You are now in the main content area

Ryerson CSR Institute Session: Understanding Responsible Investment - Three Frontline Perspectives

January 18, 2019
12:00 PM EST - 2:00 PM EST
Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, 55 Dundas St. West, Toronto [9th floor, room TRS 3-119]

To view the video recordings of the session speakers, click on their names below:

To view the individual PDF/PPT presentations from the session speakers, click on their names below:


Activities associated with responsible investing ( a term often used synonymously with sustainable investing, responsible investing, mission-related investing, or screening) are receiving increasing attention. Since January, 2016 (external link) , pension plan administrators in Ontario have been required to file their Statements of Investment Policies and Procedures with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and include information about whether environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are incorporated into the SIPP, and, if so, how the ESG factors are addressed in the plan’s investment strategy. It was recently reported (external link)  that total responsible investments in Canada (measured in terms of assets under management) are now more than $2.1 trillion, growing by 41.6% from $1.5 trillion in 2015 and by 255%, from $600.9 billion, in 2011.

How do different members of the Canadian responsible investment community determine which particular ESG issue to target? What techniques and strategies work best for which issues and sectors? What are the biggest successes in terms of leveraging changes in business behaviour, and where are the biggest challenges? What are the upcoming trends? The January 18 session allows three of the most influential players in the Canadian responsible investment community to answer these types of questions and describe their distinctive approaches and activities.

SHARE is a Canadian leader in responsible investment services, research and education, working with a growing network of institutional investors helping them to become active owners and develop and implement responsible investment policies and practices. Recent SHARE campaigns include a US & Global Equities Shareholder Engagement Program (external link) , a campaign targeting oil and gas companies for failing to disclose water risks (external link) , and a campaign calling on companies to have greater transparency concerning slavery in global supply chains. More information can be found in the annual SHARE report (external link, opens in new window) .

CPPIB is a professional investment management organization that invests the more than $368 Billion in funds of the CPP on behalf of its 20 million Canadian contributors and beneficiaries. CPPIB has an explicit  (PDF file) Policy on Responsible Investing and published its latest 72 page  (PDF file) Report on Sustainable Investing (external link)  in 2018. As part of its consideration and integration of ESG risks and opportunities into its investment decision, in late December, 2018, the CPPIB announced a Global Gender Diversity Voting Practice (external link) , to vote against any chairman of a company’s director-nominating committee if the board has no female members.

The Responsible Investment Association welcomes members who are asset managers, asset owners, advisors, service providers and other investment professionals who practice and support responsible investment, with members including (external link)  AGF, NEI, CIBC, Thomson Reuters, RBC Global Asset Management, Sustainalytics, and Desjardins. Based on research included in the RIA's 2018 Canadian Responsible Investment Trends Report (external link) , the CEO of the RIA recently concluded that responsible investing in Canada has reached a tipping point (external link) , with 50.6% of Assets Under Management (AUM) in Canada managed according to one or more RI strategies in 2017, a significant increase from 2015, when RI stood at 37.8% of AUM in the Canada, and from 2011, when RI accounted for only 20% of AUM in Canada.

This session is co-sponsored by the Ryerson Corporate Social Responsibility Student Association, the Ryerson Commerce and Government Association, and the Ryerson Law and Business Student Association, and is supported by the Trade Commissioner Service of Global Affairs Canada.

Delaney Greig -- Delaney is the Manager, Engagement and Policy at the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE). Delaney holds degrees in civil and common law from McGill University and a masters in political economy from the University of Toronto. Prior to her work at SHARE, Delaney did legal and policy research for First Nations, the Government of Canada and national and international non-governmental organizations. Her work seeks to understand and address the challenges that arise at the intersection of business interest, human rights and environmental concern.

Jeffrey Hodgson -- Jeffrey joined the CPPIB in July, 2017. He oversees the Industry and Stakeholder Affairs function and is the subject matter expert on sustainable investing communications. Jeffrey has more than 20 years of experience as a financial journalist on three continents. He began his career at Bloomberg in Toronto and subsequently took on a variety of reporting and editing roles at Reuters and Canadian Press. Jeffrey holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Mary Robinson -- Mary is Director of Research, Policy & Collaboration with the RIA. In this role, Mary promotes awareness of responsible investment (RI) in Canada through research and analysis, advocates for policies that support responsible investment, and facilitates collaboration among the RIA’s membership. Mary is a CFA® charterholder with more than 20 years of experience working with institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments and foundations, in consulting and relationship management roles. Mary is keen to advance the understanding of RI among Canadian investors and to help the industry move towards full adoption of RI.