wavy line

Newsblog

June 29, 2021

Green building efforts reach new heights through advocacy, leadership and stakeholder engagement

"Increased attention on climate action is advancing the building sector’s intent and commitment to reduce carbon emissions from Canada’s buildings. Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), believes this is the turnaround decade when Canada must accelerate carbon reductions in the built environment through purposeful action."

June 22, 2021

Corporate Canada must practise sustainable finance

"The pandemic has heightened awareness of the fact that the continuing crises of climate change, inequality, and lack of social cohesion are interconnected and must be addressed collectively. Economic thinkers from Mariana Mazzucato to Mark Carney agree that capitalism can no longer leave its damage for government and philanthropy to repair."

June 15, 2021

Millani's TCFD Disclosure Study: A Canadian Perspective

"In May 2021, Millani evaluated the quantity and the quality of current TCFD disclosure by issuers listed on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. Millani found that 23% of listed issuers are currently aligning to TCFD recommendations. The results demonstrate a current gap in climate reporting for Canadian issuers amidst increasing regulatory pressures and investor demand for climate-related disclosures. Further findings of the analysis are presented in this report."

June 7, 2021

G7 backs making climate risk disclosure mandatory

"Group of Seven (G7) rich countries backed moves to force banks and companies to disclose their exposure to climate-related risks on Saturday, a measure seen as vital to efforts to safeguard the financial system from climate change shocks."

June 6, 2021

Sustainability-linked loans a new frontier for responsible mining

"In late March, Newmont Corp. converted its existing credit facility to link it to the company’s sustainability performance, making it part of what experts say is a growing trend in sustainable finance."

June 3, 2021

Climate Change: Legal Implications for Canadian Pension Plan Fiduciaries and Policy-Makers

"According to a new legal opinion by Randy Bauslaugh, pension funds have a duty to understand and manage the financial risks and opportunities that climate change poses to funds and beneficiaries. Mr. Bauslaugh identifies the legal obligations of pension fiduciaries to consider and manage climate risks, as with any foreseeable financial risk, and discusses the practical approaches they might consider to meet their legal obligations and improve effective fund management of these risks."

June 2, 2021

Opinion: Canada’s pathway to a net zero world includes carbon capture, foreign investment and new financing mechanisms

"The International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 report is a landmark document showing a detailed pathway, complete with tangible milestones, to meet emissions targets by 2050. It calls for an overhaul of how the world is powered. If nothing else, the report clearly shows how difficult the path forward will be if we want to achieve net zero."

May 26, 2021

What is in your ESG fund? In Canada, there are no clear definitions for sustainable investments

"Canadians who want their retirement savings to reflect their progressive values are charging headlong into environmental, social and governance funds, and setting records in the process. But those who invest in ESG funds should know that the big stock holdings in many of those portfolios are the same as those at the top of the country’s main stock index – that is, big banks and big tech."

May 26, 2021

ESG-Linked Loans Grow in Canada as Regulator Takes on Climate

Canadian lenders and borrowers are increasingly turning to sustainable-linked loans ahead of potential regulations from the banking supervisor to deal with climate change.

May 21, 2021

Bank of Canada warns carbon-intense assets are mispriced

"Underestimating climate risk “is a very legitimate concern regarding asset prices, and one that we frequently hear expressed by financial institutions in our conversations with them,” said Sean Cleary, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Finance at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business. Prof. Cleary pointed to the bank’s assertion that a big problem facing investors is a “data gap” in climate-related information that can only be fixed with standardized disclosure systems adopted on a global scale."

May 20, 2021

CFA Institute Publishes Exposure Draft of ESG Disclosure Standards for Investment Products

"CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announces today the publication of the Exposure Draft of its forthcoming voluntary, global Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Disclosure Standards for Investment Products (“the Standards”). The draft is an initial version of the Standards and seeks to elicit feedback on the Standards’ proposed principles, requirements, and recommendations."

May 12, 2021

Canada launches Sustainable Finance Action Council

"Around the world, investors and governments recognize that key to a sustainable economic future are sustainable financial investments. Sustainable finance is about incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions and is a fast-growing market that is gaining speed as more and more businesses address climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy and seize the economic opportunities it presents."

