The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers, has partnered with world-leading engineering and climate consultancy group WSP to conduct a detailed climate analysis of its Global Natural Resources (NR) portfolio.

The analysis, which will be conducted alongside PSP Investments’ local operating partners, covers more than three million hectares of farmland and timberland on more than 400 individual properties, across six countries. It will span a wide variety of crops including timber, tree nuts, vineyards, fruit, grain, cotton and animal protein.

Key objectives

The first objective of the analysis is to establish a portfolio-wide baseline of PSP Investments’ NR greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) using farm-level data. This information will support the development and implementation of a decarbonization roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and establish science-based transition plans for portfolio companies.

The second objective will be to determine the sequestration capabilities of PSP Investments’ NR assets in different carbon pools (e.g., biomass carbon and soil organic carbon). This work will leverage academic studies, third-party expert knowledge, and on-the-ground experience of local management teams, to develop robust methodologies and determine appropriate data sources to consistently quantify and report biogenic carbon dioxide removals and storage.

The WSP climate analysis will integrate into PSP Investments’ participation in a pilot program, the Farmland Management Standard, led by Leading Harvest, a non-profit organization focuses on sustainable agriculture. The Farmland Management Standard, a third-party assurance program, aims to standardize sustainability measurement and reporting across agriculture and food production.

“As a long-term investor and one of the leading global investors in agriculture and timber, we are highly committed to the continuous improvement of our sustainable farming practices around the world. Farmland and forestry assets carry significant potential to support global climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, including through their carbon sequestration potential,” says Marc Drouin, senior managing director and global head of NR at PSP Investments. “This ground-breaking project with WSP will give us the detailed, farm-by-farm information we need to help our platforms map out a path to global net-zero.”

The analysis follows the launch of PSP Investments’ inaugural Climate Strategy and builds on its longstanding commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through best-in-class, sustainable farming and timber management practices.

“For WSP, the opportunity to work with a global organization like PSP Investments, which operates across such a broad range of crops, timber species and geographies, is unique and exciting,” Mel de Jager, Vice President, Climate Change, Resilience & Sustainability at WSP. “Through this work, not only will we be able to help PSP Investments and its partners fully understand the footprint of their greenhouse gas emissions, but we will have a real opportunity to advance knowledge of carbon sequestration on agricultural lands”.

PSP Investments is one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers with $230.5 billion of net assets under management as of March 31, 2022. As one of the world’s leading professional services firms, WSP provides strategic advisory, engineering, and design services to clients in the transportation, infrastructure, environment, building, power, energy, water, mining, and resources sectors through 55,000 trusted professionals.

Featured image credit: Phillip Reiner/Unsplash.

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