The Board became a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). By joining the PRI, the Public Service Pension Board of Trustees, reaffirms its belief that ESG issues can affect investment performance to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions, asset classes and through time. The Board believes that ESG issues, including climate change, are a material consideration for the long-term investment horizon of the pension fund.
One of the Boards' trustees is a founding board member of the Canadian Capital Stewardship Network (CCSN) that was launched at the SHARE conference in 2019. Additional roles for the trustee include the Steering Committee of the Western North America PRI. In 2019, the trustee presented to the Committee on Workers' Capital (CWC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD presentation focused on the ethics of data science and how it impacts the GIG economy.
By joining the PRI the Board intends to augment the positive impact of its investment manager, BCI, also a signatory to the PRI, on the investment landscape. The Board commits to the following:
• To incorporate Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes;
• To be an active owner and to incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices;
• To seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest;
• To promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry;
• To work with the PRI Secretariat and other signatories to enhance their effectiveness in implementing the Principles;
• To report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
The Board's RI Committee has an initial mandate to:
- Fulfill the Board’s reporting responsibilities as a signatory to the PRI
- Develop guidelines to govern PRI-related decisions, including guidelines on participation in PRI engagement initiatives; participation on PRI committees and voting in PRI elections
- Develop and implement processes to confirm the Board’s responsible investment beliefs and objectives
Representatives from our Board sit on the Interplan Investment Committee. The Interplan Investment Committee (IIC) provides a forum for considering investment issues common to the College, Public Service and Teachers’ pension boards of trustees. The IIC can make recommendations to each pension board on matters such as investment policy and procedure statements, and investment issues identified by a pension board, BCI or the committee itself. The IIC regularly considers investment industry trends, regulatory and legal developments, responsible investing issues, asset class reviews and updates on capital markets. It is actively engaged with RI initiatives as it reviews and makes recommendations to the pension Board(s) about their Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIPP), and monitors the performance and oversees the activities of BCI, our investment agent, with respect to RI matters.
Our investment agent, BCI's, Board of Directors is briefed on their PRI Assessment results each year as is their Executive Management Team so they are aware of their results and if action is required in areas of concern. The BCI Board is informed and receives all RI materials and updates.
BCI's Portfolio Managers and Analysts are responsible for integrating responsible investing into their practices, procedures, and responsibilities during due diligence and ongoing asset management. In the Public Markets department, analysts are assigned to companies and are responsible for monitoring and jointly assigning ESG scores. The BCI investment professionals are required to develop and measure KPIs, and identify and evaluate ESG investment opportunities.
BCI's Dedicated RI staff in the Public Markets department are responsible for assessing and voting all proxies, engaging with companies, leading and/or participating in collaborative engagements, as well as preparing submissions to regulators and public policy bodies. BCI RI staff are responsible for ESG evaluations of portfolio companies, and sharing the results with BCI portfolio managers and analysts with whom ESG scores are assigned.
BCI's Dedicated ESG staff in the Investment Strategy & Risk department is responsible for the assessment and management of ESG risks and opportunities at the total BCI fund level. This will include the ongoing monitoring and management of material climate change related risks and opportunities across all investments. This team also supports and analyzes all ESG evaluations in private market asset classes.
BCI's External Managers: Prior to committing clients' funds to a new fund manager, BCI analyzes and assesses how they incorporate ESG factors into their processes. During the due diligence phase, BCI will review and question the internal policies and steps taken to address, manage and mitigate material ESG risks. BCI's assessment includes the manager's track record with managing environmental risks, governance practices, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, as well as their overall approach to responsible investing. ILPA's Private Equity Principles informed the development of a checklist for fund investments, which is incorporated into their standard operating procedures and each fund investment memorandum. Once invested, BCI regularly promotes their responsible investing principles and expects each fund manager to acknowledge their understanding of BCI's approach and beliefs. BCI also monitors the agreements, treaties and international standards that fund managers may or may not endorse.
BCI's Communication group is accountable for the communication to our Board and the public in accordance with their approved responsible investing communication strategy. The group is also accountable for informing BCI staff of responsible investing initiatives and activities. They liaise with organizations and parties on Responsible Investment initiatives that are publicly announced.