May 6, 2021

Canadian pension officials hailed as climate champions

"Two Canadian pension fund officials were hailed Tuesday by the British High Commission and the Canada Climate Law Initiative as Canadian climate champions for their efforts to move Canada to net-zero emissions. The list of 26 champions includes Barbara Zvan, the inaugural president and CEO of the University Pension Plan, Ontario, and Kim Thomassin, executive vice president and head of investments in Quebec and stewardship investing for the Caisse de Depot et de Placement du Quebec."

May 5, 2021

Money lessons for 11 year olds created by 11 year olds

Fantastic discussion with Bruce Sellery, CEO, Credit Canada Debt Solutions and Sean Cleary, Chair of the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF). At segment 45:08 they discuss the work of the ISF, and the progress taking place in Canada in the realm of sustainable finance.

April 28, 2021

Institute for Sustainable Finance Welcomes New Advisory Board Members

The Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) welcomes ten new members to its advisory board. ISF’s mandate is to advance Canada’s sustainable finance capacity by fostering strong research, education and knowledge sharing, and collaboration among academia, business and government.

April 23, 2021

To meet climate targets, an ill-equipped private sector must do the heavy lifting

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went into this week’s global climate summit armed with ambitious new emission reduction targets. Corporate Canada will have to shoulder much of load, and as things stand, the private sector is not ready.

April 22, 2021

Canada's Trudeau pledges new emissions reduction target of 40-45%

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the global climate summit Thursday that Canada will make deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The new target is to cut those emissions by 40-45 percent below 2005 levels, Trudeau said, upping the previous goal of 30 percent under the Paris climate accord."

April 20, 2021

Canada sets new 2030 carbon reduction target, to issue first green bond

OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canada said on Monday it plans to cut carbon emissions more aggressively and issue its first green bonds, part of a global push for more action on climate change.

April 16, 2021

Canadian investors trail global peers on sustainability stewardship, according to data from UN affiliate

“Canada needs to push for more decarbonization at a firm level and an investor level. We’re wrestling with a transition to a green economy more [than some peers] because so much of our economy is tied up in extraction,” Ryan Riordan, director of research at the Institute for Sustainable Finance tells the Financial Post. “Investors need to decide what they want and what’s doable and coordinate to get it done,” Ryan notes of the effectiveness of shareholder activism in the transition to a green economy."

April 12, 2021

Canada-listed companies trail Europe in emissions disclosures

"Canada’s publicly-traded companies are running behind European and U.K. peers when it comes to disclosing their greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study from the Institute for Sustainable Finance. Around two-thirds of the S&P/TSX Composite Index disclose greenhouse gas discharges, according to the report written by Sean Cleary and Andrew Hakes. While that’s broadly in line with percentages seen the U.S., it falls below 79 per cent for European and 99 per cent for U.K. listed firms."

April 10, 2021

What does ‘net zero emissions’ even mean for Canadian business? Without set standards, it’s hard to tell

"Canada’s record leaves much room for improvement. A new study by the Institute for Sustainable Finance at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business (which has funding from the Big Five banks) found that of the 222 companies on the S&P/TSX Composite Index, just 60, or 27 per cent, have published absolute emissions targets. That lags both the United States and the United Kingdom."

April 8, 2021

With increased global demands for climate data, new research shows Corporate Canada must step up its game

Today, the Institute for Sustainable Finance released the first-ever assessment of TSX companies’ climate target and disclosure performance. The key finding: Corporate Canada falls below several of its global competitors.

April 6, 2021

Institute for Sustainable Finance Appoints New Executive Director

The Institute for Sustainable Finance has announced the appointment of a new executive director. Sara M. Alvarado, a veteran investment professional with a focus on climate change and sustainability, will help the leadership team drive forward ISF’s mandate to build Canadian sustainable finance capacity.

April 2, 2021

Climate Action 100+ Issues its First-Ever Net Zero Company Benchmark of The World’s Largest Corporate Emitters

"Climate Action 100+, the world’s largest investor engagement initiative on climate change, has released its first-ever benchmark evaluating the corporate ambition and action of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters and other companies with significant opportunity to drive the net zero transition. The Climate Action 100+ Net-Zero Company Benchmark offers the first detailed, comparative assessments of individual focus company performance against the initiative’s three high-level commitment goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving governance, and strengthening climate-related financial disclosures."

April 2, 2021

Scotiabank releases its 2020 Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Report highlighting progress in Diversity and Inclusion, Climate and Sustainable Finance

TORONTO, April 1, 2021 /CNW/ - Scotiabank today released its 2020 Environment, Social and Governance Report, a comprehensive review of the Bank's progress in delivering for every future. The report outlines Scotiabank's ongoing commitment to building a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable world by advancing the issues that matter most to customers, shareholders, employees, and communities.

