Event summary produced by The Globe and Mail Events team. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.
As concerns over climate change continue to mount, investors, shareholders and consumers are doubling down on efforts to support and invest in businesses with proven sustainability and social performance. The increased scrutiny means business leaders must demonstrate valid commitments and progress on operating more sustainably and lightening the footprint of their supply chains.
How are these developments changing the financial and business landscape in Canada? To tackle that question The Globe and Mail hosted its third annual Sustainable Finance Summit on April 12, bringing together leaders and experts from across the country to share their views and insights.
Missed the event or would like to view a recording? Scroll down to the video player, below. Links to resources mentioned by speakers may be found at the end of the article.
Jeffrey Jones, ESG and sustainable finance reporter with The Globe and Mail in Calgary, opened the event with a conversation with Barbara Zvan, president and CEO of University Pension Plan. Ms. Zvan covered recent updates and developments in sustainable finance, and commented on Canada’s approach in comparison to other nations and jurisdictions.
Greenwashing risk was another predominant theme at the event. To discuss how to spot and avoid greenwashing, Audrie Chad, director of research with Global Risk Institute joined Mark Sevestre, founding member and senior advisor with the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association in a conversation with Mr. Jones. The discussion spanned tools and resources to help navigate greenwashing, along with heightened expectations for businesses to properly incorporate Indigenous interests and leadership.
As ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) requirements continue to build, questions are arising as to if and how ESG intersects with impact investing, and the differences between the two approaches. Upkar Arora, CEO of Rally Assets participated in an interview on the topic with Blair Miller, managing partner of the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, and vice president of social impact ventures with TELUS. Rasha Rehman, assistant program manager for business and financial products with The Globe and Mail moderated the discussion.
Following a networking break Rita Trichur, senior business writer and columnist with The Globe and Mail, dove into the topic of ESG excellence, hosting Zlata Huddleston, Partner, Sustainability Practice Leader, IBM Consulting; Carol Wilding, president and CEO of CPA Ontario; and Samantha Hill, managing director of sustainable investing with CPP Investments. The group covered the importance of high-quality data in ESG reporting, how businesses are translating strong ESG performance into financial and brand benefits, and the resources needed to drive progress.
To do a deeper dive on how businesses are moving forward with these priorities, Ryan MacDonald, senior editor of climate, environment and resources with The Globe and Mail moderated a panel including Dana Krechowicz, assistant vice president of sustainable finance with HSBC Bank Canada; Glen Wilson, vice president of safety, environment and regulatory with Canadian Pacific; and Charlie Angelakos, vice president of global external affairs and sustainability with McCain Foods.
The group discussed growing interest among investors and consumers in net-zero commitments, the complexities of Scope 3 emissions, and examples of technology and strategies to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
View the full afternoon below:
The Globe and Mail presented the event with sponsor support from HSBC Bank Canada, IBM Consulting, CPA Ontario and TELUS.
Links to resources and reports mentioned by speakers:
- Climate Engagement Canada
- Taxonomy Roadmap Report
- 2022 CEO study: Own Your Impact
- The Consumer Study: Redesigning Brand Value
- Taxonomy Roadmap Report (Press Release & Quotes)
- Announcement regarding creation of Sustainable Finance Action Council:
- Original Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance Report
- Australia’s approach
- Quote: The Honourable Dr. Jim Chalmers, MP Treasurer: “Given how critical a proper taxonomy is to a credible sustainable finance agenda – to help investors align with climate targets, to attract capital that supports the transition, to support regulators tackling greenwashing – it’s so important that we develop our own.”
- International Sustainability Standards Board:
- Learning for a Sustainable Future (Survey):
Interested in business sustainability and net zero? Visit www.globeandmail.com/events to register for Clean Energy for Business Leaders (webcast - May 11) and The Road to Net Zero (live and virtual event - June 19).