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Engagement is a key tool for managing carbon emissions and risk exposure in our passive portfolio. Through our membership and support of the Carbon Disclosure Project, Investor Group on Climate Change and the UN Principles for Responsible Investment we use our influence as a shareholder to engage with investment managers and the companies we invest in about climate change. Climate change is also a key theme for BMO Global Asset Management, the company we have appointed to undertake global responsible investment engagement with companies  on our behalf.

Through these channels, we engage in partnership with some very large international investors; collectively, our capital carries significantly more weight. On occasions, we also engage with companies directly.

For example, the Carbon Disclosure Project focuses on encouraging the disclosure of company-specific climate change data, risks and opportunities. Greater disclosure by companies of this information will improve the ability of investors such as ourselves to analyse how well companies are positioned to respond to climate change and be resilient in the changing policy, technology and market landscape.  

BMO’s climate change engagements on our behalf in 2015 focused on encouraging strategic thinking by oil, gas and mining companies about how to stress test business models against a lower-carbon future. In 2016, BMO is expanding its work by reaching out to the utilities and energy-intensive sectors, to encourage strategic long-term thinking about the sector’s ability to adapt to a changing global energy market.