April 1, 2021

14 people are mapping Canada's path to net-zero emissions — can they do it?

"It's a tall order, to say the least: take 14 people and ask them to figure out how Canada can meet its net-zero emissions targets by 2050. That's the job of the new Net-Zero Advisory Body, which was established as part of Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. It includes leaders from environmental organizations, the Assembly of First Nations, cleantech, finance, climate science, industry, labour and more."

March 27, 2021

He took over as the new leader of Quebec’s pension fund. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. A year later, he’s found a lot to be proud of

"In a move that shows particular commitment, notes Scan Cleary, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Finance, CDPQ tied a portion of their employees' variable compensation to their success in meeting climate goals. By doing that, Sabia's administration created a direct financial incentive to weigh climate outcomes just like any other part of their long-term returns."

March 25, 2021

The Supreme Court rules Canada’s carbon price is constitutional. It’s a big win for Justin Trudeau’s climate plan

"OTTAWA—The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday that the federal government has the power to impose a minimum carbon price across the country in the name of reducing greenhouse gas emissions “as a matter of national concern.”

March 21, 2021

Global warming could cut over 60 countries' credit ratings by 2030, study warns

"LONDON (Reuters) - A new algorithm-based study by a group of UK universities has predicted that 63 countries – roughly half the number rated by the likes of S&P Global, Moody’s and Fitch - could see their credit ratings cut because of climate change by 2030."

March 18, 2021

CEO Pay Tied to ESG Sets Canadian Banks Apart From the Crowd

Canada’s six largest banks have added ESG components to their chief executive officers’ compensation frameworks, putting them in a small minority of companies that tie executive pay to such measures. The moves, disclosed in the banks’ proxy circulars earlier this month, put them at the front of a push by activists and investors to establish incentives for actions like reducing emissions and diversifying workforces. In the Bloomberg article, Harlan Zimmerman, senior partner of activist investor Cevian Capital AB, stated linking progress on ESG to pay can prompt firms to make substantive changes rather than just image-polishing moves.

March 17, 2021

Canada, Germany sign green energy deal in bid to power fledgling hydrogen sector

"Canada and Germany have signed an agreement to team up on green energy innovation and trade — with an eye to hydrogen as the market for the low-carbon fuel heats up. Signed today by the two countries' energy ministers, the memorandum of understanding outlines a plan to co-operate on energy policy and research as both countries strive to reach the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050."

March 16, 2021

COVID-19 pandemic adds urgency to fight against climate change: Mark Carney

"Former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney says the world's response to the COVID-19 pandemic could build momentum for a collaborative approach to the other great global crisis: climate change."

March 12, 2021

Institutional investors demand action from banks in fight against climate change

"The role of the banks in the fight against climate change is looming ever larger as investors and the public demand action. Increasingly, demands are getting results around the world. The latest example was this week, when HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, managed to head off a May showdown with 15 major institutional investors by agreeing to a compromise over demands to strengthen its climate policies."

March 10, 2021

Financing the climate gap

"The Institute of Sustainable Finance (ISF) at Queen’s University estimates that Canada needs an annual investment of at least $12.8 billion over the next 10 years to meet our commitment to reducing carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement on climate change. While that may sound like a lot, it represents only 0.6% of Canada’s GDP in 2018 and less than 10% of annual capital expenditures of firms listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.In other words, the ISF believes the task is doable – but not by government alone. With the right conditions in place, it predicts that pools of private savings and capital could be mobilized to finance up to 50% of the climate gap while improving prosperity in the process. But what should those conditions look like? And how will Canadian investors – whether large institutional asset managers like pension funds or individual Canadians saving for retirement – react to them?"

March 10, 2021

Bank of Montreal commits $300-billion to net-zero goal, sets up climate institute

"Bank of Montreal BMO plans to deploy $300-billion over the next four years to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, making it the latest of Canada’s big banks to pump major capital into reducing climate-related risks. As part of a new action plan, BMO is setting up a climate institute that will serve as a clearing house for science, analytics and technical expertise for risk management and adaptation as the economy moves to a lower-carbon future, the bank said Wednesday."

