Investing constructive capital means innovating and creating opportunities to grow our portfolio companies while contributing to a sustainable and inclusive economy. This is how we exercise leadership.
On several occasions this year, we have stood out for our expertise, rigour and innovative sustainability practices.
CDPQ was named 2022 Fund of the Year by Global SWF, a global reference that analyzes the activities of approximately 400 public investment funds worldwide. The award highlighted our impact on Québec’s economic development, our leadership among sovereign and public investors and our local and international actions to advance sustainable investment.
CDPQ was ranked first among pension funds in the World Benchmarking Alliance's (WBA) new international ranking, which is focused on three areas: governance and strategy, planetary boundaries and societal conventions. In particular, the WBA highlighted the transparency of our portfolio’s carbon intensity disclosure and the rigour of our internal governance processes.
In 2022, CDPQ was ranked among the best places to work in the world, across all sectors, by Best Places to Work. Our Singapore office also received this recognition. This ranking is a reference for identifying and recognizing the best places to work around the world. Similarly, our London office was recognized as a Great Place to Work. These awards underscore our teams’ ongoing efforts to build an inclusive and collaborative organizational culture.
This year, CDPQ won in several categories of the awards, which evaluate the achievements of institutional infrastructure investors. We received the following awards:
CDPQ was the first Canadian pension fund to adopt the CFA Institute Asset Manager Code. This global association of investment professionals sets the standard for ethical and professional responsibility. In adopting the code, we confirmed our commitment to continuously improve our governance rules in step with the changes in industry best practices.
We help advance best practices in sustainable investing, and we encourage our portfolio companies and external managers to implement them. The complete list of the initiatives in which we are involved can be found at the end of this section.
By joining the Diversity in Action initiative of ILPA, a group of international asset managers, we have committed to taking concrete actions, such as collecting and assessing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) related data from our external managers. We have taken part, along with other members, in various round tables and advisory board meetings to discuss DEI. We are also involved in the ESG Data Convergence Initiative, for which ILPA serves as official Secretariat, to promote ESG data disclosure in private markets.
We are actively involved in the SBAI, a global alliance of asset managers that promotes responsible practices. In 2022, we participated in several meetings of the Culture & Diversity Working Group. CDPQ was also the subject of a case study published in an SBAI report entitled Increasing Diversity in Allocator Portfolios. Among other things, the organization highlighted our focus on DEI matters in our analyses of externally managed investment opportunities, our enhanced operational due diligence process with respect to DEI and ESG considerations, as well as the extensive review we conducted of the DEI practices of our external managers around the world.
We have renewed our commitment to the Canadian Chapter of the 30% Club in the context of the evolution of its pledge. The organization, which has a target of 30% representation of women on the Boards and executive teams of S&P/TSX-listed companies, has now set another target to increase the presence of underrepresented groups. Alongside this organization, we take part in several meetings to promote diversity best practices to our portfolio companies, and we have also taken part in a collaborative engagement effort — see the Constellation Software case study.
In 2022, CDPQ invited several portfolio companies recognized for their DEI and climate actions to attend in a roundtable discussion to share best practices on these issues. The discussion included a review of the roles played by businesses and investors in creating more sustainable and inclusive communities. More than 130 leaders from our private equity firms attended the event, which provided an opportunity to share innovative initiatives, practical recommendations and courses of action.
During 2022, we pursued our engagement with several major international initiatives.
Co-founded by CDPQ in 2018 and co-chaired by our organization since its inception, this group of 12 global institutional investors works on addressing climate change and on fostering sustainable infrastructure and diversity in investment.
This year, the ILN released three publications: The Inclusive Finance Playbook, a guide of inclusion metrics in finance; The Net Zero Investor Playbook, a climate report; and a series of recommendations entitled Blended Finance, MDB Optimization and Private Capital Mobilization.
In addition, we have been actively involved in the infrastructure fellowship program at York University’s Schulich School of Business. This program has been completed by 33 senior officials responsible for infrastructure planning in 18 growth markets. We also organized round tables with pioneering companies on DEI issues and co-led several research projects.
