One of the greatest and most pressing sustainability issues of our time is climate change, a phenomenon that has already had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on ecosystems, economies and communities around the world.
As a diversified international management and holding company, we understand and believe that businesses hold a responsibility to the communities in which they operate, towards fellow citizens and the natural environment. We are an investor, employer, and contributor to the communities where we are established. As such, we recognize our responsibility to help create a future where prosperity is harmonized with addressing the critical challenges of climate change.
We are deeply conscious of the fact that we do not operate in a vacuum. Thriving businesses depend on a thriving, sustainable society. Growing our business profitably in a way that supports a low-carbon economy will continue being an important matter for the Corporation and our stakeholders.
Our strategy for adapting to climate change is focused on positioning our business positively within the context of a low-carbon economy and supporting policies that advance solutions that address the tangible impacts of climate change.
Steps Taken to Achieve our Objectives
Minimize Investment Risks
Continue to integrate economic, environmental and social factors into our investment process and active ownership approach, which includes climate change risks and opportunities, where relevant.
Invest in Sustainable Businesses
Companies in which we invest are adapting to the impacts of climate change on their businesses through products, services, markets and operations. We engage with our major subsidiaries through a group-wide CSR committee on a range of corporate social responsibility initiatives, including GHG emission reduction and climate change related risks, opportunities and management strategies.
We support collaborative policies and frameworks that advance growth within a low-carbon economy, including through our Executive Co-Chairman's involvement in the International Economic Forum of the Americas and the Brookings International Advisory Council. These organizations respectively put forward efforts to increase awareness and collaboration between international governments on a wide range of issues, including climate change and efforts to develop effective, pragmatic policies for addressing national and global issues including energy and environmental issues.
Climate Advocacy and Outreach
In line with our contributions to community projects and initiatives that increase awareness and knowledge on climate change impacts and management, our parent company, Power Corporation, supports various organizations that are focused on issues related to climate change. The following provides examples of the research organizations supported:
Nature Conservancy of Canada – Power Corporation has been supporting Nature Conservancy of Canada since 2005. Nature Conservancy of Canada is a leading national land conservation organization that partners with individuals, corporations, other non-profit organizations and governments to protect the natural areas that sustain Canada’s plants and wildlife, including through their conservation research efforts.
Earth Rangers – Power Corporation provides funding for Earth Rangers, covering the three-year period from 2018 to 2020. Earth Rangers is a kids’ conservation organization whose free programs aim to instill environmental knowledge, positivity and the confidence to take action. Earth Rangers also works with a variety of national, regional and local conservation organizations to develop projects to protect endangered animals, ranging from conservation research, to land acquisition and habitat stewardship.
David Suzuki Foundation – Power Corporation provided funding for the Foundation covering a nine-year period from 2007 to 2015, and has renewed its commitment for 2019-2020. The David Suzuki Foundation works with government, business and individuals to conserve the environment by providing science-based education, advocacy and policy work, and acting as a catalyst for social change.
We have been responding to the CDP Climate Change Program for the past eight years and support the organization’s endeavours to increase transparency and disclosure on climate change governance, risks and opportunities, management and performance. In 2018, both Power Financial and Power Corporation obtained a score of A (Leadership), earning a spot on the CDP A List, along with 127 other companies worldwide. Among the 2018 CDP respondents in the financial services sector, four of the five top ranked Canadian companies were members of the Power Corporation group.
Both Power Financial and Power Corporation, as well as our group companies Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial, have responded to the CDP’s 2019 climate change questionnaire.
Highlights from our Group Companies
As part of our strategy, we also invest in sustainable companies whose products and services contribute to a low-carbon economy and societal well-being.
In addition to supporting organizations that are focused on issues related to climate change, our major publicly traded subsidiaries encourage their staff to get involved with environmental causes they support and hold dear to their hearts. Great-West Lifeco examples include the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Prairie Climate Centre, which facilitates cutting-edge climate research and policy recommendations, helping governments, businesses and community members understand the impacts of climate change and respond effectively. IGM Financial examples include the Manitoba Race to Reduce and the Winnipeg Commuter Challenge.
Imerys is committed not only to the management of emissions related to its operations but also to innovation of solutions at the service of a low-carbon economy, and as such supports customers in this transition. To this effect, Imerys is conducting studies of its products portfolio to determine their carbon footprint. These studies serve a dual purpose of providing complete and transparent information to customers and giving the group an improved visibility over the impacts linked to specific products or facilities, which is a precursor to initiating any eco-design approach. In 2018, Imerys calculated approximately 20 product carbon footprints, from cradle to gate. These study results were shared with customers to help encourage downstream efforts to calculate product impacts and differentiate Imerys products from other competitors’ higher carbon solutions.