March 9, 2021

Partnership for a Net Zero World

"As BMO Financial Group announced its ambition to achieve net zero financed emissions in its lending by 2050, the bank hosted a virtual event [featuring ISF's Executive Director, Sean Cleary]... to discuss how the transition will be a driving force behind BMO’s purpose going forward, and to explain why clients are critically central to that."

March 1, 2021

Globe Climate: Changemakers said something needs to be done. They’re doing it.

"Ryan Riordan, an associate professor of finance at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. "It could be easy being green, but how much will it cost? Riordan—a lifelong environmentalist at heart —is quite literally crunching the numbers in his industry-leading research, despite initial skepticism from the business community about its usefulness. That is, until the publication of his widely referenced recent report, “Capital Mobilization Plan for a Canadian Low-Carbon Economy,” which is the first to tally the costs of meeting Canada’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030."

February 25, 2021

RBC targets net-zero emissions by 2050, commits C$500 bln to sustainable financing

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) aims to achieve net-zero emissions across its lending operations by 2050 and has committed C$500 billion ($400.64 billion) toward its sustainable finance target, Canada’s top lender said on Thursday. The move comes at a time when investors have stepped up pressure on major banks and insurers to drop financing and insurance for fossil fuel companies.

February 24, 2021

CIBC joins Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials

"CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) today announced it has joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), an initiative led by the financial industry to develop a harmonized global standard to measure and disclose the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of loans and investments. Using jointly developed GHG accounting methodologies will help enable CIBC to align its targets with the Paris Climate Agreement."

February 24, 2021

TD Bank Group Joins RMI as a Strategic Partner of the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance

"TD Bank Group announced... that it is entering into a strategic partnership with RMI's Center for Climate-Aligned Finance (the Center) to support the development of practical and scalable solutions that can help accelerate the transition to a more sustainable energy platform and economy. TD's support of RMI, a nonprofit clean energy organization dedicated to developing market-based solutions for a sustainable low-carbon future, is an important step under the Bank's Climate Action Plan. "

February 23, 2021

Socially responsible policies are good for corporate image, but are they a benefit to shareholders as well?

When BlackRock chair and CEO Larry Fink sent his annual letter to CEOs and clients in January, he used the opportunity to effectively put the entire investing universe on notice. He said the giant asset management firm, with US$9-trillion invested mainly in index funds, would be getting very serious about climate change. The issue would be “a defining feature” in companies’ long-term prospects, as Fink put it. “I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

February 18, 2021

Canada to launch national version of CA100+ to steward country’s big emitters

Ceres, the Responsible Investment Association of Canada (RIA) and investor association SHARE are among those spearheading the initiative, currently known as Climate Engagement Canada. It will mirror the well-known global engagement network Climate Action 100+, which coordinates hundreds of investors to undertake collaborative engagement with 167 of the world’s most polluting companies, in a bid to steer them towards Net Zero.

February 18, 2021

ESG Funds Need to Shrink Their Carbon Footprint Faster

"Recent analysis by Jordan Waldrep, chief investment officer of TrueMark Investment (US-based firm) revealed that the most popular ESG ETFs hold shares of companies with a carbon footprint that’s not much lower than companies that make up the S&P 500. Of the S&P 500 companies, 310 have published emissions data for at least the past four years. In his evaluation system, companies that have provided fewer years of information are penalized."

February 16, 2021

The rise of ESG investing has caught even top investors by surprise

"Dollar figures have become astronomical, with the world’s major financial players amassing capital specifically to invest in green energy, emissions reduction and other sustainable technologies. Each week, a parade of companies from all industries announces targets for net-zero carbon emissions in the coming decades."

February 10, 2021

Success of climate-disclosure software earns investor backing for Toronto’s Manifest Climate

"Sean Cleary, executive director at the Institute for Sustainable Finance at Queen’s University, said while interest in climate-risk disclosure has taken off in recent years, many firms still struggle to fully align with standards programs like the TCFD. There are multiple standards to choose from, making it challenging to decide which to follow, said Cleary. “This is also a new thing, so companies can’t rely on past experience to guide them,” he said. “With respect to TCFD, in particular, companies seem to not be providing sufficient information, particularly around scenario analysis.”

February 10, 2021

Brookfield Pursues $7.5 Billion Fund Devoted to ‘Net-Zero’ Shift

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. plans to raise at least $7.5 billion for a new climate-focused fund, as the Canadian investment firm builds out an ESG business led by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney."

