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

May 12, 2022

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 Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN) Research Grant, Diane-Laure Arjaliès, and two recipients of the ISF’s McCall MacBain CSFN Sustainable Finance Fellowship, Melanie Issett and Tanusri Sarker.

“There are a great many urgent areas of research in sustainability these days, so it is particularly exciting to see such capable and innovative scholars responding to these opportunities,” said ISF Chair Sean Cleary. “Congratulations to our research grant winner Dr. Arjaliès, and our 2022-23 fellows, Ms. Issett and Ms. Sarker.”

CSFN Research Grant

The Canadian Sustainable Finance Network, established by the ISF, is an independent, formal research and educational network, now with more than 100 members across Canada and the US. CSFN has been instrumental to sharing learnings and opening the door to future research topics, as well as creating key partnerships across Canada and globally. This year’s inaugural CSFN Research Grant, with an award of $50,000, was for proposals with a particular focus on three themes, developed in consultation with ISF’s Research Advisory Council:

  1. Sustainable finance products used in other jurisdictions: banking, institutional and retail.
  2. Financing versus funding for sustainable agriculture.
  3. Cleantech financing frameworks and structures.

Diane-Laure Arjaliès is an Associate Professor (with tenure), belonging to the ‘Sustainability,’ ‘Managerial Accounting and Control’ and ‘General Management’ groups at the Ivey Business School, Western University.

Dr. Arjaliès and her team have been awarded the grant for their proposed work on “The Opportunity for Conservation Impact Bonds to Finance Natural Infrastructure and Regenerative Agriculture on Canadian Farmland”. As Dr. Arjaliès writes, “sustainable farming systems are more productive in the long term, require less costly inputs, are more harmonious with local ecosystems, and can be a sink rather than a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The possibility of a system that generates multiple environmental, societal, and economic benefits creates opportunities for using new financial instruments to organize and convene farmers, investors, and other stakeholders.” Her team’s work “will support and inform the development of a new pilot applying the Conservation Impact Bond (CIB) model to scale investment in sustainable agriculture.”

McCall MacBain CSFN Sustainable Finance Fellowships

The McCall MacBain CSFN Sustainable Finance Fellowships, generously supported by the McCall MacBain Foundation, are also newly established in 2022. The Fellowships aim to develop talent in the sustainable finance sector and advance Canada’s transition to a sustainable economy. They are awarded to Master’s students enrolled in a research-based finance, economics or business graduate program in a CSFN partner university, with a demonstrated research interest in sustainable finance. The first two awards are provided for the September 2022-August 2023 academic year. The value of each award is $15,000.

This year, both award winners are students at the University of Waterloo.

Tanusri Sarker, Master of Environmental Studies in Sustainability Management Candidate, University of Waterloo

As a McCall MacBain CSFN Sustainable Finance Fellow, Ms. Sarker plans to draw on her experience working in sustainability and environmental validation. She will conduct research on the impact of sustainability linked bonds and loans in the apparel industry.

Melanie Issett, Master of Environmental Studies in Sustainability Management Candidate, University of Waterloo

As a McCall MacBain CSFN Sustainable Finance Fellow, Ms. Issett will focus on the very current topic of climate-related financial risks and disclosures. Her work will analyse recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and how they are influencing the financial and sustainability performance of institutional investors, looking at a sample of global pension funds.

About the Institute for Sustainable Finance

ISF was launched in 2019 as a Canadian-specific centre of expertise and collaboration for advancing sustainable finance. Housed at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, ISF is independent and non-partisan. It focuses on developing research, education, and collaborations among academia, industry and government to improve Canada’s capacity for sustainable finance as the shift to a low-carbon economy occurs. ISF’s work is generously supported by The Ivey Foundation (inaugural supporter), the McConnell Foundation, the McCall MacBain Foundation, the Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University and Founding Contributors BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and TD Bank Group.

Media Contact

David Watson
Associate Director, Communications, Institute for Sustainable Finance
C: 613.796.3605