(United Nations-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance)
CDPQ is a founding member of this initiative launched by the United Nations in 2019 and sits on its Board. The 85 institutional investor members of the Net‑Zero Alliance have committed to achieving a net-zero portfolio by 2050 by supporting the decarbonization of the real economy to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In 2022, the Net-Zero Alliance released its second report, which details the progress made toward net zero by investors according to four targets: commitment, emissions reductions by portfolio and by sector, as well as transition financing. Beyond these targets, the report highlights the Alliance’s efforts to promote changes that would foster a just transition, including a government-set carbon price and standardized climate data disclosures.
Since 2021, CDPQ has been a member of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, an international business coalition of more than 200 institutions and companies that supports the transition to a more sustainable economy. We take part in the Asset Managers and Asset Owners Task Force alongside other major actors from around the world. We have also worked closely with several industry players, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), on a roadmap to promote carbon neutrality in the airline industry.
Lastly, in 2022 we joined SMI’s Terra Carta initiative, which aims to provide companies with guiding principles for building a sustainable future by 2030.
As part of Indonesia’s presidency of the G20 in 2022, CDPQ co-chaired the B20 Finance and Infrastructure Task Force, which led to the release of a series of recommendations focused on accelerating infrastructure financing.
We are members of this alliance of leaders in international finance. Formed by the United Nations Secretary General, the GISD seeks to facilitate and accelerate the deployment of capital to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have taken part in promoting reforms of the multilateral banking system alongside business stakeholders.
In 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) held consultations on recent developments in ESG and climate disclosure standards. CDPQ brought together a group of Canadian peers to develop joint responses to this critical issue. Our goal: to promote more rigorous criteria on the quality of information available to institutional investors.
We are convinced that investors and businesses, along with public institutions and governments, have essential roles to play in fostering a just transition. This is why we believe it is important to actively participate in major international events. This year, we supported initiatives and shared our expertise on several occasions at COP27 and COP15.
In November 2022, CDPQ took part in several meetings and events at COP27 on climate change, held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. This allowed us to further explore the issue of the climate emergency with actors from the financial sector, peers and partners.
CDPQ was invited to join important discussions on the role of institutional investors as drivers of the transition. We took part in various events alongside Québec peers such as Fondaction, our Canadian peers such as the OMERS and CPP Investments and international and multilateral actors such as the World Bank and several specialized United Nations agencies.
In December 2022, we took part in this international conference held in Montréal. We took advantage of this opportunity to bring together key players to discuss biodiversity and how the financial sector can be involved in implementing actions to protect and restore nature.
CDPQ took this opportunity to announce four new commitments on biodiversity. They reflect the three pillars of our approach:
CDPQ has launched an innovative research project that brings together universities, financial actors and non-governmental organizations. In collaboration with Fondaction, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS Quebec) and Biodiversité Québec, over the next few months we will be developing biodiversity indicators specific to Québec regions and investors.
We are a member of FAIRR, a globally recognized organization that facilitates cooperation among investors on ESG issues related to the food sector. In the interests of encouraging efforts to protect biodiversity, we have taken part in sending letters of commitment to targeted companies to raise their awareness on the impacts they have on nature and to encourage them to adopt best practices.
CDPQ has joined this multidisciplinary advisory group of over 1,000 organizations from around the world. The TNFD Forum supports the development of a common management and disclosure framework on nature-related risks for businesses and financial institutions. Our participation will allow us to speak with specialists to deepen our knowledge and foster better decision making, while encouraging capital allocations to more environmentally friendly activities.
CDPQ supports this initiative, which brings together more than 270 international organizations to share perspectives and ideas on accelerating the development of data intelligence on finance, biodiversity and nature-related risks. We are therefore participating in Framing the Future for Nature, a pilot program to implement the TNFD framework on a portion of our portfolio, which will lead us to combine geospatial data on biodiversity with S&P Global’s in-depth information about local business activities.
