What is Sustainable Finance?
The transition to a more sustainable, lower-carbon economy is increasingly viewed as critical to the long-term success of businesses, economies and society. Global financial centres such as Toronto are viewing “sustainable or green finance” as a strategic priority and a critical element for the growth and competitiveness of the financial sector and the broader economy. According to global investment giant BlackRock, in 2012 global sustainable investment was US$13.3 trillion. By 2018, it had grown to US$30.7 trillion. Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance defined sustainable finance as follows: “Sustainable finance is viewed as capital flows (as reflected in lending and investment), risk management activities (such as insurance and risk assessment), and financial processes (including disclosure, valuations, and oversight) that assimilate environmental and social factors as a means of promoting sustainable economic growth and the long-term stability of the financial system.”
Corporate directors, executives and management professionals are increasingly expected to understand the need for sustainable finance initiatives and the spectrum of elements that need to be considered in order to assess the risk and opportunities of the transition to more sustainable economies. The pace of growth in sustainable finance research, education, training, regulatory, and policy initiatives has been significant in recent months. The following list provides some of the key resources regarding sustainable finance both in Canada and globally to help individuals and businesses navigate this fast evolving area of economic development.