Newsblog

November 24, 2022

2022 Canadian RI Trends Report: Responsible Investment Association

"The 2022 Canadian Responsible Investment Trends Report confirms that RI’s recent momentum is giving way to demand for sophistication and more vigilant reporting, signaling a maturing industry," the Responsible Investment Association has announced. "With its updated methodology, the report affirms that RI is entrenched in Canada, with reported assets under management at $3 trillion, and 94% of respondents using ESG integration as an RI strategy. This marks the emergence of a reliable baseline for RI market share and demonstrates that ESG Integration is a fundamental tool in Canadian investors’ decision-making."

November 17, 2022

Most Canadian companies are ignoring true costs of doing business: Cleary and Steer in Corporate Knights

"To make progress on climate finance in Canada, we need to do a much better job of assessing and disclosing the risks Canadian companies face due to climate change – both the costly devastation brought on by climate-related events, such as floods and fires, and the economic challenges of transitioning to a net-zero world," write ISF Chair Sean Cleary and CPA Canada President and CEO Pamela Steer in Corporate Knights.

November 15, 2022

Webinar Series: The Oil & Gas Sector: Key Challenges Facing Canada & Potential Solutions

The ISF is hosting a free, three-part webinar series moderated by energy expert and ISF Advisory Board member Peter Tertzakian. Each session will feature a guest presenter (to be announced soon) who will discuss issues relating to Canada’s oil and gas sector, sustainability and a changing world: Dec. 6, 11 am: Follow the Money: Understanding Capital Flows in Canada’s O&G Sector; Jan. 10, 11 am: Deeper Dive into Royalties, Taxes and the Government Take; Feb. 7, 11am: Potential Solutions to Reinvestment.

November 11, 2022

ISSB makes key announcements towards the implementation of climate-related disclosure standards in 2023: ISSB at COP27

On Nov. 8 the International Sustainability Standards Board announced further steps "in its delivery of the architecture needed for a global baseline, as well as partnerships agreed at Sharm El-Sheikh’s COP27, that will help jurisdictions prepare for its implementation."

November 7, 2022

All the GHGs we cannot see: Sean Cleary for Clean50

Writing for Clean50, ISF Chair Sean Cleary, a 2023 Clean50 Honouree, explains how improving the way Canadian corporations report climate-related material data is an important step in reaching 2050 Net Zero targets.

November 3, 2022

ISF Briefing Note: Financing Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

The costs of climate-related weather events such as fires and floods are growing in Canada and around the world. And climate-change adaptation and resilience will be high on the agenda at the COP27 global climate summit next week. There remain many challenges to unlocking private-sector financing for the adaptation and resilience infrastructure initiatives that will protect Canadian communities in the future. To shed light on this issue, a new Institute for Sustainable Finance Briefing Note clearly defines the problem and makes recommendations for the public and private sectors and academia to work toward the solutions.

November 1, 2022

Accountants are the key to accountable ESG investing: Pamela Steer in the Globe

Writing in the Globe and Mail, Pamela Steer, president and CEO of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, highlights the key role of accountants in ensuring quality ESG reporting and, as she says: "A first and vitally important step is setting universally accepted sustainability-reporting standards."

October 31, 2022

Insurance industry recommends climate risk score for houses: Canadian Press

"The Insurance Bureau of Canada is calling for the creation of a climate risk score that would indicate a property’s susceptibility to damages caused by natural disasters," reports Canadian Press. "The IBC says disclosure of natural hazard and climate risk is needed because of the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as hurricane Fiona."

October 27, 2022

Regulations mandating climate-risk disclosures are required to improve reporting: ISF report

A new study by the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) demonstrates that the current state of climate-related risk disclosures by Canadian companies is inadequate, which impedes the ability of financial institutions to properly price the opportunities and risks associated with climate change. This presents significant consequences for Canadian competitiveness, the functioning of Canadian markets, and the fight against climate change.

October 19, 2022

Advice for investors waiting on stricter industry standards for ESG reporting: Globe and Mail

Investors need to educate themselves on developing standards for ESG reporting, says the ISF’s Sara Alvarado in The Globe and Mail: “Most serious companies are reporting their financials, but also many are producing sustainability reports separately, and some have sustainability risks and opportunities in their annual reports. So I would say if [investors] are looking at analyzing a particular company that would be the first stop, looking at those reports,” she said.

