New Institute for Sustainable Finance Will Harness Canada’s “Best and Brightest”

Posted by Toronto Finance International on Dec 4, 2019 10:00:00 AM
Toronto Finance International

Last month, we had the honour of launching the new Institute for Sustainable Finance. The event, held at the Smith School of Business downtown Toronto facility, was filled with over 100 of our peers and colleagues from academia, government, and the financial industry. We were pleased to have Toronto Finance International (TFI)’s support in communicating the importance of advancing sustainable finance expertise in Canada in the lead up to the event and we look forward to continuing to work with TFI to move the dialogue on sustainable finance forward.

The Institute is the first-ever cross-cutting and collaborative hub in Canada that combines academia, the private sector and the government. We have a singular focus: to grow Canada’s sustainable finance capacity.

Building on our mandate to align mainstream financial markets with Canada’s transition to a prosperous sustainable economy, the Institute unveiled the establishment of the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CFSN). This is an independent and diverse alliance of academics and researchers who will help answer the most pressing questions of this field, and our time.

The best and brightest Canadian minds from across the country

We are harnessing the best and brightest Canadian minds from across the country to address one of the greatest economic transitions in history through cutting-edge research, professional training, and education. The 44 founding members representing 16 institutions of the CSFN will serve as an engine and collaboration platform for academia, industry and government to move sustainable finance forward in Canada. Its initiatives include expanding research partnerships and joint funding opportunities, creating a repository of education resources and growing program offerings, and collaborating with like-minded organizations such as the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investments (GRASFI).

It is undeniable that climate change has become a mainstream policy issue. While that continues to fuel our political debate, the global financial system is already acting decisively. Earlier this year, the Canadian Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance underscored the need for our financial and business sectors to find the opportunities and manage the risks that inevitably come with such a major economic shift. The Bank of Canada, in its 2019 financial system review, identified climate change as a key vulnerability in the Canadian financial system.

Sustainable finance can and must be the common ground

Major global investors and financial institutions have accepted the reality of climate change and are already shaping markets for a massive transition. Canada needs to up its pace. Sustainable finance can and must be the common ground and starting place for Canadian leaders to tackle this transition together.

In addition to launching the CSFN, the Institute is undertaking education initiatives to foster a deeper base of knowledge and expertise in Canada. In addition to the development of traditional academic courses, the Institute and Queen’s Executive Education are launching programs for Canadian business professionals. The first on Sustainable Investing will run April 15-17, 2020 in Toronto with more to follow.  

We are thrilled to work with our network members, our education partners and industry supporters like TFI to shape the financial system Canada’s future needs.

To learn more about the Institute for Sustainable Finance and access our primer series, please visit: isfcanada.org.

Topics: Sustainable Finance, Canada, Toronto, Climate Change, Green Finance

Written by:

Sean Cleary, PhD, CFA, Executive Director for the Institute for Sustainable Finance and the BMO Professor of Finance, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University

Ryan Riordan, PhD, Director of Research for the Institute for Sustainable Finance and Associate Professor & Distinguished Professor of Finance, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University

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