The British Columbia Investment Management Corp. plans to significantly increase its holdings of sustainability bonds as part of five-year goals for its public markets program.

BCI is targeting $5 billion of cumulative investments in sustainability bonds by 2025, compared with $887 million at the end of last year, according to a statement on its website. It will also reduce the carbon exposure in its global public equities portfolio by 30 per cent, using 2019 as a baseline.

A growing number of governments, companies, and institutional investors are establishing environmental, social and governance strategies. It’s in BCI’s clients’ best financial interests to set carbon-related targets that align with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming, Jennifer Coulson, vice president for ESG in public markets at the pension fund, said in an interview.

“We are already integrating ESG quite deeply into our active mandate, so we will continue to do that,” she said. “We’ll also continue to engage with companies to encourage them to align with the Paris Agreement and allocate to more sustainable assets.”

BCI is a pension fund for public sector workers in the western province of British Columbia, with $171.3 billion in assets.

Last month, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan committed to reaching net-zero emissions across its investment portfolio within three decades.

Ontario Teachers’ will increase investments in climate-friendly projects, ensure companies in its portfolio manage and report their emissions every year and work with them to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, according to its chief investment officer.