February 2, 2021

Role of Indigenous in environmental, social, governance reporting

"...Australia has been setting the stage for creating co-ordinated opportunities with many stakeholders including Indigenous nations with their Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative. A similar initiative ought to be adopted here in Canada to avoid the piecemeal approach to ESG considerations and Indigenous concerns."

January 25, 2021

Larry Fink's 2021 letter to CEOs

"As more and more investors choose to tilt their investments towards sustainability-focused companies, the tectonic shift we are seeing will accelerate further. And because this will have such a dramatic impact on how capital is allocated, every management team and board will need to consider how this will impact their company’s stock.”

January 21, 2021

Insurers see hefty payout from severe weather in 2020

Canada’s insurance industry paid out $2.4-billion because of severe weather events last year, dominated by a flood and a hailstorm in Alberta, continuing a trend of mounting losses amid a warming climate.

January 21, 2021

Biden plans to fight climate change in a way no US president has before

Joe Biden is preparing to deal with climate change in a way no U.S. president has done before – by mobilizing his entire administration to take on the challenge from every angle in a strategic, integrated way.

January 21, 2021

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan aims to get net-zero by 2050

TORONTO, ON – Building on over a decade of climate change efforts, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) today announced its commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This is a meaningful decision that advances Ontario Teachers’ mission to deliver retirement security for its members, while creating a positive impact for its partners and the communities where it operates.

December 22, 2020

Canadian companies poor climate risk disclosure threatens to drive investors away

"Canadian investors want consistent and comparable company reporting of climate related risks and opportunities to inform their allocation of investment capital. Yet disclosure continues to be uneven across the country, creating the risk of capital moving to other jurisdictions with more transparent reporting."

December 20, 2020

Strengthened Climate Plan: For a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy

Justin Trudeau and Jonathan Wilkinson have announced our Liberal government’s new Strengthened Climate Plan for a Healthy Environment and Healthy Economy, including 64 new measures and supported by an initial $15 billion in investments to help build a better future.

December 10, 2020

Canada’s New Green Bond Will Help Mainstream Sustainable Finance

The federal government is taking an important step toward mainstreaming sustainable practices in Canadian financial markets with the decision to issue its first-ever green bond in 2021-22. The brief announcement, as part of Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s Fall Economic Statement (FES) on November 30, demonstrates meaningful progress in sustainable finance.

November 25, 2020

In unprecedented move, Canadian pension funds unite to call for greater ESG standards

"In an unprecedented move, some of Canada’s largest institutional investors have banded together to ask companies for more rigorous disclosures of environmental, social and governance factors, an effort they say is meant to promote more sustainable and inclusive economic growth."

November 19, 2020

Canada’s Leading Financial Institutions Commit $5 Million to Institute for Sustainable Finance

The Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) today announced that Canada’s big five banks, TD Bank Group, Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO and RBC, have committed $5 million to support ISF’s mission of aligning mainstream financial markets with Canada’s transition to a lower carbon economy.

November 16, 2020

Bank of Canada and OSFI launch pilot project on climate risk scenarios

"The Bank of Canada and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) today announced plans for a pilot project to use climate-change scenarios to better understand the risks to the financial system related to a transition to a low-carbon economy. A small group of institutions from the banking and insurance sectors will participate voluntarily in the project."

November 16, 2020

Bank of Canada and OSFI launch pilot project on climate risk scenarios

"The Bank of Canada and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) today announced plans for a pilot project to use climate-change scenarios to better understand the risks to the financial system related to a transition to a low-carbon economy. A small group of institutions from the banking and insurance sectors will participate voluntarily in the project."

September 29, 2020

Institute for Sustainable Finance releases critical capital blueprint for Canada’s low-carbon transition

Today, the Institute for Sustainable Finance launches landmark research to provide a concrete, data-driven capital blueprint for Canada’s low carbon transition. The report – Capital Mobilization Plan for a Canadian Low Carbon Economy – highlights that cooperation between the public sector, private sector, and financial system is critical to securing investments needed to meet Canada’s 2030 climate targets.

August 1, 2020

Sustainalytics provides public access to ESG ratings

Amsterdam-based Sustainalytics has made its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk ratings on more than 4,000 public companies available on its website, the firm said in a release on Thursday. By making the ESG risk ratings accessible, “all financial market stakeholders can have visibility into the material ESG risks within companies,” the research firm said.

July 29, 2020

Institute for Sustainable Finance awarded major McConnell Foundation grant

The Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) today announced additional funding from Canada’s McConnell Foundation in support of its mandate to implement sustainable finance approaches that will enable the country to thrive through a low-carbon transition.

