Montréal, May 4, 2023 – Bâtirente and FÉRIQUE Fund Management, with support from Æquo, Shareholder Engagement Services, have submitted a shareholder proposal to Imperial Oil Limited (“Imperial”), requesting that it adopt an absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target.
By submitting such a proposal to Imperial, Bâtirente and FÉRIQUE Fund Management are asking the company to join forces with several other oil industry companies that have adopted absolute reduction targets, including Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources Limited and Cenovus. “Companies that commit to reducing their absolute emissions demonstrate sound management of business risks and opportunities in investors’ eyes,” said François Meloche, Head of Corporate Engagement at Æquo.
The proposal garnered the support of nearly 16% of minority shareholders at the May 2nd meeting. “This is a bold proposal that was supported by a number of investors! The result sends a clear message to Imperial and other companies within their industry that they unquestionably must respond to the climate crisis by developing an absolute GHG emissions reduction target,” stated Bâtirente CEO Éric Filion. Note that 69.6% of Imperial’s voting rights are held by ExxonMobil, which voted against the proposal.
“All companies, especially those in the energy sector, must align their business activities and strategies with the Paris Agreement and thereby reduce their emissions by 2050,” said Louis Lizotte, Chief, Investment Solutions at FÉRIQUE Fund Management.
According to Éric Filion, the proposal is part of the shared efforts aimed at encouraging oil companies to reduce their GHG emissions and diversify their activities toward low-carbon products and services. In line with several other companies, Imperial announced a net-zero emissions target by 2050. To achieve this, it adopted a 30% carbon intensity reduction objective for its activities by 2030, compared with 2016.
“While adopting a carbon intensity reduction target is commendable, this kind of objective must necessarily be accompanied by an absolute reduction target to ensure real reductions happen and, ultimately, a net-zero emissions level is reached,” explained François Meloche of Æquo, which guided Bâtirente and FÉRIQUE Fund Management during this process. Mr. Meloche reiterated that a reduction in intensity could be accompanied by a total increase in absolute GHG emissions.
Bâtirente is a group retirement system created in 1987 at the initiative of the CSN. It allows 27,000 workers, grouped in 319 labour unions, to benefit from pension plans tailored to their needs by pooling their savings.
A leader in responsible investing, Bâtirente believes that actively managing its investee companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks helps ensure sound capitalization of the pension plan as well as long-term economic and social development, which are both required for sustainable financial performance.
About Gestion FÉRIQUE
FÉRIQUE Fund Management is a Canadian mutual fund manager founded in 1999. The firm offers 18 funds, including five portfolios diversified across the asset classes required for sound diversification. Management of the Funds is entrusted to renowned external firms mandated by FÉRIQUE Fund Management according to their area of specialization. The FÉRIQUE Funds had more than $3,5 billion in assets under management and more than 23,850 clients as at December 31, 2022.
FÉRIQUE Fund Management and FÉRIQUE Investment Services, which are both headquartered in Montreal, are non-profit organizations – a business model rarely found in the investment and wealth management field – whose objective is to offer investment solutions aligned with the needs of their exclusive clientele of engineers, engineering graduates and their family members. To consult the legal notice.
About Æquo, Shareholder Engagement Services
Æquo, Shareholder Engagement Services is an institutional investor services firm specializing in responsible investment, whose mission is to ensure the impact of strategies determined by its partners and clients. Æquo offers services related to shareholder engagement, sustainable finance consulting, voting rights and impact assessment. Æquo’s partners mobilize more than $100 billion in shares and bonds in its engagement pools to promote better ESG performance for Canadian and American listed companies.
For more information
Communications and Marketing Manager
514-525-5740, ext. 2425
François Fréchette, CFA
Senior Director of Investments
514-840-9206, ext. 610
Partner, Head of Corporate Engagement