Institutional investors welcome new report from Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance
June 14, 2019 – Institutional investors are endorsing sustainable finance and welcoming a new report from Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance.
The Expert Panel’s report includes fifteen recommendations to support the growth and development of sustainable finance in Canada. Sustainable finance refers to capital flows, risk management activities, and financial processes that incorporate environmental and social factors as a means of promoting sustainable economic growth and the long-term stability of the financial system¹.
The report has been welcomed by the Responsible Investment Association, a network of financial professionals and investment organizations representing more than C$12 trillion in assets under management.
“Prudent investors are always mindful of big changes that are happening in the market, and climate change is one of the biggest drivers of change in the global economy today,” said Dustyn Lanz, CEO of the Responsible Investment Association. “Investors need reliable information and a clear policy framework to better understand how climate change and other societal challenges could impact their portfolios. They also need a stable financial system in which to operate. The Expert Panel’s report marks an important step forward on all of those fronts.”
INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR STATEMENTS:
The Co-operators Group Ltd.
“Climate change is the defining issue of our times. It has and will continue to impact the financial, social and environmental prosperity of current and future generations. As risk experts, we cannot turn a blind eye,” said Rob Wesseling, President and CEO of The Co-operators Group Limited. “Our mission is to provide financial security for Canadians and their communities, and therefore we must engage on topics that risk their security. We fully support the findings of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance, believing that Canadian financial institutions play a pivotal role in a smart transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.”
University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation
“We fully support the final report of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance, and we strongly believe in the benefits of integrating ESG considerations into our investment decisions,” said Daren M. Smith, President and Chief Investment Officer of University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation. “In order to do this, we need high quality, reliable data, and the panel’s recommendation to establish a Canadian Centre for Climate Information and Analytics would be an innovative step in this regard. Like the panel, we believe ‘climate change opportunity and risk management need to become business-as-usual in financial services, and embedded in everyday business decisions, products and services.’ In our view, this is just smart investing.”
“Addressing the long-term impacts of climate change and other sustainability challenges urgently requires courageous leadership from the Canadian business community,” said Roger Beauchemin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Addenda Capital. “The Expert Panel has delivered 15 recommendations that would help the financial sector further embed climate change and other sustainability considerations into everything we do. We call on our peers to join us in embracing these recommendations.”
“We’ve long considered it our duty as responsible investors to help clients build a more sustainable future on the path to achieving their goals,” said Frederick M. Pinto, Senior Vice President and Head of Asset Management with NEI Investments. “The recommendations from the Expert Panel provide a strong foundation for doing that, with the potential for new investment opportunities and risk management tools. We intend to support and participate in their implementation in whatever ways make sense for our clients, their communities, and for Canada.”
RBC Global Asset Management
“Climate risk is one of the most pressing issues of our time, affecting almost all sectors and industries,” said Melanie Adams, VP & Head, Corporate Governance & Responsible Investment with RBC Global Asset Management. “We congratulate Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance on its comprehensive report and in particular, its endorsement of thoughtful, consistent and comparable climate-related disclosures to enable investors to properly assess the climate-related risks and opportunities faced by companies.”
AGF Management Ltd.
“There’s never been more evidence that sustainability can create long-term value for shareholders, while also contributing to a better environment, healthier communities and good corporate governance practices,” said Kevin McCreadie, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of AGF Management Limited. “As a leader in the development of sustainable investing initiatives, a sustaining member of the Responsible Investment Association (RIA) and signatory to the UNPRI, we continue to support the growth and development of sustainable finance in Canada through our participation in developing standards and best practices within our industry.”
“As Canada’s leading cooperative financial group, Desjardins is proud to contribute to Canada’s sustainable finance market and was pleased to offer input to the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance,” said Gregory Chrispin, Executive Vice-President, Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance with Desjardins Group. “Desjardins has been offering responsible investment funds to its members and clients since 1990, an offer that has been evolving ever since to better meet investors’ needs. We firmly believe that sustainable finance is an important lever to Canada’s sustainable prosperity.”
¹ Government of Canada (2018). Interim Report of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance. http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2018/eccc/En4-350-1-2018-eng.pdf
About the Responsible Investment Association
The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is a Canadian network of more than 300 institutional investors and investment professionals who practice and support responsible investing. The RIA’s institutional members collectively manage more than $12 trillion in assets. To learn more about the RIA, please visit www.riacanada.ca.
Nick Buccheri, Manager, Communications and Digital Media, RIA
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