Mackenzie Investment Reaches Out to Their Top 100 Emitters

The research-based engagement initiative encourages and influences climate action at the highest emitting companies across Mackenzie’s portfolios.

In 2022, Mackenzie Investments launched their flagship climate research and engagement program as part of their firm-wide commitment to Net-Zero.

Their ‘Top Emitters’ engagement program is jointly led by their sustainability stewardship team and their investment teams — encouraging and influencing climate action at the highest emitting companies across Mackenzie’s portfolios.

This project was undertaken to support Mackenzie Investments’ Net-Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) commitment to have approximately 50% of their assets align to Net-Zero and to have validated science-based targets in place, through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) or equivalent, by 2030.

Preliminary research for action was conducted through a bottom-up and top-down approach. This included the creation of a Climate Champions Working Group — which drew from the expertise and enthusiasm found across the organisation. The group was able to gather research and insights and form partnerships that proved key to the development of the action plan and helped set expectations across the company.

Sustainability Research and Engagement team

The Working Group was behind the development and approval of the firm’s proprietary climate research templates which are used as an assessment tool for tracking a company’s climate transition plan, their progress towards setting out a clear roadmap towards net-zero, and to highlight key gaps within a plan in relation to industry/market best practice.

From here the Mackenzie’s Sustainable Investing Committee was formed to shape the firm’s climate action plan. The committee, which includes Mackenzie’s CIOs and representation from investment teams with high exposure to resource intensive sectors and companies, worked to create an interim target for the firm.

To do this, the Committee leveraged leading frameworks such as the Net-Zero Investment Framework and guidance outlined by the Science Based Targets Initiative. In addition, they benchmarked their commitment against those of their peers who had already released their targets.

Beyond establishing these targets under their NZAM commitment, Mackenzie developed their Top 100 Emitters Climate Action Engagement Program, to help meet these goals.

The engagement program is a vital part of operationalizing Mackenzie’s NZAM commitment and their ambitious Corporate Climate Action plan. Through it, they will engage with the 100 companies who currently contribute 70% of Mackenzie’s aggregated financed emissions in listed equities. By prioritising these companies for setting science-based targets and climate transition plans, Mackenzie helps establish a strong foundation for the broader global economy to align with net-zero. This is true especially in markets with a large carbon footprint such as Canada and the United States.

Once it became clear that efforts should focus on these top 100 names, Mackenzie took a collaborative approach to addressing climate risks within these investment holdings.

Their research templates helped them internally assess the present state of a company’s climate action plan and allowed them to classify companies in actionable buckets, either Not Aligning, Partially Aligning, or Aligned, with the objective of influencing these companies to become Aligned to a Net-Zero pathway over time through engagement.

In 2022, Mackenzie met with 56 companies via the Top 100 Emitters Engagement Program and in 2023, Mackenzie is on track to meet with the full Top 100.

Through these discussions Mackenzie is advancing the decarbonization and resilience of the Canadian and global economy. Eleven companies have announced thirteen new medium-term GHG reduction targets (2026-2030) and/or Net-Zero by 2050 commitments. Three companies have newly committed to the SBTi. Six companies have announced new or expanded climate disclosures in line with the TCFD recommendations, to enhance their oversight of, and transparency around, climate risk. Mackenzie has confirmed directly with these companies that these positive changes have been either partially or wholly influenced by their climate engagement program.

Top 100 Engagement Case Study

While Mackenzie readily acknowledges that change may also be the result of a broader effort encouraged by the global investment community, their engagement approach has also been highly commended by a number of the companies for its research-based approach and its expertise in climate governance matters.

Mackenzie is proud to play a significant part in enabling a shift towards a lower carbon future while also safeguarding their investments against climate risk and promoting sustainable value for their clients.

Their highly imitatable Top 100 Emitters program sets a new standard for systematic Stewardship in Canada, offering the best possible returns for everyone.