October 11, 2022

Demand for advisor education on ESG jumps as client interest grows: Globe Investor

Growing interest in ESG investing among clients is driving demand for ESG training among financial advisors, says ISF Chair Dr. Sean Cleary in a report by Globe Investor. “It seems to be becoming table stakes that you have some understanding of [ESG] if you’re in the financial services industry because your clients are driving this demand,” he said.

October 6, 2022

ISF Chair Sean Cleary honoured as a member of Canada’s Clean50 for 2023

The Institute for Sustainable Finance is very proud to announce that ISF Chair Dr. Sean Cleary has been awarded the prestigious honour of being named a member of Canada’s Clean50 for 2023 (clean50.com). Dr. Cleary will be amongst approximately 120 past and incoming Clean50 Honourees meeting on Thursday October 6th at the “Clean50 Summit 12.0” in Toronto, to spend a day amongst peers and colleagues, tackling critical sustainability challenges facing Canada.

September 15, 2022

Leading GHG reporting standard needs work to support pending disclosure requirements: ISF and CPA Canada report

Clearer direction is required for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions measurement and disclosure, according to a report by the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) was launched in 1998 and supplies the most commonly used standards for companies to measure and report their GHG emissions. Although the development of the GHG Protocol has been important and helpful, the joint ISF-CPA Canada report finds that more work is required at a global level to ensure that evolving stakeholder needs and expectations are addressed.

September 14, 2022

ISF 2021-22 Progress and Impact Report

The Institute for Sustainable Finance 2021-22 Progress and Impact Report is now out! Check out all of the activities and accomplishments during a great year for the ISF, across our four key pillars of Research, Education, Collaboration and Outreach.

September 14, 2022

Sustainability in Canada: Evolving Risks and Opportunities: Edward Olson

"Expectations around sustainability and ESG are evolving quickly. Organizations that aren’t taking steps to measure, disclose, and reduce their emissions footprint risk quickly falling behind" writes Edward Olson, Partner, National Leader, ESG, at MNP, in his summary of a recent panel hosted by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Canada. The panel also included Sara Alvarado, Executive Director at the Institute for Sustainable Finance. Topics covered a wide range of sustainability risks and opportunities facing Canadian businesses. These include Bill C-12, which formalizes Canada’s commitment to net-zero by 2050 — as well as the evolution of mandatory climate disclosures in Canada and abroad, as well as steps organizations must take to achieve compliance.

August 29, 2022

In an era of high interest rates and ESG, companies turn to a new form of sustainable debt: National Post

ISF Research Director Ryan Riordan comments on the growth of sustainability-linked bonds and loans in a story by the Logic/Postmedia: According to Dr. Riordan, these products signal to markets that companies are thinking about their long-term survival. "It reduces risk," he said. "A financial institution that is lending money to an organization that’s looking at their long-term impact on the environment is going to be less risky than one that doesn’t."

August 22, 2022

How Impact Investing stands apart from ESG. Primer and video interview with Basma Majerbi

“The tools are there, it will just take a little more education.” ISF Executive Director Sara Alvarado interviews Basma Majerbi, Associate Professor of Finance at the Gustavson School of Business, about defining impact investing, how it can achieve results to improve society, and how impact investing can be made mainstream. To learn more about Impact Investing, check out ISF's primer article and the video interview.

August 18, 2022

Understanding Carbon Markets primer and video interview with Dominique Barker

“If we can put a price on carbon, we can do a lot of special things.” ISF Research Director Ryan Riordan interviews Dominique Barker, Managing Director and Head, Sustainability Advisory, at CIBC Capital Markets, about how carbon markets function, the different kinds of markets and carbon credits, how to ensure they are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and a “massive opportunity for Canada” for a carbon management industry. To learn more about carbon markets, check out ISF's primer article and the video interview.

July 29, 2022

What is Sustainable Finance? Primer and video interview with Susan Thompson and Samantha McDonald

ESG integration is “table stakes for investors.” ISF Research Director Ryan Riordan recently spoke with Susan Thompson, Director, Sustainable Finance & Corporate Transitions at TD Securities, and Samantha McDonald, Vice President, ESG Research and Engagement at TD Asset Management, about how investors can drive sustainable business practices, important developments in sustainable finance in Canada, and what the future looks like for ESG investing. To learn more about Sustainable Finance read the primer article and check out the interview video.

