Canadian Pensions Call for Improved Disclosures

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – The CEOs of AIMCo, BCI, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, CPP Investments, HOOPP, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and PSP Investments issuedjoint statement calling on companies and investors to improve their ESG disclosures. The signatories also commited to strengthening ESG disclosure within their own organisations and to allocate capital to investments best placed to deliver long-term sustainable value creation.

    The organisations are Canada’s eight leading pension plan investment managers and represent US$1.6 trillion in assets under management. The joint statement seeks to strengthen investment decision-making and facilitate improved assessments and management of ESG risk exposures. More specifically, the pension plan managers ask that companies measure and disclose their performance on material, industry-relevant ESG factors by adopting the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

    “How companies identify and address issues such as diversity & inclusion, human capital, and climate change can significantly contribute to value creation or erosion,” says the joint statement. “Companies have an obligation to disclose their key business risks and opportunities to financial markets and should provide financially relevant, comparable and decision-useful information.”

    The statement recognizes the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent events that have highlighted long-standing inequalities revealing business strengths and shortcomings concerning social inequity, including systemic racism, environmental threats, and board effectiveness. The signatories call on companies and investment partners to seize the opportunity available in this context and take steps to drive lasting change.

    “We are inspired by this opportunity to help confront the most urgent challenges facing our global community and create more inclusive economic growth. We encourage other parties committed to our vision to join us on this journey towards a more sustainable future for all,” the statement concludes.

    “Our objective is to invest in companies that build a better future for their employees and communities while at the same time provide the appropriate risk-adjusted returns to help us meet our promise to our members,” said Jo Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. “Providing clear guidance to companies on the sustainability frameworks that we support will help unlock the consistent and comparable information we need to make prudent investment decisions.”

    “A strong commitment to environmental sustainability, diversity and inclusion and good governance principles will not only make our economy and financial system more resilient, it’s also the right thing to do,” commented Tiff Macklem, Governor, Bank of Canada. Leadership from Canada’s financial sector is essential as we focus on building an enduring and more equal economic recovery from the pandemic. I applaud the commitment expressed today by Canada’s leading pension plan investment managers.”

    “SASB welcomes the leadership of Canada’s eight largest pension plan investment managers in advancing investor-focused sustainability disclosure. By asking companies to use SASB Standards, along with the TCFD recommendations, this group is helping improve the availability and comparability of sustainability information and contributing to more resilient markets,” added Janine Guillot, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

    “We applaud these Canadian pension funds for their efforts in contributing to a more resilient global economy,” said Mary Schapiro, Head of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures secretariat. “By asking companies to disclose in line with the TCFD and SASB frameworks, they are paving the way for convergence around a common set of disclosure principles and furthering Canada’s leadership in this area.”

    Image by Jaime Reimer from Pixabay

    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe is an economist with 8 years of experience in macroeconomic and financial analysis for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UN World Institute for Development Economic Research, the Stockholm School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Filipe holds a MSc in European Political Economy from the LSE and a MSc in Economics from the University of London, where he currently is a PhD candidate.

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