OPTrust, Toronto, engaged with 453 companies on environmental, social and governance issues in 2019, including board effectiveness, climate change and gender diversity, according to its Responsible Investing Report released Tuesday.
OPTrust, which manages the assets of the C$22 billion ($15.6 billion) Ontario Public Service Employees Union Pension Plan, Toronto, also voted at more than 2,000 shareholder meetings in more than 50 countries, according to a news release about the report.
Among the engagement efforts that have seen fruition, OPTrust pointed out the publication of Luxembourg-based steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal's first climate report to shareholders and General Mills' establishment of targets to make all packages recyclable by 2030.
In proxy voting, 86% of OPTrust's votes were with management, while 14% of votes were against management. Fifty-seven percent of proxy votes were director-related, while 23% were in response to "routine items," while 9% were related to compensation.
Seven percent of votes were related to capitalization, 3% to shareholder proposals and 1% to other.
"As a pension plan, we are long-term investors and our role is to look far ahead at challenges and opportunities that could affect our members' retirement security across multiple generations," said James Davis, chief investment officer of OPTrust, in the news release. "The world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace, but our approach to responsible investing embraces that change and recognizes challenges also bring opportunities."
The responsible investing report is available on OPTrust's website.