July 26, 2022

When it comes to Canadian pensions, there’s a new climate leader in town: National Observer

"A pension fund for four Ontario universities is promising to reach net-zero emissions across its portfolio by 2040, catapulting it into a position of climate leadership," reports the National Observer. "University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP) is an $11.8-billion fund for more than 37,000 members working at the University of Toronto, University of Guelph, Trent University and Queen’s University. Its net-zero target places it 10 years ahead of peers like the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. To help guide emission reductions, the pension fund is also setting interim 2025 and 2030 targets, representing a 16.5 per cent and 60 per cent cut to emissions from a 2021 baseline."

July 22, 2022

ISSB holds inaugural meetings: IFRS Foundation

"The inaugural International Sustainability Standards Board meeting took place this week in Frankfurt, at which the ISSB discussed the first two proposed sustainability disclosure standards as well as its agenda priorities," states the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation. Recordings of the meetings are available on the IFRS Foundation website.

July 21, 2022

BMO agrees to buy Canadian sustainability-advisory firm radicle: Bloomberg

"Bank of Montreal agreed to buy Radicle Group Inc., a sustainability-advisory and emissions-measurement firm, to help clients that are working to reduce their environmental impacts," Bloomberg reports. "Calgary-based Radicle, which has 130 employees and more than 4,000 clients, will become part of BMO Capital Markets’ global markets group, the bank said Wednesday. Financial terms of the acquisition, expected to close this year, weren’t disclosed. BMO Capital Markets has put an increased emphasis on helping its clients shrink their environmental footprints as part of a plan to reduce the emissions from its lending portfolio to net zero by 2050."

July 20, 2022

Sustainable Investing primer and video interview with Patricia Fletcher

“It’s lovely to see” sustainability reporting “coming online and becoming more and more of a norm.” ISF Chair Sean Cleary interviews Patricia Fletcher, CEO of RIA Canada, about defining sustainable investing, how the practice is developing and becoming more mainstream in Canada and globally, and the most notable strategies for investing responsibly. To learn more about Sustainable Investing read the primer article and check out the interview video.

July 19, 2022

La réconciliation économique des peuples autochtones

Qu'est-ce que la réconciliation économique ? Comment s’applique-t-elle aux communautés autochtones et à l’ensemble de la population canadienne? Et surtout, quel rôle pouvons-nous jouer à ce chapitre ? Pour en savoir davantage, consultez le guide des notions fondamentales de l'Institut de la finance durable rédigé par Clint Davis, chef de la direction de Nunasi Corporation, et Sara Alvarado, directrice exécutive de l'Institut de la finance durable.

July 5, 2022

Charting Canada’s Sustainable Future at Queen's University

Amazing to see ISF’s work on “Charting Canada’s sustainable Future” listed as one of 12 key accomplishments of the 2021-22 year for the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. Congratulations to Dean Wanda Costen and everyone at Smith for all of these achievements. It’s an impressive list.

June 29, 2022

IFRS Foundation launches Montreal ISSB centre supported by key actions: IFRS release

"The IFRS Foundation today announced a package of key actions, including a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Montréal International to obtain the financial support of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec," the IFRS stated in a news release. "This support will help the IFRS Foundation to fully establish its International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) within the Canadian sustainability ecosystem. The actions follow the announcement at the November 2021 COP26 climate conference that the ISSB would establish a Montreal centre as part of a multilocation approach. This latest announcement builds on the April 2022 signing of an MoU with a coalition of private-sector stakeholders, organised by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)."

June 16, 2022

Climate-related disclosures primer and video interview with Nadeem Velani

“Measuring and reporting data ultimately is a way to hold companies accountable.” For the latest in ISF's Video Primer Series, ISF Chair Dr. Sean Cleary interviews Nadeem Velani, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Canadian Pacific Railway, on why it’s important for corporations to disclose greenhouse gas emissions, the various standards for disclosures and challenges with reporting, and the benefits in terms of access to capital, talent retention, and capacity to plan for net zero. To learn more about Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, read the article and check out the interview video.

June 15, 2022

Accounting, audit and assurance standards oversight councils announce Canadian Sustainability Standards Board: FRAS Canada

"As the pace of progress in sustainability disclosures continues to accelerate, this week the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC) and Auditing and Assurance Standards Oversight Council (AASOC) mutually approved the formation of the Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB)." FRAS Canada stated in a press release.

June 10, 2022

A Comparative Analysis of U.S. (SEC) and Canadian (CSA) Climate Disclosure Proposals: ESG Global Investors

"Since the Canadian and U.S. markets are so interconnected, with TMX, NYSE, and Nasdaq hosting more than 200 cross-listed companies, a key question arises: How do the Canadian and American proposals stack up when compared side by side, and what are the implications for market participants?" write Sarah Keyes and Dustyn Lanz for ESG Global Advisors.