Beyond our investments, we are committed to supporting non-profit organizations that have concrete and direct impacts on the community. We consider this one more way to generate positive benefits for communities.
CDPQ supported more than 200 organizations working in our four priority philanthropic sectors:
We support Coop FA’s Carbone Scol'ERE educational program, which inspires students across Québec to adopt environmentally responsible behaviours. This program was also run in classrooms in various Indigenous communities, in collaboration with the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute. An initial pilot project was deployed in a few classrooms, which allowed for the educational methods to be adapted and to design workshops that reflect the reality of Indigenous communities.
We are a founding partner, alongside McGill University, of a new hub dedicated to providing businesses with concrete solutions for building a more sustainable economy. Through research-to-action projects, engagement workshops, global student competitions and knowledge sharing, the initiative will seek practical solutions to the economic challenges and environmental and social impacts that businesses face every day.
We support a research-to-action project led by the Institut universitaire en déficience intellectuelle et en trouble du spectre de l’autisme in collaboration with the foundation, whose objective is to help integrate young adults with an autism spectrum disorder into the labour market.
We contribute to the DEI Fund, a new initiative launched in 2022 by Centraide to encourage the adoption of inclusive practices in community settings as a way to better meet the needs of marginalized groups.
CDPQ participates in and works closely with numerous groups to advance sustainable investment practices.
|30% Club||Organization that targets having 30% women and the increased presence of other underrepresented groups on Board of Directors and management teams of companies listed on the S&P/TSX Composite Index||Canada||S|
|UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance||Coalition of investors committed to a net-zero economy||Global||E|
|Association of Quebec Women in Finance (AFFQ)||Network and place for discussion dedicated to the professional advancement of women in finance||Québec||S|
|Responsible Investment Association (RIA)||Association that contributes to the growth and development of responsible investment||Canada||ESG|
|Canadian Investor Statement on Diversity & Inclusion||Canadian Investor Statement on Diversity & Inclusion||Canada||S|
|Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC)||Group of Asian investors working to create awareness on climate change among financial players||Asia||E|
|Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA)||Organization dedicated to implementing sound corporate governance practices||Asia||G|
|Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG)||Coalition of Canadian investors that seeks to encourage corporate governance best practices||Canada||G|
|Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)||Initiative on environmental disclosure||Global||E|
|CDP Science-Based Targets Campaign||Coalition that seeks to encourage companies to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions||Global||E|
|Catalyst||Organization that helps create inclusive workplaces for women||Global||S|
|Ceres||Organization promoting sustainable finance||Global||E|
|EDGE+ Certification||Certification that measures DEI in the workplace||Global||S|
|CFO Leadership Network - Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Initiative||Group of chief financial officers from international organizations involved in sustainable finance||Global||ESG|
|Chambre de commerce LGBT du Québec||Organization that represents and supports the LGBT business community in order to foster success among its members and encourage their recognition in different socio-economic groups and by governments||Québec||S|
|Climate Action 100+||Campaign to raise awareness among large corporate GHG emitters||Global||E|
|Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI)||Organization that develops standards and raises awareness on the importance of green bonds||Global||E|
|Collège des administrateurs de sociétés (CAS)||Francophone institution dedicated to training Board members||Québec||G|
|Sustainable Finance Action Council||Federal government advisory committee on sustainable finance issues||Canada||ESG|
|Quebec Business Council on the Environment (CPEQ)||Organization that represents the business sector on questions related to the environment and sustainable development||Québec||E|
|Council for Cyber and Business Security of the Conference Board of Canada||Discussion group focused on best practices in cybersecurity||Canada||G|
|CEO statement of Canada’s eight largest pension fund managers||Statement calling on companies and investors to encourage sustainable and inclusive economic growth||Canada||ESG|
|Écotech Québec||Organization that maximizes opportunities to develop and deploy clean technologies||Québec||E|
|Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR)||Investor network working on ESG issues in the food sector||Global||ESG|
|Focusing Capital on the Long Term (FCLTGlobal)||Organization that conducts research and develops tools to encourage long-term investments||Canada||ESG|
