June 4, 2020
Today, BCI released our 2019 ESG Annual Report, an in-depth look at our approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters, our activities, and our progress. The report details how BCI integrates our approach into issues such as climate change, human rights, employee health and safety, executive compensation and board diversity into our investment activities.
For the fourth year in a row, BCI achieved an A+ rating in Strategy & Governance from the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). As a signatory to the PRI, we are required to communicate our activities, and our reporting forms part of our annual PRI assessment. The report also updates our reporting in line with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
“Integration of environmental, social, and governance matters is an essential part of what we do and who we are at BCI. It is integral to our analysis — both before and after making an investment,” said Jennifer Coulson, BCI vice president, ESG, public markets.
“The 2019 ESG Annual Report demonstrates how BCI, in method and practice, continues to prioritize ESG matters, with the expectation that our efforts will lead to greater stability and integrity within the financial system.”
Highlights from the 2019 ESG Annual Report include:
ESG Strategy and Integration
- In 2019, we finalized and introduced a new, corporate-wide ESG strategy, laying out BCI’s priorities and procedures for ESG reviews across all asset classes.
- As part that integration, our public markets ESG team completed comprehensive ESG reviews of 173 companies in 2019, an increase of 170 per cent over 2018.
- BCI took part in 11 collaborative engagement initiatives, covering 1188 companies on ESG-related matters, an increase of 203 per cent over 2018.
- We continue to make progress on meeting the stated goals of our 2018 Climate Action Plan, including incorporating climate change materiality assessments in all our ESG reviews.
- BCI leads, co-leads or serves in a supporting role in engagement with 10 North American companies in the oil & gas, mining and utility sectors as part of Climate Action 100+.
Executive Compensation and Board Diversity
- We advocate for executive compensation programs that align with the company’s strategic priorities and ensure a link between pay and performance. In 2019, BCI assessed over 1500 management proposals on compensation and voted against 46 per cent.
- BCI advocates for gender diversity on the board and executive management level, including as a member of 30% Club Canada. The initiative has helped lead to nine women board appointments and nine diversity policies adopted by TSX Composite Index companies since 2017.
As an institutional investor with a long-term investment horizon, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of BCI’s disciplined approach. It reinforces our commitment to driving sustainable growth for the benefit of our clients and beneficiaries for generations to come.
Read BCI’s 2019 ESG Annual Report.
Ben O’Hara-Byrne, Manager, External Communication