June 8, 2022

Big industry can lower carbon pricing costs as feds launch first offset credit market: CBC

"Canada's first federal carbon offset market kicked off Wednesday as the final piece of the puzzle in the carbon price for big industry takes shape," reports the CBC. "But the arrival of the new offset system was greeted without applause by climate activists who say it simply makes it cheaper for big industries to keep polluting. Carbon offset markets allow governments, companies and other organizations that emit greenhouse gases to pay for those emissions through the purchase of credits created when emissions are cut somewhere else."

June 2, 2022

Investors, finance experts crave better sustainability data: ISF survey results

The ISF surveyed contacts in finance, academia, NGOs and the public sector to better understand the amount and quality of sustainability data that’s out there. The survey makes clear that the data is not currently meeting the demands of the market, with significant implications for investment decisions and holding firms accountable for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

May 26, 2022

Progress made on corporate GHG targets and disclosures, but Canada still must ‘up its game’: New ISF report

A new report by the Institute for Sustainable Finance updates the findings of its popular 2021 review of TSX Index firms’ GHG emissions disclosures, targets and plans.

May 18, 2022

Canada faces huge physical costs from climate change, making net zero a great investment

There has been a lot of discussion in Canada lately about the financial costs of achieving the country’s climate targets. And rightly so. The situation is urgent and we need to act now. However, we in the finance business like to look at both sides of the ledger. And when one considers the damage to the Canadian economy we can expect from fires, floods, melting ice caps and loss of biodiversity due to climate change, the investment in greenhouse gas reductions starts to look very worthwhile indeed. Climate change impacts economic prosperity.

May 12, 2022

ISF announces winners of CSFN Research Grant/McCall MacBain CSFN Sustainable Finance Fellowships

The team at the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) is delighted to announce today the results of two initiatives that will greatly enhance the growing body of scholarship on sustainable finance issues: the winner of our inaugural CSFN Research Grant, Diane-Laure Arjaliès, and two recipients of the ISF’s McCall MacBain CSFN Sustainable Finance Fellowship, Melanie Issett and Tanusri Sarker.

May 10, 2022

Sustainable Debt Primer and video interview with Sarah Thompson

“What’s exciting is … there are opportunities for all types of issuers to enter the market.” ISF Chair Sean Cleary, author of ISF’s new Primer article on Sustainable Debt, recently interviewed Sarah Thompson, Managing Director, Sustainable Finance Group, RBC Capital Markets, about the kinds of sustainable debt that are out there, how the market is growing, and how to address concerns about “greenwashing.” To learn more about Sustainable Debt, read the article and check out the interview video.

April 20, 2022

Climate change damage could cost Canada up to $5.5-trillion by the end of the century: New ISF report

The Institute for Sustainable Finance’s latest study examines how much capital output Canada will lose due to physical damages under different warming scenarios by the end of the century.

April 6, 2022

IFRS Foundation takes next steps to establish ISSB presence in Montreal

"The IFRS Foundation and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) today announced an agreement to establish the Montreal centre of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The Montreal centre will host key functions on behalf of the ISSB, including the coordination of activity across the Americas."

April 5, 2022

5 takeaways from the latest IPCC report

Bronson Griscom writes in the WEF blog on the latest IPCC report, with “five takeaways … about the critical role nature plays in stabilizing the climate.”

April 1, 2022

U.S. SEC’s tough new climate disclosure rules put pressure on Canada to follow suit

Eugene Ellmen reports in Corporate Knights on what tighter U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules for climate disclosures may mean for Canada. He quotes ISF Executive Director Sara Alvarado, who notes that having two different sets of rules may create a situation where non U.S. “large CO2 emitters could continue business as usual in Canada or even set up shop here to avoid investor scrutiny, creating a 'sort of reporting arbitrage.'”

April 1, 2022

Carbon Tracker reports on the progress of Climate Action 100+ companies toward Paris targets

While 69% of "focus companies" have committed to Net Zero by 2050, a 17% increase over last year, the assessment finds that "it is alarming that the vast majority of companies have not set medium-term emissions reduction targets aligned with 1.5°C or fully aligned their future capital expenditures with the goals of the Paris Agreement, despite the increase in net zero commitments."

