against interim targets.

Brian Minns, UPP’s Managing Director of Responsible Investing said: “It was important to us to hear directly from our members about their priorities and it became clear that climate action was at the top of that list, as both a financial and social imperative.

“While we have a diverse membership with broad views, we’re hearing a clear call for UPP to address climate-related risks and opportunities not only through our investments but in how we influence public policy and market systems more broadly.”