The Swiss pension fund for the employees of the national postal service, Pensionskasse Post, with CHF16bn (€16.2bn) in total assets, has adopted for the first time a “comprehensive sustainability strategy”, chief executive officer Françoise Bruderer Thom told IPE.

The scheme follows the recommendations of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to set climate goals in its sustainability strategy, the CEO said, adding that the first sustainability report, for 2023, was drafted according to ESG reporting standards defined by the pension funds association ASIP.

The scheme’s board of trustees approved the sustainability strategy and implementation guidelines at the end of last year, consolidating approaches previously differing according to asset classes, the sustainability report said.

In the past, Pensionskasse Post paid attention to sustainability criteria stipulated in investment regulations, the CEO explained. But it is now applying the process laid out by the SBTi to develop a CO2 reduction path tailored to investee companies.

All companies in the scheme’s listed equity and corporate bonds portfolios will have to make a commitment to net zero with credible interim targets and verified by 2040, according to the report.

Currently, 28% of the companies in the pension fund’s portfolios have verified climate targets, with a first interim goal of 60% set for 2030, and 80% by 2035, it added.

“Our investments are mapped by SBTi to measure portfolios. The [investment] universe covered by SBTi is larger [than ours]. There is an annual update to measure how far the companies in our portfolios have progressed,” Bruderer Thom said.

She added: “Not all companies can achieve the same goal in the same time frame, through the same intermediate goals. This also makes the reduction path more credible.”

Pensionskasse Post expects to expand the investment universe covered by data to measure the progress towards net zero, which will in turn lead to an increase in the number of companies held in its investment portfolio with verified climate goals, the report nadded.

Engagement and exclusions are the two main pillars of the scheme’s sustainability strategy.

The pension fund is part of the Ethos Engagement Pool Switzerland, and a founding member of the Swiss Association for Responsible Investments (SVVK-ASIR). From this year it will vote at annual general meetings of the 200 largest listed companies abroad.

Pensionskasse Post invests CHF285m in loans in the hydropower sector, CHF370m in microcredit loans, and CHF650m in infrastructure in the field of renewable energy production, storage, communication and transport. Its investment strategy remained unchanged last year.

“We review mandates periodically, which is normal, but an ALM [asset and liability management study] will not be carried out until 2025,” the CEO said.

Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here