March 31, 2022

ISSB delivers proposals that create comprehensive global baseline of sustainability disclosures

"The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), established at COP26 to develop a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability disclosures for the capital markets, today launched a consultation on its first two proposed standards. One sets out general sustainability-related disclosure requirements and the other specifies climate-related disclosure requirements."

March 31, 2022

2030 Emissions Reduction Plan – Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy

The federal government has released its highly-anticipated Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), the first of its kind in Canada. The plan represents a roadmap to guide emissions reduction efforts across sectors in Canada. The brief Backgrounder link below (10 min read) provides high level information on some of the key points included in the Plan.

March 25, 2022

Summary of Submissions to Canadian Securities Administrators on Climate-Related Disclosures

This week the Canada Climate Law Initiative released its report summarizing 131 submissions made to the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and led by Dr. Janis Sarra, on the important topic of climate-related disclosures. The report concludes that the submissions “have overwhelmingly called for mandatory disclosure of Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, embedding that disclosure in financial reporting so that investors have confidence in the accuracy and comparability of the information, and requiring issuers to disclose their plans to transition to net-zero emissions." This is in line with ISF’s own response to the CSA’s proposed disclosure regulations.

March 23, 2022

Canada Issues Inaugural $5 Billion Green Bond

“Canada’s green bonds are a major step in our plan to grow the sustainable finance market in Canada. Green bonds allow investors to take advantage of the many emerging green market opportunities by adding climate-friendly products to their portfolios. Expanding private sector investments through a sustainable finance market in Canada is key to achieving a cleaner, net-zero economy.”

March 22, 2022

Canada to issue first green bonds this week

ISF Executive Director Sara Alvarado is quoted in the Globe and Mail today, discussing the importance of federal green bonds as a benchmark, and as a part of Canada’s soon to be released Emissions Reduction Plan. Additionally, according to Alvarado, the proceeds of green bonds will be important for funding projects that address climate change “adaptation” and help protect Canadians from the effects of climate-related disasters. It is often difficult to attract funding for such projects, but they are urgently needed.

March 21, 2022

Net-Zero Advisory Body provides advice for Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan

The Net-Zero Advisory Body has released its submission to the Government of Canada, to inform Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan. NZAB’s advice focuses on specific improvements and new measures that the Government of Canada should consider to help achieve its 2030 target of a 40-45% reduction in GHG emissions below 2005 levels. This advice comes in anticipation of GoC’s Emissions Reduction Plan expected to be published by the end of March 2022, the first time Canada has undertaken such reporting pursuant to the Net-Zero Accountability Act.

March 15, 2022

TNFD Releases First Beta Version of Nature-related Risk Management Framework for Market Consultation

"The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has released the first beta version of its nature-related risk-management and disclosure framework, marking an important step by the market to tackle the risk of nature-loss to the global economy and reduce the impact on nature."

March 9, 2022

Queen’s commits to reduce carbon footprint of university’s investment portfolios by 2030

"In line with Queen’s commitment to make a real and lasting impact in the fight against climate change, Queen’s Board of Trustees has endorsed its Investment Committee’s Final Report on Climate Change Action Task Force (CCATF) Recommendations, which includes a commitment to lower the carbon footprint across the university’s investment portfolios."

March 8, 2022

Spotlight on International Women's Day 2022

"This International Women’s Day, Smith Business Insight is showcasing women's achievements by featuring some of the most impactful ideas and articles by female faculty, staff, alumni and students from the past year. These thought leaders uncover useful insights for business across a diverse range of fields—from marketing and finance to leadership and social impact. "

March 2, 2022

Carbon Liquidity

"Allocating more capital to firms that can reduce emissions will help to achieve our GHG reduction goals more quickly. A paper by ISF’s Ryan Riordan and Martin Nerlinger of the University of St. Gallen demonstrates that firms that disclose their emissions are rewarded with more trading and greater liquidity, making it easier to attract and retain investors. According to the authors, these results should encourage greater disclosure by firms and embolden regulators to proceed with implementing TCFD or SASB standards for disclosures."

February 28, 2022

Indigenous Economic Reconciliation

"What is Economic Reconciliation? How does it apply to Indigenous communities and all Canadians across our land? And importantly, what can we do about it?" ISF are delighted to present an important new addition to our series of sustainable finance primer articles: "Indigenous Economic Reconciliation", by Clint Davis and Sara Alvarado.

February 11, 2022

Training Future Leaders to Thrive

According to Dean Wanda Costen at Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, "Preserving the planet is the issue of our times, and it cannot be solved without corporate innovation.” ISF has a vital role to play in meeting the exploding demand for ESG skills, and research on sustainable finance.

