Canada moves towards pension fund ESG disclosure

A private Member’s Bill was submitted to the Canadian Parliament this week by Robert Oliphant, MP, calling for amendments to the Pensions Benefits Standards Act, 1985, requiring public and private pension plans to disclose considerations given to environmental, social or governance factors during the selection, retention, or liquidation of investments under the plan’s responsibility.

The move, which has been well received by many in the Candian SRI community, reflects the amendments made in July 2000 to the UK 1995 Pensions Act which requires pension fund trustees to state their policy on social, environmental and ethical issues.

“This bill is about transparency. It will ensure that clear information about the way investment decisions are made is available to protect pension plan members. It also recognizes the significant role pension funds play in the Canadian economy,” Mr. Oliphant said at a Press Conference on Tuesday.

In a speech to pension fund professionals in Canada last week, Mr Oliphant underlined the relevance of sustainable investment considerations and the challenges facing the investment community in reacting to the recent financial crisis.

The move, which echoes the UN Principles on Responsible Investment, is sure to maintian a higher profile for responsible investment in Canada and further drive demand for transparency amongst fund managers.

Leave a Reply