UTAM has joined fellow investor signatories of CDP in supporting the organization’s Science-Based Targets Campaign, which aims to accelerate the corporate sector’s adoption of science-based reduction targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This initiative aligns well with our goal to reduce the carbon footprint of U of T’s Pension and Endowment portfolios by 40% compared to 2017 levels by 2030.

In a statement released on October 13, 137 global financial institutions representing nearly US$20 trillion in assets called on more than 1,800 companies that are high GHG emitters to set 1.5°C science-based emissions reduction targets and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Together, the companies have annual Scope 1 and 2 emissions of 13.5 gigatons, equivalent to 25% of global GHG emissions.

The Science-Based Targets Campaign is the largest global collaborative engagement effort in which investors collectively ask companies to set science-based targets with methodological guidance from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), of which CDP is a founding member. “The group of financial institutions are urging companies to set targets through the SBTi to ensure that they are independently verified against the de-facto industry standard for science-based corporate climate target setting,” the statement says. “This enables investors and companies to raise climate ambition that can be measured in a uniform, comparable way.”

The statement goes on to say that more than 1,000 companies have already set science-based targets for reducing emissions, and over 300 have set their ambition at 1.5°C through the SBTi campaign. It adds, “Reducing value chain emissions in line with climate science can increase companies’ resilience and competitiveness, help drive innovation, respond to regulatory adjustments and increase investor confidence.”

Companies that accept the call to action must sign a commitment letter confirming their participation in the global movement of leading companies aligning their business with the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Investors will engage with companies until May 2021, when the campaign’s impact will be evaluated.

UTAM became a signatory to CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) in 2016. CDP is a non-profit organization that operates the global environmental disclosure platform. Each year, CDP supports thousands of companies and governments in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguarding water resources and protecting forests. UTAM is an active contributor to various other CDP initiatives, including its Non-Disclosure Campaign, in which we engage with companies that have not responded to CDP’s disclosure requests.

Read more about the CDP Science-Based Targets Campaign.