February 10, 2022

CPPInvestments: Investing in the path to net zero

CPPInvestments announced its today announced its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. "As the world moves toward net zero, we aim to manage the investment risks and invest to capture and support value-creating opportunities that will arise as society works to remove greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the whole economy."

February 10, 2022

Salesforce Ties Executive Pay to ESG Performance

"CRM solutions provider Salesforce announced that it will begin including ESG goals in its executive compensation programs." Aligning incentives with sustainability goals helps accelerate the process of moving from strategy to execution. More frequently companies are moving in this direction, which is encouraging.

January 23, 2022

What is a climate stress test? A sustainable finance expert explains

"A stress test is a “what if” exercise, where we contemplate scenarios that would pose the most harm to our financial systems and well-being in order to determine how we can best manage through them. They’re now being increasingly applied to future climate change and the financial risks that come with it."

January 18, 2022

When it comes to ESG issues, Canada’s financial industry needs a skills upgrade

"Canada faces an ESG talent gap. There’s no shortage of discussion about the nuts and bolts of environmental, social and governance issues. Governments, regulators and investors are demanding more disclosure, more analysis and more management of business risks related to sustainability."

January 14, 2022

Bank of Canada/OSFI pilot helps Canadian financial sector assess climate change risks

"The Bank of Canada and Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) today released the results of a pilot project on climate scenario analysis. This pilot was an important step in helping Canada’s financial sector improve its ability to analyze economic and financial risks affecting financial institutions that could arise from climate change."

January 14, 2022

Bank of Canada/OSFI pilot helps Canadian financial sector assess climate change risks

"The Bank of Canada and Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) today released the results of a pilot project on climate scenario analysis. This pilot was an important step in helping Canada’s financial sector improve its ability to analyze economic and financial risks affecting financial institutions that could arise from climate change."

January 13, 2022

IEA tells Ottawa that provinces key to reducing energy sector’s emissions

"Current federal government policies set the stage for Canada to meet its ambitious climate goals, but Ottawa must consult with provinces and industry to form a concrete plan to lower the energy sector’s emissions to net zero, according to a new analysis."

January 13, 2022

Investors will pay the price if the holes in climate-disclosure regulations aren’t tightened

"Canadian public companies have to get used to the idea of reporting their climate-related risks. The question is how stringent the rules will be."

January 12, 2022

Corporate Greenhouse Gas Numbers Don’t Always Add Up

“As companies rush to set climate goals, some aren’t even getting the basics quite right when it comes to accounting for greenhouse-gas emissions.”

January 12, 2022

Two Canadian banks join with U.S. banks on managing climate change risks

"Two major Canadian banks are part of a new consortium of large financial institutions aiming to create common standards for managing risks from climate change, in tandem with the U.S.-based Risk Management Association."

January 5, 2022

Bank Fees for Green Debt Surpass Fossil-Fuel Financing

"It’s official. For the first time since the unveiling of the Paris climate agreement in 2015, banks earned more fees arranging green-related bond sales and loans than they did helping fossil-fuel companies raise money in the debt markets."

January 5, 2022

New ESG obligations loom large for Canadian finance

"It was a year of talk in sustainable finance in 2021. Now comes the action. From corporate net-zero emissions promises to regulatory changes that will make climate-related disclosure practices mandatory for companies, the stage is set for some key environmental, social and governance milestones"

January 5, 2022

Opinion: New ESG obligations loom large for Canadian finance

"From corporate net-zero emissions promises to regulatory changes that will make climate-related disclosure practices mandatory for companies, the stage is set for some key environmental, social and governance milestones."

December 30, 2021

Sustainable Finance, Let’s Get Disclosure Right by Jim Leech and Sean Cleary

"Right now, experts are weighing in on a decision that will affect not only Canada’s regulatory landscape but the future of the country’s competitiveness. That includes the ability of our businesses to attract global capital and to manage the risks and seize the opportunities of the transition to a net-zero world. That decision is if and how we mandate the disclosure of climate-related material data."

December 8, 2021

Changes coming to Canada's financial reporting and assurance standards

"Today the Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting in Canada released its Consultation Paper. The paper outlines key matters the committee suggests should be considered to keep Canada's financial reporting and assurance standards independent and internationally recognized. They invite feedback on how best to do so – both for financial and sustainability standard setting."

November 26, 2021

Canada worst on climate of G-7 nations: commissioner

'Canada has failed in its efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warning, the environment commissioner said on Thursday, ranking it as the "worst performer" among Group of Seven industrialised nations.'

