Major financial institutions in Quebec released a statement Monday putting forward measures to strengthen the province’s sustainable finance ecosystem.
The commitment from the province’s financial sector to responsible finance principles has 14 signatories representing more than $900 billion in assets under management. National Bank, Desjardins Group, Fiera Capital, iA Financial Group and Power Corporation of Canada are among the signatories.
The signatories agreed to strengthen the integration of ESG components into their operations, internal processes and practices, as well as their disclosure and transparency. The statement also committed to developing local expertise in sustainable finance and investment, including supporting locally developed sustainable finance products and services, and promoting the growth of funds managed by locally-established managers with expertise in responsible investment.
“To support the implementation of Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, and add to the momentum from the 2017 Investor Statement on Climate Change Financial Risks, we must take advantage of the local resources, expertise and infrastructure at our disposal and thus strengthen Quebec’s positioning as a leader in the Americas within this transition,” the statement reads.
The Quebec Financial Centre for a Sustainable Finance released the statement as Finance Montréal’s first Sustainable Finance Summit began on Monday. Finance Montréal said it would monitor the implementation of the initiatives.
“We’re facing a climate emergency. We need to act together to speed up the transition to a low-carbon economy,” Desjardins president and CEO Guy Cormier said in a release. “These commitments, combined with our ambitious action plan which aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2040, will help Quebec and Canada meet their provincial and federal targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Laurent Ferreira, chief operating officer of National Bank who is also the president and CEO designate, said the bank plans to direct $5 billion in assets to local fund managers by 2025 to spark activity, innovation and the recruitment of talent in sustainable finance.
“Both our clients and employees are concerned about the environment, poverty and social exclusion, and that’s why we want to do even better,” he said.