Responsible Investing Policy
The primary goal of CAAT’s responsible investing activities is to assist in maximizing the Fund’s risk adjusted returns.
CAAT believes that, over the long term, companies that have sound corporate governance structures and practices will outperform those that do not.
CAAT believes that managing the risk to long-term shareholder return includes the awareness and management of the environmental and social impacts of a corporation’s business activities. Inattention to these impacts can result in, among other things, reputational harm that in turn can lead to financial underperformance.
CAAT supports and encourages fair wages, benefits and working conditions for workers employed by our assets. In particular, we point to the ILO Principles addressing the right to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively and freedom for workers’ representatives from discrimination and their right to access all workplaces necessary to enable them to carry out their representation functions.
CAAT recognizes the important role and contribution of public employees – and a public sector with sufficient capacity and resources – in ensuring the long-term prosperity of our society and economy.
One of the most important ways for CAAT to encourage corporations to be environmentally and socially responsible and to adopt sound governance practices is by using its proxy vote. CAAT or its voting service provider will:
- Vote proxies in a thoughtful, responsible manner. Shareholder proposals on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues will be examined on a case-by-case basis taking into account the possible effects that any proposed actions would have on the long-term shareholder value of the corporation.
- Encourage disclosure by corporations on ESG factors and risks so that investors can be better informed as they do their financial and fundamental analysis.
Vote for proposals that corporations adopt policies that embrace the following third party guidelines / principles:
- The International Labour Organization’s Conventions
- The Ceres Principles on the Environment
- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises - General Principles
CAAT will also join with other institutional investors in engaging with the management of corporations in which it invests to encourage better environmental, social and governance practices.
- Membership in the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance
- Participation in PIAC’s Corporate Governance endeavours
Sign on to:
- The Carbon Disclosure Project
- The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
- Other initiatives as approved by the Board of Trustees
In meetings with the Fund’s Investment Managers, where appropriate to the type of mandate, CAAT will encourage the incorporation of environmental, social and governance factors into the investment management processes.
The Board of Trustees will review this policy at least once every three years to ensure that it remains relevant and appropriate.
The Board of Trustees approved this Policy on March 27, 2007.
The Board of Trustees approved an amended Policy on March 2, 2010.