November 16, 2021

Net-zero pledges, improved metrics to put pressure on coal power, say investors

" Ambitions to wind down the world's coal use are likely to be accelerated by corporate net-zero pledges and better ways of measuring where factories in the global supply chain get their power, investors said."

November 16, 2021

Key takeaways from COP26

"Sustainable finance expert Ryan Riordan (Smith School of Business) was a delegate at the UN Climate Change Conference last week. He shares his thoughts on the promises made during this crucial international gathering."

November 6, 2021

Switching gears: EVs important tool in tackling climate crisis – but is it feasible?

"The switch to electric vehicles (EVs) is among the tools at the disposal of policymakers as countries grapple with ways to tackle the global climate crisis at the ongoing COP26 summit in Glasgow. There is growing consensus among industry and climate experts that EVs can play a vital role in helping countries, like Canada, meet their net-zero emission targets, but it will be a long ride with roadblocks ahead."

October 25, 2021

Canadian Investors Representing $5.5 Trillion Send an Unprecedented Call for Increased Climate Accountability in the Corporate Sector

"Citing their fiduciary responsibility, 36 institutional investors managing $5.5 trillion in assets have signed a new Canadian Investor Statement on Climate Change. The Statement, signed by asset management divisions of five of Canada’s largest banks along with major institutional investors such as the Ontario Pension Board, calls on companies to act on material climate risks including through their industry association and lobbying activities."

October 25, 2021

‘Sustainable finance’ is a great buzzy phrase, but what does it actually mean?

"No matter your business or industry, “sustainable finance” is suddenly on everyone’s radar. It sounds responsible and important, for sure, but for those confused by the buzzy phrase—no judgment here—we asked leaders in the burgeoning field to explain."

October 21, 2021

Canada can and must do better on sustainable finance

"Two years ago, the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance released a report focused on the need to align our financial systems with viable plans for timely emission reduction and climate adaptation in order to achieve our environmental imperatives while simultaneously bolstering our long-term global competitiveness."

October 18, 2021

Canadian securities regulators seek comment on climate-related disclosure requirements

"Calgary and Toronto – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published for comment proposed climate-related disclosure requirements. The proposed requirements address the need for more consistent and comparable information to help inform investment decisions. They also demonstrate the CSA’s commitment in favour of the growing international movement toward mandatory climate-related disclosure standards."

October 15, 2021

Six of Canada's Largest Banks Join United-Nations-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance

"TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2021 /CNW/ - Today, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, six of Canada's largest banks – BMO, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC, Scotiabank, and TD – together announced their pledge to join the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) as part of a global, industry-led initiative to accelerate and support efforts to address climate change."

October 9, 2021

Two years on, Canada has adopted few recommendations from sustainable-finance panel: Report

The report published by Queen’s University’s Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) identified “moderate” progress on six recommendations, “marginal” progress on five and “minimal” progress on three items. Just one recommendation—to create the Canadian Sustainable Finance Action Council—gleaned “significant” progress status.

October 8, 2021

Government regulators too slow to implement climate finance rules, forcing Canada to play catch up, report says

"Canada must speed up efforts to improve disclosure of greenhouse-gas emissions to stay competitive, and many business leaders have called for standardized reporting, said the report by the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business. But, so far, the government has held off mandating the use of a globally accepted program for measuring and assessing climate-related risks."

October 7, 2021

Le Canada doit passer à la vitesse supérieure et agir plus rapidement en matière de finance durable, conclut un rapport d'experts

L'Institut de la finance durable lance aujourd'hui un nouveau rapport évaluant les progrès du Canada en matière de finance durable et soutenant la compétitivité du pays. Le rapport, intitulé « Changer de vitesse : Progrès de la finance durable au Canada », prend comme point de départ les recommandations de 2019 du Groupe d'experts sur la finance durable et révèle que, bien que des progrès aient été réalisés par rapport aux recommandations, le Canada doit aller plus vite pour aligner les systèmes financiers sur une transition mondiale à faible émission de carbone.

October 7, 2021

Canada must change gears, move faster on sustainable finance, concludes expert report

The Institute of Sustainable Finance launches a new report today assessing Canada’s progress to scale sustainable finance and bolster Canadian competitiveness. The report, “Changing Gears: Sustainable Finance Progress in Canada”, uses the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance’s 2019 recommendations as its starting point, and reveals that while progress has been made against the recommendations, Canada needs to move faster in aligning financial systems with a global low-carbon transition.

