Founded in 1963, Ontario Municipal Employees (OMERS) is a pension plan with 1,000 participating employers ranging from large cities to local agencies and over half a million active, deferred and retired members. The members of OMERS include union and non-union employees of municipalities, school boards, local boards, transit systems, electrical utilities, emergency services and children's aid societies across Ontario, Canada. With a team of investors across offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, OMERS has generated CAD 119.5 billion in net assets as of June 30, 2022.
Ontario Municipal Employees has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. The financial institution also discloses the aggregate amount and share of investment it devotes to climate solutions while it defines the solutions according to an internationally adopted framework.
Ontario Municipal Employees discloses the proportion of women in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category. The financial institution also has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption. Additionally, the financial institution has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights complaints or bribery and corruption concerns.
In terms of its approach to senior leadership accountability, while Ontario Municipal Employees’ board of directors approve and support the approach to climate change, the pension fund could clarify if the end responsibility for all sustainability issues lies with this body. Furthermore, the financial institution could link the remuneration of its executive or management teams to sustainability performance criteria. It also has an opportunity to disclose the proportion of women in senior leadership roles and actions it takes in order to address any gender pay gaps. Additionally, the financial institution has an opportunity to describe its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with investees.
Ontario Municipal Employees could disclose absolute interim emissions reduction targets at the group level, such as a 45% reduction in financed emissions by 2030. The financial institution also has an opportunity to disclose the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change, specifically on the alignment with the Paris Agreement. Additionally, no evidence was found regarding the financial institution’s approach to fossil fuels that spans across the fossil fuel value chain and its assets under management, such as the amount or share of investment it directs towards fuels, or its stance on investing in companies with new fossil fuel projects. Regarding nature and biodiversity, no evidence was found that the financial institution is committed to minimising its negative impacts or investing in regenerative solutions.
There is no evidence that Ontario Municipal Employees has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights laid out in the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) and the ILO declaration on fundamental rights at work. The financial institution has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its investment activities. It also has an opportunity to disclose the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by age group, gender or another indicator of diversity. To provide transparency on financial inclusivity, the financial institution has an opportunity to disclose the amount of investment directed towards low-income developing countries.