UPDATES

 

Climate Change Explained and Economic and Market Implications
Brian Minns participated in the webinar organized by CFA Society New York. During that session, Brian spoke about using climate considerations to build positive impacts into fixed-income portfolios.


Photo: cfany.org

Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) ESG and Transition Bonds Conference (November)
Samantha Cameron, our Analyst, Sustainable Investing, participated in a panel, “ESG frameworks and green bond issuance”. She discussed impact metrics reporting as well as the Future-Fit Business Benchmark.

Commentary by Roger Beauchemin in The Globe and Mail
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The article discussed the importance of Canadian companies’ disclosure of management of climate-related risks and opportunities, aligned with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework.

 

FIRM-WIDE INITIATIVES


PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE FINANCIAL MARKETS — RAISING STANDARDS

Participating in the Development of CFA Institute’s ESG Disclosure Standards Proposal
While Addenda overall supports the recommendations, we suggested changes to their six ESG features. Brian Minns, our Vice President, Sustainable Investing, is a member of the group working on the draft disclosure framework, which will help asset owners understand, compare and select products that meet their ESG objectives; it should be available May 2021.

Response to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Consultation Paper on Sustainability Reporting
We provided feedback on the (IFRS) Foundation’s proposal to create a Sustainability Standards Board (SSB). While they play an important role, the IFRS Foundation should build on existing standards including TCFD and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) to ensure timely development of their own standard. They should focus on more urgent climate related disclosures; once done, they should proceed with other ESG information. Lastly, they should simultaneously develop disclosure standards for companies’ impacts on society and environment.

Feedback on the Canadian Investment Funds Standards Committee (CIFSC) Responsible Investing Fund Identification and Labeling Proposal
Addenda contacted CIFSC with concerns on the CIFC’s proposed framework. We suggested a more inclusive consultation process, reviewing existing initiatives in Canada and internationally, and waiting for the CFA Institute’s ESG disclosure standards to finalize an approach that ensures CIFSC’s contribution is aligned.

Submission to the U.S. Department of Labor Regarding Proxy Voting
Addenda contacted the U.S. Department of Labor regarding proposed restrictions on proxy voting by U.S. pensions and their asset managers — the U.S.’s fourth rule change this year aimed at hampering ESG integration and stewardship. The SEC already passed two rules imposing requirements for filing shareholder proposals and restricting proxy advisories’ independence to offer advice. The U.S. Department of Labor proposed restrictions on integrating ESG factors into pension fiduciaries’ investment decision-making. Following Addenda’s and other investment institutions’ submissions, they removed the rules’ most harmful aspects from final versions.

Meeting with Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) — a member of the Sustainable Finance Taskforce of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) — Regarding ESG Disclosure for Issuers and Asset Managers
Our interview was part of IOSCO’s study on asset managers’ use of sustainability information in investment decision-making, ESG reporting and improvements they are seeking in issuer disclosure. IOSCO will use this to build next steps in international policy setting and coordinate securities regulators on ESG and sustainable finance.

 

PRODUCT-SPECIFIC INITIATIVES
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