July 12, 2020

GRI and SASB announce collaboration

Amid rising global demand for clarity in the sustainability reporting ecosystem, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) are pleased to announce a collaborative workplan to help the consumers of sustainability data understand the similarities and differences in the information created from these standards.

June 29, 2020

Canadian boards legally obliged to address climate risk, new study reveals

"Corporate directors have a legal obligation to address the risks and opportunities that climate change poses to the companies on whose board they serve, a corporate governance expert says in a new study."

June 29, 2020

Canadian boards legally obliged to address climate risk, new study reveals

"Corporate directors have a legal obligation to address the risks and opportunities that climate change poses to the companies on whose board they serve, a corporate governance expert says in a new study."

June 18, 2020

Queen’s signs climate charter

Queen's has become a founding signatory on a charter that commits Canadian universities to responsible investing for the environment. Institute for Sustainable Finance is supporting Queen's University in this initiative.

June 1, 2020

Green income trusts could accelerate Canada’s energy transition

"Canada has a great opportunity to accelerate its energy transition and create a thriving low-carbon economy. How? By creating green income trusts with the same federal tax benefits that prevailed in the early 2000s, therefore giving private investors incentives to massively scale up investments in new low-carbon energy technologies. These could range from hydrogen, geothermal, wind and solar to carbon capture and storage."

June 1, 2020

Climate requirements in federal relief package could signal future policy priorities

Sean Cleary, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Finance says it's a positive sign that the Canadian government's #COVID19 Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) funding stipulates that companies who receive the money must publish annual climate-related financial disclosure reports.

May 21, 2020

SEC Urged by Advisory Panel to Tackle ESG Disclosures

The SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee says the “time has come” for the agency to consider requirements for certain environmental, social, and governance factors in public company disclosures. The panel on May 10 approved a 10-page recommendation for the agency to consider whether ESG matters should be folded into the existing disclosure regime for public companies.

May 12, 2020

Ottawa’s aid package a climate-change signal to big corporations

"Many big Canadian companies, notably those involved in resource extraction, will have to adopt much more detailed disclosure of climate risks to their businesses if they intend to take advantage of Ottawa’s newest package of emergency credit support."

May 11, 2020

Macklem appointment raises expectations of stronger climate focus by Bank of Canada

"The appointment of Mr. Macklem, who has held senior positions in the Finance Department, is raising expectations that the climate focus will return as the government’s attention shifts to the economic recovery phase of addressing the COVID-19 fallout." Ryan Riordan, Director of Research at the Institute for Sustainable Finance predicts that Mr. Macklem's appointment will shift the bank’s tone on climate issues.

May 7, 2020

CCA Appoints Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada

Tima Bansal, a member of the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN), has been appointed by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to Chair the Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada. The multidisciplinary panel will aim to examine the potential economic, environmental, and social impacts of advancing a circular economy across the country.

May 7, 2020

CCA Appoints Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada

Tima Bansal, a member of the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN), has been appointed by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to Chair the Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada. The multidisciplinary panel will aim to examine the potential economic, environmental, and social impacts of advancing a circular economy across the country.

April 21, 2020

S&P Dow Jones Indices launches climate change index range

S&P Dow Jones Indices (SPDJI) has launched two indices with climate and sustainability-based objectives as part of a Paris-aligned and climate transition index range.

April 16, 2020

How responsible investors should respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis

Responses to the COVID-19 crisis must be predicated on the basis of systemic integrity and long-term universal returns being more important than relative company performance. “PRI signatories should be supporting sustainable companies through this crisis – in the interests of public health and long-term economic performance – even if that limits short-term returns” states UNPRI.

April 10, 2020

The rise of sustainable finance

This article examines what sustainable finance is, what it does and why it’s important. It enlisted some experts: Smith professors Sean Cleary and Ryan Riordan. They’re key figures in the new Institute for Sustainable Finance, a national organization set up last fall, housed right here at Smith School of Business. Cleary, BMO Professor of Finance, is the institute’s executive director; Riordan, Distinguished Professor of Finance, is its director of research. So, let’s get started with the obvious question.

April 9, 2020

ESG Managers Say Pandemic Is a Stress Test That Proves Their Point

"Fund managers that were touting the benefits of ESG investing before the coronavirus outbreak say the pandemic has only strengthened their convictions and the performance of sustainable portfolios should vindicate their strategy."