|Finance Montréal||Organization dedicated to developing the financial sector||Québec||ESG|
|Statement by the Quebec Financial Centre for a Sustainable Finance||Charter of commitments by stakeholders in the Québec financial sector, initiated by Finance Montréal, in favour of finance based on responsible principles||Québec||ESG|
|Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ)||Coalition of leading financial institutions that aims to accelerate the transition to a net-zero global economy by 2050||Global||E|
|Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance (GISD)||Organization committed to increasing long-term financing and investment in sustainable development in line with UN goals||Global||ESG|
|Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD)||Organization that encourages excellence on Boards of Directors to strengthen corporate governance||Canada||G|
|Institute for governance of private and public organizations (IGOPP)||Research and training institute that aims to improve public and private organization governance||Québec||G|
|Institutional Investors Roundtable||Collaborative network of pension funds and sovereign wealth funds||Global||ESG|
|Institutional Limited Partners Association - ILPA||Group of international asset managers committed to working together to improve industry practices, particularly on ESG and DEI issues||Global||ESG|
|Diversity in Action Initiative||Initiative aimed at advancing DEI in private equity||Global||S|
|ESG Data Convergence Initiative||Initiative that aims to foster a convergence on ESG measures in private markets||Global||ESG|
|BlackNorth Initiative||Initiative to end systemic racism against the Black community and persons from visible minorities||Canada||S|
|United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)||UN program to catalyze action in the financial community on environmental issues||Global||E|
|International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)||Group of investors that promotes sound governance principles||Global||G|
|International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) - IFRS Foundation||Organization that is developing a global framework and disclosure standards for ESG factors||Global||ESG|
|The A Effect||Initiative that seeks to drive female ambition||Québec||S|
|Women in Governance||Organization that supports women’s leadership and career advancement||Canada||S|
|Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion||Organization that promotes diversity in the legal community||Canada||S|
|The Prosperity Project||Organization created to stop COVID-19 from setting back women||Canada||S|
|Les Cheffes de file||CDPQ initiative to propel the growth of women-owned businesses||Québec||S|
|Montréal Climate Partnership||Coalition of Montréal organizations working to fight climate change||Québec||E|
|Pension Investment Association of Canada (PIAC)||Forum for Canadian pension plans to share information and knowledge||Canada||G|
|Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA)||Coalition of governments and businesses working to end the use of coal||Global||E|
|Pride at Work Canada||Organization that empowers employers to build workplaces that celebrate all employees||Canada||S|
|Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)||Organization responsible for the UN's sustainable finance principles||Global||ESG|
|Financial sector statement on biodiversity for COP15||Commitment of international financial institutions to support biodiversity conservation and restoration through their investments||Global||E|
|Rep Matters||Initiative whose mission is to support Black entrepreneurs and offer networking opportunities||Canada||S|
|Investor Leadership Network (ILN)||International coalition of investors involved in sustainable finance||Global||ESG|
|Joint Engagement Letter on Diversity||Engagement by the members of the ILN toward DEI||Global||S|
|Réseau des femmes d’affaires du Québec (RFAQ)||Organization that promotes the growth of women-owned businesses through coaching and mentoring to help them access new markets||Québec||S|
|SASB Standards||International standards for companies to disclose their sustainability information||Global||ESG|
|Say on Climate||Initiative to promote consultative voting on corporate climate plans||Global||E|
|Standards Board for Alternative Investments (SBAI)||Organization to improve responsible practices, partnerships and knowledge on alternative investments||Global||ESG|
|Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI)||Coalition of financial players involved in the fight against climate change and in protecting biodiversity||Global||E|
|Terra Carta||Initiative to provide companies with a roadmap to 2030 to build an ambitious and sustainable future||Global||E|
|Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)||Task force that supports asset owners and fund managers in their climate change disclosure strategies||Global||E|
|Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD Forum)||Consultative group collaborating on disclosure and management of nature-related risks||Global||E|
|Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge||Coalition to encourage the financial community to withdraw from the tobacco industry||Global||ESG|