CDPQ outlines progress in sustainable investing

Chief executive "proud to see how far we've come"

CDPQ outlines progress in sustainable investing


By Terry Gangcuangco

Investment group Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has released its Sustainable Investing Report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, illustrating significant progress in sustainable finance.

The report details the organization’s strides toward meeting its climate targets and points out that CDPQ is well on its way to achieving a net-zero portfolio by 2050. Among its notable accomplishments is the allocation of $53 billion to low-carbon assets, including $15 billion in Québec. The latest aggregate represents an increase of $35 billion in such assets since 2017.

CDPQ, which has completed its exit from oil production and thermal coal mining, also reported managing over $330 billion in assets with a low-carbon footprint, constituting nearly 80% of its total portfolio.

Additionally, CDPQ has recorded a 59% reduction in the carbon intensity in its portfolio since 2017, and a $5 billion investment in transitional assets to decarbonize the highest emitting sectors.

In terms of the social component of ESG (environmental, social, and governance), CDPQ has implemented several initiatives aimed at strengthening communities through inclusivity and the integration of social factors into its undertakings.

Women now make up 46% of CDPQ’s roster, with a 47% target by next year. Meanwhile, 26% of its Québec line-up are members of visible minorities, ethnic minorities, or Indigenous peoples, meeting its established target.

Furthermore, 57% of the public companies it manages now have boards composed of at least 30% women, marking an increase of over 39% in a span of three years. Also, 30% of CDPQ’s nominee directors are women.

CDPQ is also recognized globally for its commitment to encouraging tax best practices in its portfolio companies such as adherence to a minimum tax rate of at least 15%.

When it comes to governance, CDPQ uses various levers to promote the adoption of best practices. According to the investment group, which assists several portfolio companies in integrating ESG factors, it held 308 discussions to raise awareness among firms and external managers.

CDPQ also used its voting rights on 37,536 resolutions at 3,635 shareholder meetings to express its sustainability convictions and conducted 278 technology risk analyses to bolster its portfolio companies’ resilience.

President and chief executive Charles Emond stated: “At CDPQ, we remain steadfast in our conviction that sustainability goes hand in hand with long-term returns. And I am proud to see how far we’ve come and everything our organization has achieved.

“Now, once a target has been reached, there’s only one good option: to raise it even higher, further evolve our approach, determine what we can do differently, and even better. This involves taking the full measure of what we can do and leveraging that to improve our overall portfolio’s sustainability.”

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