March 13, 2020

The Risk of Letting Big Finance Write Its Own Climate Rules

"The six biggest Wall Street banks have now promised to get to net-zero emissions, after Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co joined the club this month. But what does “net-zero” actually mean? For the planet, it’s the point at which the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stabilize, ending the sharp increase in heat-trapping emissions since the industrial revolution that have brought us to dangerous levels of global warming."

March 3, 2020

ISF Welcomes Federal Finance Committee’s Call to Action on Sustainable Finance

The Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) welcomes the pre-budget report of the Standing Committee on Finance, which calls on the federal government to adopt the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance.

March 2, 2020

Canada’s move to a low-carbon economy will be ‘a big adjustment for many industries,’ Trudeau tells mining conference

Prime Minister Trudeau delivered a speech urging climate action at the mining conference in Toronto, three days after the House of Commons Finance Committee called for action on sustainable finance as a key pre-budget recommendation.

February 26, 2020

CPA Canada aligns with global accounting bodies to address climate change

TORONTO, Feb. 26, 2020 – The Canadian accounting profession, represented by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), has joined other 13 major accounting bodies in signing a call to action in response to climate change. Leaders of the accounting profession were united in their call for accountants around the world to “play their part” in addressing climate change that is “consistent with net zero emissions and climate change adaptation goals.”

February 21, 2020

Canadian investment markets turning green: Sustainable finance and green lending

Global recognition of the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations among investors and firms has prompted an emerging trend of “sustainable” or “green finance” in lending and investment activities. Broadly, “sustainable finance” is a term that involves financial products which facilitate the financing of green, sustainable projects and sustainable businesses. These financial products generally reward borrowers for achieving predetermined sustainability performance goals which, in turn, impact the interest rate payable over the duration of the credit facilities.

February 12, 2020

Canada's Ontario province prices C$500 mln green bond - finance ministry

"TORONTO — Ontario, one of the world’s largest sub-sovereign debtors, priced on Wednesday a C$500 million ($377 million) 7-year green bond, the finance ministry said, with strong demand helping the province to borrow at a better rate than for its regular bonds."

February 12, 2020

BlackRock Drives ESG With New ETFs and Draws a $600 Million Investment

BlackRock announced the investment of $600 million by Ilmarinen, Finland’s largest pension insurance company, into a new ESG fund and the expansion of its iShares ESG lineup. The two announcements indicate the increased popularity of ESG, or environmental, social and governance, investing.

February 12, 2020

Feds under growing pressure to act on climate finance in next budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said little publicly about sustainable finance over the past seven months since a federally appointed panel argued that climate-related issues must become mainstream considerations in Canada’s financial sector. But with the Liberals preparing for their first minority-government budget, Morneau is under growing pressure to act on the panel’s call for better data and clearer rules on climate-related finance and other incentives to drive capital into emerging low-carbon technologies. The government remains committed to acting on sustainable finance and will “consider the [panel’s] recommendations very closely,” Morneau’s spokesperson, Pierre-Olivier Herbert, said in an interview. He would not comment on what measures are being considered for the budget.

February 6, 2020

Mark Little, Eric Martel and Dave McKay: Canada can be the sustainable energy power of the world

"Even with all of the developments in renewables — and their decreasing costs, and increasing use — 80 per cent of the world’s energy still comes from fossil fuels, a level unchanged since 1990. The world needs more energy every day. At the same, global GHG emissions need to go down — fast. Solving this dilemma is the major challenge of our time."

January 28, 2020

Your Company’s Next Leader on Climate Is…the CFO

"If your chief financial officer is the last person you would think of to take charge on climate change, think again. Today, smart organizations are shifting their sustainability responsibilities toward the finance function. There are several reasons for this change. First is the basic math, which falls largely within a CFO’s purview. Mitigating and adapting to climate change will require close to $1 trillion in investments per year through 2030 for the economy as a whole, and is also expected to put at risk between $4.2 trillion and $43 trillion of tradable stock exchange assets by the end of the century, depending on the level of planetary warming. (The latter number is for a world that has warmed by 6 degrees Celsius.)

December 1, 2019

Mark Carney to lead UN effort to get finance industry to deal with risks of climate change

Mark Carney, a Canadian who headed the Bank of Canada from 2008-2013 and is currently the Governor of Bank of England "will lead a push by the United Nations to make the financial sector take full account of the risks posed by climate change, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday."

