Osler’s Andrea Boctor and Jon Wypych advised PRI on its Canadian Legal Framework for Impact

On February 13, 2023 the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI) and the Generation Foundation, released the Canada Legal Framework for Impact policy report (the Canadian LFI Report).

The PRI is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. Supported by the United Nations, it works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, and to support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment and ownership decisions.

The Canadian LFI Report sets out how Canadian investment law permits and, in some circumstances, requires investors to consider pursuing improved sustainability outcomes, as a means of achieving financial returns and protect financial value.

The Canadian LFI Report makes the following policy recommendations:

  1. Clarify when sustainability impacts can or must be considered by pension administrators in discharging their legal duties
    • Clarify in which cases fiduciary duties permit or require pension administrators to consider pursuing sustainability impact goals
    • Introduce implementation requirements and guidance regarding sustainability risks and impacts
  2. Facilitate consideration of climate-related risks and opportunities via legislation and regulatory guidance
  3. Introduce sustainable finance tools that enable investing for sustainability impact
    • Sustainable finance taxonomy
    • Stewardship
    • Sustainability-related disclosures
  4. Explore measures to encourage consideration of retail investors’ views

Andrea Boctor and Jon Wypych provided legal guidance to PRI throughout the creation of the Canadian LFI Report.