I recently had the pleasure of attending Impact Ontario, a conference on impact investing hosted by the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. Abigail Noble, Head of Impact Investing at the World Economic Forum, kicked off the day with a thought provoking talk about mainstreaming impact investing. Impact investing is an investment strategy that integrates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria to help resolve societal challenges. Abigail’s talk motivated me to add to the discussion on mainstreaming ESG integration.
Editor’s note: Three pioneers of Responsible Investment in Canada, Moira Hutchinson, Eugene Ellmen and Bob Walker, have written a blog about the anti-apartheid movement’s contribution to the development of responsible and impact investment in Canada. While the memory of Nelson Mandela’s death is still with us, it’s important to talk about this historical legacy. The blog is being co-published by socialfinance.ca and the RIA.
There is a heated debate happening right now in Vancouver. The debate focuses on municipal employees’ pension funds, which are currently invested in Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources, and ExxonMobil, among others. Some say that the pension funds, which are managed by the B.C. Investment Management Corporation (BCIMC), should not be invested in the fossil fuels industry. Some even say that investing in the fossil fuel industry is immoral and unethical. But the issue of ethics and morality is not so black and white.
The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) initiative recently announced the launch of a new reporting framework, which will be mandatory for all UN PRI signatories. Although this announcement marks a significant achievement for the responsible investment industry, it also raises two important questions. Is this a good thing? Are we moving in the right direction?
In a recent Financial Post article titled “The numbers tell it all: Canada ranked higher on sustainable energy than U.S. by World Energy Council”, Yadullah Hussain wrote about Canada’s performance on the 2013 World Energy Council’s (WEC) Sustainability Index. In the Sustainability Index, the WEC ranked Canada 6th place out of 129 countries. Yet the columnist may have misinterpreted Canada’s favourable ranking.
The GRI Taxonomy – which is available for free – was developed in collaboration with Deloitte Netherlands and launched in 2012. GRI and Deloitte are now continuing their collaboration to add the new G4 Guidelines to the Taxonomy. Click heading above to read post.
“…pension trustees will increasingly be obligated, as fiduciaries, to (a) demonstrate respect for social norms, (b) give beneficiaries a voice in decisions that affect their interests, and (c) think and act strategically and collectively. This effectively positions pension fund fiduciaries with public responsibilities to address long-term social concerns and imposes on them a duty to collaborate with each other in so doing”
In a review of technical reports filed by Ontario mining issuers, OSC staff found that 32 per cent of the Technical Reports on advanced mining properties had unacceptable levels of compliance with the new social and environmental disclosure requirements adopted by Canadian Securities Administrators.