November 19, 2019

Opinion: Climate Proofing Canada's Economy

"Canada cannot wait to establish the expertise required to navigate successfully to a low-carbon economy. If we delay, others will shape Canada’s economic future for us." The Globe and Mail published an opinion piece by Jim Leech, Chancellor of Queen’s University, former President and CEO of the Ontario Teachers'​ Pension Plan, and a member of the advisory board for the Institute for Sustainable Finance, and Sean Cleary, BMO Professor of Finance at Smith School of Business and the executive director of the Institute of Sustainable Finance.

November 6, 2019

CPPIB increased its renewable-energy investments a hundredfold since 2016: Report

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s (CPPIB) renewable-energy holdings topped $3 billion in June, more than doubling the assets it held in the sector a year earlier and up from $30 million in 2016. Along with its more than hundredfold increase in renewable-energy investment in just three years, CPPIB has started screening all new investments in its $400.6-billion portfolio for risks and opportunities linked to climate change, according to the pension fund’s latest report on sustainable investing.

October 24, 2019

What if Financial Markets Just Can’t Cope with Climate Uncertainty?

Report on Business Magazine’s Big Idea series featured research by ISF Director of Research Ryan Riordan, which looked at how climate events, such as Hurricane Sandy, affect behavior on trading floors.

September 30, 2019

The world needs a new, sustainable financial system to stop runaway climate change

"A new, sustainable financial system is under construction. It is funding the initiatives and innovations of the private sector and amplifying the effectiveness of governments’ climate policies—it could even accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Unfortunately, like virtually everything about the response to climate change, this new sustainable financial system is not developing fast enough for the world to reach net zero."

September 25, 2019

Choices made now are critical for the future of our ocean and cryosphere

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched a special report highlighting the urgency of prioritizing timely, ambitious and coordinated action to address unprecedented and enduring changes in the ocean and cryosphere.

September 23, 2019

Investors make unprecedented commitment to net zero emissions

In one of the boldest actions yet by the world’s largest investors to decarbonize the global economy, an alliance of the world’s largest pension funds and insurers – responsible for directing more than US$ 2.4 trillion in investments – committed to carbon-neutral investment portfolios by 2050. This commitment by the newly launched, United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance was announced at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, which brought together governments, companies and civil society to strengthen commitments and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

September 23, 2019

33 banks commit to immediate action towards aligning with global climate goals

To coincide with the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, one day after the launch of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking , 33 of their signatories with over $13 trillion in assets announced a collective commitment to climate action. With this groundbreaking pledge, founding signatories of the Principles are taking tangible steps towards putting their commitment to align their business with international climate goals into practice.

September 9, 2019

The Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance

The Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance (GRAFSI), a consortium of global research universities with expertise in the emerging field of sustainable finance, has confirmed Queen’s University as a member. The ISF is housed at Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Canada. GRAFSI was founded in 2017 to support high-quality, multi-disciplinary academic research and collaboration to inform much-needed developments in the theory and practice of sustainable finance and investment with an aim to aligning the financial system with global environmental sustainability.

June 16, 2019

Sustainable finance: Canada risks being left behind in low-carbon economy

Earlier this spring, the most in-depth analysis to date on Canada’s changing climate provided clear evidence that Canada is warming twice as fast as the global average. As we increasingly experience the physical impacts (flooding, extreme weather, forest fires), we will experience the financial impacts as well in the form of both increasing market risks and unprecedented investment opportunities.

June 14, 2019

Expert panel on sustainable finance

The Canadian Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance, convened by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the Minister of Finance, launched its final report. One of the panel’s main messages is calling on governments, regulators, and businesses to “consider these recommendations in charting Canada’s course toward a sustainable, prosperous, and resilient future.”

January 14, 2019

BlackRock shakes up business to focus on sustainable investing

BlackRock has unveiled sweeping changes in an effort to position itself as a leader in sustainable investing after criticism that the company has failed to use its clout to combat climate change. The world’s largest fund manager, with $7tn in assets, will double the number of sustainability-focused exchange traded funds it offers to 150. It will also cut companies that derive a quarter or more of their revenues from thermal coal from its actively managed portfolios, as it aims to increase its sustainable assets 10-fold from $90bn today to $1tn within a decade. The changes were announced in a letter sent to clients on Tuesday and released concurrently with chief executive Larry Fink’s annual letter to chief executives, in which he warned climate change represented a risk to markets unlike any previous crisis.