Sustainable finance – the incorporation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment instruments and decision-making – has now entered the mainstream. In Canada alone, ESG-related assets have now reached $3.2 trillion, representing a growth of 48 per cent since 2018.
Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest asset manager Blackrock, in his 2020 Letter to CEOs, highlighted that climate change is now a “…defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects.” He predicted that this will lead to a significant reallocation of capital “…sooner than most anticipate.”
Understanding these developments and their implications is becoming an urgent imperative for business leaders in all sectors. On March 11, the Centre for Building Sustainable Value (BSV) co-hosted a livestream event convening Canada's most-respected thought leaders on sustainable finance to address this area:
- Andy Chisholm – Board of Directors of Royal Bank of Canada and one of the four members of Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance.
- Michael Jantzi – CEO of Sustainalytics, the world's leading provider of ESG ratings for the financial sector.
- Diane-Laure Arjaliès – Ivey Business School, lead of the BSV Sustainable Finance Priority Area.
The event - Sustainable Finance: The reshaping of capital markets and the new era of corporate reporting - explored the rapid rise of sustainable finance and its profound implications for all businesses. The session also discussed the global movement towards standardized ESG reporting that will further accelerate the pace of change.
The event was convened and moderated by Ivey Academy's Executive Director Mark Healy. The CPA-Ivey Centre for Accounting & the Public Interest was also a partner on this event, building on a recent series of webinars focusing on the importance of ESG issues for the Accounting Profession.