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British Columbia Public Service Pension Board of Trustees

PRI reporting framework 2020

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Investment policy

SG 01. RI policy and coverage

New selection options have been added to this indicator. Please review your prefilled responses carefully.

01.1. Indicate if you have an investment policy that covers your responsible investment approach.

01.2. Indicate the components/types and coverage of your policy.

Select all that apply

Policy components/types

Coverage by AUM

01.3. Indicate if the investment policy covers any of the following

01.4. Describe your organisation’s investment principles and overall investment strategy, interpretation of fiduciary (or equivalent) duties,and how they consider ESG factors and real economy impact.

In our Board's Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIPP) our Responsible Investing Policy states:

11.3 In keeping with the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities and framework, the Board believes that environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) issues can affect investment performance to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions, asset classes and through time. In this regard, the Board supports the UN-led Principles for Responsible Investment, introduced in April 2006 (http://www.unpri.org/principles/). By applying these principles, the Board recognizes that effective research, analysis and evaluation of ESG issues is a fundamental part of assessing the value and performance of an investment over the long term.

In Appendix C:, Section 13 one of our investment premises states:

13. The Board believes that companies that do a good job of managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters have less financial risk and perform better financially over the longer term. ESG factors may affect investment performance over time and to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions and asset classes. BCI expects companies to be responsible in their operations, adopt good standards of occupational health & safety, and effectively manage stakeholder relationships.

Our investment agent, BCI, has their investment beliefs posted to their website.
 

01.5. Provide a brief description of the key elements, any variations or exceptions to your investment policy that covers your responsible investment approach. [Optional]

The Board recognizes that strong corporate governance and responsible corporate behaviour pertaining to environmental and social factors will generally contribute to better long-term financial performance of a company. Our investment agent, BCI's, approach is based on four key activities;

Integrate - Integrating ESG analysis and risk management in all investment processes, from supporting our asset allocation decisions to individual investment decisions with their portfolios 

Influence - Through engagement and advocacy including proxy voting and engagement with publicly traded companies, as well as serving as a director on boards of privately-held companies, BCI applies its influence on companies in which they invest, their partners, and other participants in capital markets

Invest - BCI actively seeks opportunities to invest in those ESG themed investments that contribute to improved long-term outcomes and reinforce their investment beliefs 

Insight - BCI uses their learnings across all ESG activities, as well as their understanding of emerging trends, to generate insights that help them continuously adapt and improve their strategies, processes, and approaches.

BCI's ESG Strategy is disclosed in a separate document as well as a synopsis provided in their Responsible Investing Annual Report. https://www.bci.ca/approach/responsible-investing/

01.6. Additional information [Optional].

          
        

SG 01 CC. Climate risk (Private)


SG 02. Publicly available RI policy or guidance documents

 

02.1. Indicate which of your investment policy documents (if any) are publicly available. Provide a URL and an attachment of the document.

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02.2. Indicate if any of your investment policy components are publicly available. Provide URL and an attachment of the document.

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02.3. Additional information [Optional].

In 2020, the Board expects to approve a Strategic Decision and Risk Management Framework which includes a principle for Responsible Investment. 

The Board invests in the best long-term financial interests of the plan beneficiaries. The Board believes that, over the long-term, the best results are founded on sound governance practices and ethical standards, compliance with environmental regulations, progressive labour relations, and protection of human rights.

As stated in the Boards' Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIPP), "The Board has a legal obligation to act in the best financial interest of the beneficiaries of the trust and exercise a high standard of care in protecting the Fund and its assets".

The Board strives to ensure that the Plan and its Funds continue and retain value for current and future members and takes a long-term view in all decisions and considers consequential impacts.

In 2017, our investment agent, BCI, updated its investment beliefs to align with its new business strategy. A PDF of its investment beliefs is publicly available on its website at https://bci.ca/approach/investment-beliefs. In 2018, BCI began the process to update its corporate ESG strategy and this update continued throughout 2019.


SG 03. Conflicts of interest

03.1. Indicate if your organisation has a policy on managing potential conflicts of interest in the investment process.

03.2. Describe your policy on managing potential conflicts of interest in the investment process.

Conflicts of interest in the investments of the Board are not likely to occur because the Board does not decide individual investments and individual Board members do not have the authority to direct BCI. The Board’s Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures addresses governance and the role of BCI in section 3 and Conflicts of Interest in section 12 of Appendix C. The Board’s Code of Conduct includes conflict of interest rules that prohibit a trustee from using information or authority for the trustee’s personal benefit or private interests. 

Due to word limitation, our complete Code of Conduct, conflict of interest rules are located online at the following URL: 

https://pspp.pensionsbc.ca/documents/824580/824622/pspp-code-of-conduct-policy.pdf/c2c8bc87-1594-4c50-bae6-6e5599feaf5d

Our investment agent, BCI, is responsible for ensuring client funds are managed in accordance with the investment policy. All BCI employees are bound by their Corporate Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (includes a commitment to responsible investment as one of the principles) and must certify compliance annually. BCI is required to meet or exceed the investment industry standards established by the CFA Institute. BCI also has a Code of Conduct for Directors; and BCI board members do not have any authority, individually or as a board, to direct investments.

03.3. Additional information. [Optional]


SG 04. Identifying incidents occurring within portfolios (Private)


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