Institutional investors are welcoming a new report from a Canadian expert panel aimed at supporting the growth and development of sustainable finance in Canada.

Sustainable finance refers to capital flows, risk management activities and financial processes that incorporate environmental and social factors as a means of promoting sustainable economic growth and the long-term stability of the financial system.

“Prudent investors are always mindful of big changes that are happening in the market and climate change is one of the biggest drivers of change in the global economy today,” said Dustyn Lanz, CEO of the Responsible Investment Association (RIA), a network of investment organizations representing more than $12 trillion in assets under management.

“Investors need reliable information and a clear policy framework to better understand how climate change and other societal challenges could impact their portfolios. They also need a stable financial system in which to operate. The Expert Panel’s report marks an important step forward on all of those fronts.”

The Expert Panel came up with 15 recommendations, including mapping Canada’s climate goals into “industry competitiveness visions and capital plans” and promoting sustainable investment as “business as usual” within Canada’s asset management community.

Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators Group Limited, said his company also fully supports the findings of the panel.

“As risk experts, we cannot turn a blind eye” to defining issues such as climate change, said Wesseling. “Our mission is to provide financial security for Canadians and their communities, and therefore we must engage on topics that risk their security.”

Desjardins Group said it is proud to contribute to Canada’s sustainable finance market, said Gregory Chrispin, executive vice-president, Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance with Desjardins Group. “Desjardins has been offering responsible investment funds to its members and clients since 1990, an offer that has been evolving ever since to better meet investors’ needs. We firmly believe that sustainable finance is an important lever to Canada’s sustainable prosperity.”