Climate change

Climate change is no longer a distant risk. Every day, we experience the human, environmental and economic impacts. As a long-term investor, we decided to take action and make a constructive contribution to addressing this issue by adopting an investment strategy to address climate change. 

For more details on our actions and progress on climate change matters, read our 2018 Stewardship Investing Report.

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2018 Highlights

Investing in light of climate change

The growing consensus on the risks associated with climate change was formalized in the 2015 Paris Agreement, which was signed by 195 countries. In the coming years, the means that authorities and companies will adopt to accelerate the transition toward a low-carbon economy will change the context of the markets.

Certain industries will find it challenging to adapt to this new context. For others, such as renewable energy, technology, infrastructure and electric transportation, attractive investment opportunities will emerge.

This trend will sharpen as international efforts to fight climate change intensify. 

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Our investment strategy to address climate change

Our strategy is the culmination of our willingness to be a leader among major global institutional investors in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Adopted in 2017 following a thorough process, the strategy is based on:

  • Scientific observations;
  • The views of CDPQ’s financial community peers;
  • An extensive analysis of best practices employed by our peers;
  • Our discussions with stakeholders.

READ OUR STRATEGY

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Our Objective
Our Objective

To address climate change, our investment strategy will help us contribute to the transition toward a low-carbon economy and seize the resulting profitable opportunities.

Clear principles

We created our strategy based on clear principles: The targets and methods adopted should be achievable, measurable and designed so that we can regularly report on our efforts. 

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Our main principles: achievable, measurable, transparent and collaborative.

A comprehensive view

We firmly believe that our economies cannot achieve a sustainable transition by targeting only one sector; instead, we must take into account the climate as a factor in all activity sectors, and therefore in all our major asset classes. 

Furthermore, we are the first institutional investor in North America to set a GHG intensity reduction target covering all its asset classes.

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A strategy with four pillars 


1. Factoring the climate into every investment decision

We have factored the climate into all our investment processes, affording it the same treatment as financial risk. 

 

FACTORING CLIMATE CHANGE INTO EVERY INVESTMENT DECISION 

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Accounting for climate factors in five steps.

Since 2017, CDPQ has factored the climate into each of our investment decisions.

This represents a change in culture for our teams, especially those responsible for investments. Now they must weigh different opportunities and determine which ones will:

  • Contribute to achieving the climate objectives set.
  • Generate good returns for our clients.
  • Better manage our risks.
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Carbon targets and incentive compensation

We introduced a formula to integrate our carbon targets into employee incentive compensation. Now, employee incentive compensation rises and falls in tandem with achieving our carbon intensity reduction objectives.

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2. Increase our low-carbon investments by 80% between 2017 and 2020 (enhanced target) 

In 2018, after just one year, we added $10 billion of low-carbon assets to our portfolio.

We aim to have $32 billion of low-carbon assets by 2020, an increase of $14 billion from our 2017 level. 

In light of the substantial progress we’ve made since 2017, we raised our target for low-carbon investments to 80%. 

 

LOW-CARBON INVESTMENTS1
(in billions of dollars)

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Eighty percent increase in low-carbon investments from 2017 to 2020, going from 18 to 32 billion dollars.

3. Reduce our carbon footprint by 25% per dollar invested between 2017 and 2025

Our portfolio’s carbon intensity was lowered 10% in one year. This puts us on track to achieve our 2025 objective.

CDPQ commits to reducing its portfolio’s carbon footprint by 25% per dollar invested by 2025. 

To achieve this target, we are focusing on:

  • Reducing our higher carbon-intense assets.
  • Acquiring low-carbon assets.
  • Improving the practices of our portfolio companies.

 

PORTFOLIO CARBON INTENSITY REDUCTION TARGET
(in tCO2e/M$)

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Twenty-five percent decrease in the portfolio’s carbon intensity between 2017 and 2025, going from 79 to 59 tCO2e/M$.

Carbon intensity budgets by portfolio

To reduce our carbon footprint and continue generating the returns our depositors expect, CDPQ has allocated carbon budgets to each of its portfolios. 

The carbon budget sets an annual ceiling for GHG emissions allowed for each portfolio. This limit is set based on CDPQ’s overall intensity reduction target determined for 2025. 

Our portfolio managers incorporate these carbon budgets into their annual strategic planning. 

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4. Exercise stronger climate leadership

We firmly believe that climate change should not be seen as a constraint; it’s an opportunity to do things differently.

The transition toward a low-carbon economy will not happen over night. It will require the involvement of all stakeholders: citizens, governments, organizations, companies and investors. 

As such, we have decided to exercise strong public leadership. We want to contribute to the financial sector’s evolution and greater involvement in addressing climate issues. 

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Contribution to global efforts on climate change

We participate in many events and initiatives where experiences and best practices on climate matters are shared. 

We seek to influence in the following ways:

  • A commitment to our portfolio companies
    As a shareholder, we:
    • Discuss climate risk with executive management and encourage them to adopt a plan to reduce their GHG emissions.
    • Support shareholder initiatives and proposals to enhance transparency on climate risk matters and carbon emissions.
  • Improve portfolio companies and assets’ GHG emissions performance 
    We work with companies on transitioning toward a low-carbon economy, particularly through investments that improve their industrial processes and energy efficiency.
  • Participation in initiatives on transparency 
    We believe that information sharing and collaboration are necessary to develop credible standards that will positively influence markets. This is why we are involved in several international climate-commitment initiatives and support the following organizations and declarations:
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Adopting carbon pricing
CDPQ supports the global adoption of carbon pricing mechanisms as a way to more transparently integrate all costs related to using a given energy source.

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Achieving our carbon-neutral objective

To support its position on climate change, CDPQ has resolved to become carbon neutral by offsetting the carbon emissions arising from its energy consumption and from employee business travel.

Our main business office in Montréal is certified LEED-EB Gold and BOMA BEST Platinum.

More specifically, we are working to:

  • Fund projects to offset our GHG emissions.
  • Initiate energy efficiency measures in our buildings.
  • Adopt eco-friendly resource management practices. 
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Annual reporting

CDPQ provides more details on its climate activities and progress in its Stewardship Investing Report.

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