Pension Life - Summer 2023
Responsible investing and your College Pension Plan
Message from the trustees
Your pension is built on investments
In fact, for every dollar you receive as a retired plan member, 75 cents is generated by investment returns. The rest—about 25 cents—comes from the contributions you and your employer made during your working career.
As your plan’s board of trustees, we have a legal and fiduciary duty to invest in the best financial interests of all members.
We believe that financial considerations and environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are tied together. This means that over the long term, companies with strong ESG practices will generate the best financial returns for long-term investors like the pension plan.
BCI’s role in responsible investing
Financial and ESG factors are taken into account in the guidelines we provide to BC Investment Management Corporation (BCI, the plan’s investment agent) on how we want the plan’s assets invested. These guidelines align with BCI’s support of the global goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
We believe that the biggest systemic risk facing the world today is climate change. We also believe the best way we can reduce that risk is by directing BCI to practise engagement.
What is engagement?
Engagement means BCI uses its shareholder votes to influence companies and partners to be transparent about their ESG risks and to adopt best practices. Being a shareholder also means the companies we invest in can use our investment capital to help fund their transition to improved ESG practices.
If we sold our shares, we would lose our ability to encourage positive change. Selling shares also allows other investors (who may not prioritize ESG issues) to buy those shares at a reduced price. The likely result is the company continuing to operate with no improvement to its ESG practices.
BCI’s Climate Action Plan and ESG Annual Report, available at bci.ca, provide more information on our and BCI’s belief in responsible investing.