Universities sign U of T-led responsible investment charter to help address climate change

June 19, 2020
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U of T News

The University of Toronto and more than a dozen Canadian universities have signed a landmark charter that aims to tackle climate change through a commitment to responsible investing practices.

The “Investing to Address Climate Change” charter was initiated by the University of Toronto and McGill University. It calls call on universities to, among other things: incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment practices; regularly measure the carbon footprints of investment portfolios and set meaningful targets to reduce them over time; and engage with companies to encourage them to reduce emissions.

Such measures have already been adopted by the University of Toronto Asset Management Corp. (UTAM), which manages about $10-billion in pension, endowment and other funds on behalf of the university. In fact, UTAM said earlier this year that it plans to reduce the carbon footprint of the endowment and pension investment portfolios by at least 40 per cent by 2030.

“Climate change is one of the most urgent challenges facing our world, so it is absolutely vital that Canada’s universities work together to address it – and responsible investing practices like those adopted by UTAM are one way to make an impact,” said U of T President Meric Gertler.

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