Photo on the Left: Roger Beauchemin, Addenda Capital, Bill Murphy, KPMG and Barbara Zvan, formely with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, at CatIQ Connect conference. Photo on the Right: Samantha Cameron, Addenda Capital, at the Queen’s Commerce and Engineering Environmental Conference (CEEC).
Roger Beauchemin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Addenda Capital, spoke at CatIQ Connect, a conference focused on insurance which looked at developing collaborative solutions to mitigate losses from extreme events. He spoke alongside Barbara Zvan, former Chief Risk and Strategy Officer for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Bill Murphy, of KPMG, Canada’s National Climate Change & Sustainability Leader, about how leaders in the financial sector are taking action on climate risk and supporting the transition to a resilient, net-zero emissions society.
Delaney Greig, Director, Sustainable Investing at Addenda Capital, spoke at the Prospectors and Developers Association Conference, at a session organized by UNICEF with the Mining Association of Canada, on reporting and oversight of child and forced labour in supply chains. She addressed global legislative developments made towards mandatory requirements and how investors can support risk mitigation and responsible practices in the area.
In January, Samantha Cameron, Analyst, Sustainable Investing at Addenda Capital, ran a workshop at the Queen’s Commerce and Engineering Environmental Conference (CEEC) in Kingston. The workshop introduced students to the Future-Fit Business Benchmark, and how it can be used to evaluate the true sustainability of a company.
Jeremy Rudin, Superintendent of Financial Institutions at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), spoke about climate change in his opening remarks to the Annual Review of Insolvency Law Conference. This was the first time a representative from OSFI spoke publicly about climate change to financial institutions. His speech focused on physical, liability and transition risks and put forward the questions that financial institutions and regulators, including OSFI, need to grapple with to actively address climate risks.
PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE FINANCIAL MARKETS — RAISING STANDARDS
Investor Statement on Coronavirus Response
In March, Addenda Capital signed-on to the Investor Statement on Coronavirus Response. The statement acknowledges the challenges companies are experiencing and recommends a long-term focus in workforce and governance decisions to manage the crisis. The statement encourages companies to prioritize paid leave, health and safety measures, preservation of employment, supplier/customer relationships, and financial prudence in managing the crisis. The statement has 275 signatories which collectively manage over $7.7 trillion (USD) in assets.
Canadian Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance
Addenda Capital is participating in the development of a transition finance taxonomy for Canada, led by the Canadian Standards Association. Supporting the shift to a low-carbon economy, this approach is complementary to the taxonomy that has been developed in Europe. We submitted comments on a draft framework that will be used to develop sector specific criteria for oil and gas, utilities, mining and other sectors.
Comments on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Proxy Voting Rule Changes
Addenda Capital provided comments to the SEC in response to a consultation regarding two proposed rule changes that would impact Addenda and its clients.
The first was a proposed change to the rights of U.S. company shareholders that would significantly increase the ownership thresholds necessary to file a shareholder proposal and the support thresholds required for resubmission of a ballot item in subsequent years.
The second was proposed amendments to rules for proxy voting advisors that would require proxy advisory firms, like ISS and Glass Lewis, to allow companies to review and comment on their advice on votes before they are provided to their shareholder clients.
Our submission identifies how the existing processes have strengthened capital markets and improved corporate practices on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. It also highlights how the proposed changes identified above would negatively impact market participants, particularly shareholders. The SEC received thousands of submissions from investors around the world.