A question for the CPPIB, from FoE supporter Larry Meikle
Friends of the Earth supporter, Larry Meikle attended the 2018 previous CPPIB meeting in person. For the 2020 virtual meeting, he’s submitted the following question to the Chairperson of the CPPIB for the 2020 meetings.
“The recently released 2020 CPP Investments’ Sustainability Investing report, under ‘Exclusions and Exits’, states: “As a long-term investor, we prefer to actively engage with, and attempt to influence, companies when we disagree with a position taken by management or a board of directors of our active holdings. Selling our shares and walking away is easy yet achieves very little [my emphasis].”
Do you consider it to be ‘achieving very little’ to walk away from a company whose management and/or board do not actively promote and execute strong ESG policies? One such company that comes to mind is Crestone Peak Resources.
Would you consider walking away from companies who engage in activities that are counter to Canada’s foreign policy, eg. the use of coal, to be ‘achieving very little’?
In your Policy on Sustainable Investing, under Our Principles, you state: “Given our legislative objectives, we consider and integrate both ESG risks and opportunities into our investment analysis, rather than eliminating investments based on ESG factors alone [my emphasis].”
I take it from this that there are no ESG factors alone, no matter how significant, that would cause you to walk away from an investment if it offered significant ‘opportunities’, ie., profit. This puts CPP Investments at odds with Canada’s foreign policy, and the sentiments of most Canadians.