Shaping the future of sustainable finance

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The Institute for Sustainable Finance is a multi-disciplinary network of research and professional development that brings together academia, the private sector, and government to shape Canada’s innovations in sustainable finance.

Professional Development

Sustainable Investing - Virtual Program

Learn sustainable investing strategies that are transforming finance.

This program will provide the key components and considerations for sustainable investing and ESG assessment, including deeper dives into integrating ESG into securities selection and portfolio management processes, and best practices for stewardship and engagement.

Canada’s Transition & Green Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance

As a Knowledge Partner for the Sustainable Finance Action Council’s taxonomy work, the ISF has created resources for understanding sustainable finance taxonomies and their development, and the importance of a Transition and Green Taxonomy for Canada.

ISF Briefing Note: Financing Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

A new briefing note from the ISF clarifies the challenge of financing adaptation and resilience infrastructure to protect Canadians from the effects of climate change, and proposes a plan to find the solutions.

Partial Disclosure: Assessing the state of physical and transition climate risk disclosure in Canada

A new ISF study takes a close look at the state of climate-related risk disclosures by Canadian firms and finds they are often lacking in terms of quantity and quality.

What is Sustainable Finance?

The Canadian Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance defines it as: capital flows, risk management activities, and financial processes that assimilate environmental and social factors as a means of promoting sustainable economic growth and the long-term sustainability of the financial system.

In its simplest form, this means aligning our financial systems and services to promote long-term environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. Learn more about Sustainable Finance through our Primer Series.

Ryan Riordan, Distinguished Professor of Finance at Smith School of Business and director of research at the Institute for Sustainable Finance explains sustainable finance.

2021 in review:
ISF’s stock continues to rise

The past year has been a time of growth and change for the Institute for Sustainable Finance.

From opening the TSX to attending COP26, we have been where the action is, helping mobilize capital to fight climate change. Our hard-hitting research has informed decision makers in finance, industry and public policy. We captured the attention of the media, and led a lively discussion on social media. And we have contributed significantly to making sustainability a mainstream issue that investors and firms must pay attention to.

We hope you enjoy this video tribute to the many accomplishments of our great team. For more on ISF’s activities and accomplishments, check out our latest Progress and Impact Report.


March 16, 2023

ISF Primer Series: Natural Assets

Increasingly business and finance will need to consider the value of biodiversity, and the natural assets we all depend on to survive and prosper. In the ISF's latest Primer article, Ryan Riordan, Yingzhi Sarah Tang and William Hamilton write that "the private sector plays an instrumental role in achieving the ambitious targets and timelines of the Kunming-Montreal Framework, through aligning its capital flows with nature-positive outcomes."

March 9, 2023

Strict new climate risk guidelines for banks, insurers “huge” for financial markets: ISF’s Riordan

“It’s important that both physical and transition risks are covered,” by newly announced OSFI guidelines for climate risk reporting by Canada’s biggest banks and insurers, says Ryan Riordan, Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Finance. And crucially, “disclosure must be relevant, specific, comprehensive, clear, verifiable, consistent and understandable information,” says Riordan. “This is huge. Firms have to makes sure that what they report is correct. They must develop a reporting methodology that will remain consistent over time. This is great for the financial markets because the information will be good enough to make long term investing and lending decisions. It also allows for a meaningful comparison over time and across similar firms.”