October 5, 2021

The Climate and Your Investments: How They Connect

"A Pembina Institute study published in March 2021 revealed that Canadians want to align their investments with climate goals, and a full 79 per cent want society to respond to climate change with the same urgency as COVID-19. Similarly, in December 2020, U.S. investment manager BlackRock shared results of a survey on sustainable investing. Among the findings: “investors representing US$25 trillion in assets plan to double ESG assets in five years" and “climate-related risks are the top sustainability portfolio concern for 88 per cent of respondents." "

October 1, 2021

ISF announces a vacancy for a position of Associate Director of Communications

The Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) is pleased to announce the opportunity to join our team as the first Associate Director of Communications. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to play a key role in the advancement of the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) and be engaged in one of the most transformative issues of our day. As the inaugural Associate Director, Communications you will build on momentum generated by ISF since its launch in 2019 and establish the strategies and processes to sustain and enhance its effective communications going forward.

September 23, 2021

Institute for Sustainable Finance Welcomes New Research Advisory Council as Part of Ongoing Growth and Industry Collaboration

Today the Institute for Sustainable Finance announces its inaugural Research Advisory Council (RAC). The RAC will provide valuable input to ensure ISF’s research priorities represent the most critical sustainable finance issues affecting Canadian and global business, government and civil society.

September 21, 2021

Canadian ETFs: Latest launches include new ESG, bitcoin and inflation-protected bond funds

Accelerate Financial Technologies Inc. introduced the World’s first carbon-negative bitcoin ETF. Big Carbon footprints (substantial amount of electricity used in mining bitcoin) has been a big concern for investors. The ETF gives exposure to bitcoin while reducing its carbon footprint. Accelerate works with a leading third-party to execute a global tree-planting campaign to sequester carbon emissions and help fight climate change.

September 20, 2021

Sustainable investment funds release more data, details as investors seek transparency

"There’s no one way to define sustainable investing, but more fund providers in the space are beginning to provide hard numbers to back up their claims. The trend toward increased disclosure comes as sustainable investing sees both rapid growth and increased scrutiny by regulators and investors amid concerns the environmental credentials of funds are being overstated."

September 16, 2021

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan ramping up green investments in net-zero push

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan aims to vastly increase clean-energy investments and push companies in its $228-billion portfolio to set paths to net-zero carbon emissions, as one of Canada’s largest institutional investors shifts its strategy to deal with climate risks.

August 10, 2021

ESG Investors Question Their Own Methods After Grim Climate Report

"The damning United Nations report on global warming delivered a reality check for the investors betting that markets can limit the damage."

August 5, 2021

BMO Announces $12 Billion Financing Commitment towards Affordable Housing in Canada

BMO today announced a $12 billion commitment to finance affordable housing over a ten-year period in support of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) aspiration that all Canadians have a home that they can afford and that meets their needs by 2030.

August 3, 2021

Scotiabank Issues USD 1 Billion Sustainability Bond

"Scotiabank has announced the closing of its inaugural USD 1 billion 3-year Sustainability Bond offering, in support of the Bank's commitment to making a positive impact and creating better communities for every future. Net proceeds from the Sustainability Bond offering will be used to fund the financing or refinancing, in whole or in part, eligible green and/or social assets, which refer to new or existing assets, businesses or projects that meet the Scotiabank Sustainability Bond Framework Eligibility Criteria. "

August 1, 2021

Letter from the Deputy Prime Minister to the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the IFRS Foundation

"The Institute for Sustainable Finance is a proud member of the Canadian Champions for Global Sustainability Standards group in support of the Government of Canada's bid to host the IFRS International Sustainability Standards Board in Canada. Aligning mainstream finance with sustainable finance is ISF's mandate, which is very closely related with this GoC initiative. We strongly believe that accounting and sustainability standards go tightly together and we welcome this initiative as Canada continues to move forward its sustainable policy, projects and initiatives across industry, private and public sectors."

July 27, 2021

New Climate Action Pathway for Finance Sets out Roadmap for Markets & Real Economy

"The UN Climate Change Secretariat has published a climate action pathway for finance which sets out a roadmap for financial markets and the real economy to align with a sustainable and resilient net-zero emissions future. Collectively, the 8 pathways provide a blueprint to coordinate climate ambition among cities, regions, businesses and investors in the run up to the crucial UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November in Glasgow. "

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."

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 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 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

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 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 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.