TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2019 /CNW/ -
- The new Institute for Sustainable Finance will grow Canada's capacity to address one of the greatest economic transitions in history through cutting-edge research, professional training, education and collaboration.
- One of its first acts is to establish the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN), uniting universities and researchers from across Canada to advance world-leading research on this emerging issue
Today marks the official launch of the new Institute for Sustainable Finance. Building on its mandate to align mainstream financial markets with Canada's transition to a prosperous sustainable economy, the Institute unveiled today the establishment of the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN), an independent and diverse alliance of academics, researchers and educators who will address the most pressing questions of this field, and our time.
"The Institute for Sustainable Finance aims to create the most credible and robust body of sustainable finance knowledge in the country. Establishing the CSFN as a critical resource for Canadian leaders is one way we can help guide the massive transition to a sustainable economy," says Institute executive director, Sean Cleary, BMO Professor of Finance and Founding Director of the Master of Finance program at the Smith School of Business at Queen's University.
The 44 members from 16 universities of the CSFN, which include Queen's University, the University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, Concordia University, the University of Victoria, and the University of Manitoba, 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).
"Climate change is becoming a mainstream policy issue, and increasingly understood to have potentially serious financial consequences as well as being the source of significant opportunity. As a result, it is becoming an increasing focus for the global financial system, given the multi-faceted role finance plays in allocating capital and managing risk within key sectors of the economy," says Andy Chisholm, a member of the Institute's advisory board and a member of the Canadian Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance.
"Canada needs to keep up, and where appropriate, take a leadership role if we are to stay globally competitive. The longer we delay, the more risk we take on and the more opportunity we forego or cede to others in a low-carbon transition. Universities have an important role to play and will be most effective in this space if they are encouraged to build off of and leverage each other's strengths and advances. That is why this collaborative cross-country network is critical," adds Andy Chisholm.
In addition to launching the CSFN, the Institute has undertaken 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 business professionals. The first on Sustainable Investing will run April 15-17, 2020 in Toronto with more to follow. These efforts align with the Institute's overall goal to significantly boost Canada's capacity—in both the long and the short-term—to implement sustainable finance approaches that will enable the country to thrive through a low-carbon transition.
"Working collaboratively on sustainable finance solutions, our world-class Canadian talent will help shape the financial system Canada's future needs," says Professor Cleary.
The Institute for Sustainable Finance is based at Smith School of Business, Queen's University and is supported by the Ivey Foundation, the McConnell Foundation, and the McCall MacBain Foundation.
Quotes from Canadian Sustainable Finance Network members:
"The Network will accelerate sustainable finance in two key ways. First, it will unify the voice of Canadian researchers across the country on this important topic. Second, it will ensure Canadians are at the forefront of sustainable finance research, allowing us to determine the agenda rather than waiting for others to set the questions to be answered." - Ryan Riordan, Associate Professor & Distinguished Professor of Finance, Smith School of Business, Queen's University; Director of Research at the Institute for Sustainable Finance
"The Network will bring together people with similar interests who have different backgrounds and experiences to spark new ideas and opportunities to accelerate research and learning. For example, the idea of socially responsible investing is growing and becoming more important to Canadians in general, and thus to investors. We don't know yet how much it will cost or benefit investors. Clearing up this unknown will greatly benefit investors." - Greg Hebb, Professor of Finance at Dalhousie University's Rowe School of Business
"Canada's economy is resource-based and our risk exposure to sustainability issues such as pipelines, lumber and water is very high. The financial sector can realign its structures to ensure capital flows toward solutions that will protect Canada's economy and prosperity as well as protect portfolio values for Canadians. By joining the network, we aim to further promote and contribute to sustainable finance initiatives through cross-institution collaborations and knowledge sharing." - Gady Jacoby, Dean of the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba
"Sustainable finance is very multidimensional. It encompasses every aspect of finance from asset pricing to corporate financing, from risk management to portfolio management, so every model or concept in finance can involve elements of sustainability. We need researchers with different skills and different knowledge and experiences. A network like this one will facilitate collaboration and resource sharing." - Claudia Champagne, Vice Dean for Research at the University of Sherbrooke
"The Network is an excellent initiative that will provide Canadian scholars with a concrete and powerful platform to engage in new collaborations, both in research and education. It will accelerate meaningful and impactful research at the cross-section of sustainability and finance that will help tackle complex issues faced by businesses, investors and other financial sector participants. The timing is very critical given the nature of the Canadian economy and the climate emergency requiring a massive transition to a low carbon economy." - Basma Majerbi, Associate Professor of Finance at Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria
"We have to figure out how we attract capital to this country and environmental and social governance (ESG) performance is becoming increasingly important for access to financing – particularly for those in the energy sector. The Network is going to bring together resources around ESG, helping companies and investors to be well informed in this new landscape." - Yrjo Koskinen, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Finance at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary
"Everybody's very enthused about the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network being developed. We will all be able participate, exchange and collaborate in an ecosystem to continue to develop our environment and social governance (ESG) and sustainability education not only for academics and students, but also for professionals." - Stephen Kibsey, Adjunct Professor, Concordia University
VIDEO LINK: Keynote and industry remarks from the Institute for Sustainable Finance launch event will be broadcast live starting at 6:30pm EST and can be viewed here. Questions by media representatives viewing the video can be submitted by email to [email protected].
For a full list of Canadian Sustainable Finance Network members and to learn more about the Institute for Sustainable Finance, please visit: isfcanada.org
SOURCE Queen's University
For further information: and to schedule interviews with Institute for Sustainable Finance spokespeople, please contact: Anna Milner, P: 647-391-9067, Email: [email protected]