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Home > Home > About Us > News Room > News Releases > Backgrounder: EDC’s environmental and social risk management policies

Backgrounder: EDC’s environmental and social risk management policies

EDC regularly reviews its Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM) policy framework to ensure it is relevant, rigorous and reflects industry best practices. Stakeholder consultation is an important aspect of these reviews which aim to continuously improve its policies and ensure consistency with current practices and changes to EDC’s international obligations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD’s) Recommendation of the Council on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence and the Equator Principles.

EDC began the ongoing review of its ESRM policy framework in early 2018.

The policies included in the review are:

  1. Environmental and Social Risk Management Policy
  2. Climate Change Policy
  3. Environmental and Social Review Directive
  4. Human Rights Statement
  5. Disclosure Policy

As Canada’s export credit agency, EDC’s mandate is to support and develop Canada’s export trade and Canadian capacity to engage in that trade and to respond to international business opportunities.

EDC’s large and diverse portfolio includes companies operating in carbon intense sectors that are important to the Canadian economy, as well as businesses at the leading edge of the clean technology sector. EDC believes companies across this spectrum can play a role in the transition to a lower carbon and climate-resilient economy. The most important contribution EDC can make is to continue to provide products and services in support of customer’s innovation and transition as EDC builds the portfolio of the future.

Over the years, EDC has made important strides in how it contributes to Canada’s climate change efforts. The corporation has taken a proactive approach by developing internal capacity and investing in areas of business such as corporate sustainability and responsibility, clean technology, and climate finance.

Some highlights of recent actions include:

  • EDC is a leading financial supporter of clean technology companies. Since 2012, the corporation has facilitated approximately $5 billion in business for the cleantech sector. In 2018, EDC provided $2.0 billion in support for cleantech companies.
  • This past September, EDC became the first export credit agency globally to sign on to the recommendations of the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). More details below.
  • In 2017, EDC became the first export credit agency globally to issue a public position on thermal coal-fired power, which built upon and went further than the OECD’s parameters.
  • EDC contributes to the Government of Canada’s climate finance commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, including CAD $551 million in business facilitated over the 2016-17 period.

TCFD (Additional Details):

  • The TCFD is an initiative of the Financial Stability Board, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and Michael R. Bloomberg, and formed upon request of the G20. In September 2018, EDC announced its support for the recommendations to increase availability, quality, consistency and comparability of climate-related financial information.
  • EDC is proud to be the first Crown corporation and the first export credit agency globally to become a supporter of the TCFD.
  • EDC regularly issues green bonds, the proceeds of which go towards EDC’s portfolio of green assets. EDC was the first financial institution in Canada to issue a green bond in 2014, and has since issued more than USD $1.5 billion in green bonds

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy:

  • EDC’s goal over the long-term is to continue playing a leadership role in supporting Canadian exporters and investors operating in clean and low carbon technology sectors.
  • With the new Climate Change Policy, EDC commits to be more transparent about its approach to carbon intense sectors, starting with a strengthened and further clarified thermal coal position that extends beyond thermal coal-fired power.
  • The new policy commits EDC to encourage customers operating in carbon intense sectors to disclose climate-related information, starting with annual greenhouse gas emissions and, where appropriate, clear emissions reduction targets.
  • Canada’s oil and gas industry accounts for a significant proportion of Canada’s economy and exports. Oil and gas products accounted for 19 per cent of Canadian exports in 2017. The sector represents 10 per cent of exports and international investments that EDC facilitates.
  • EDC recognizes efforts are underway to transition to a lower carbon economy, in which alternative energy sources and technologies will play an increasingly prominent role. However, responsible and efficient fossil fuel use will continue to be part of this transition.

Transparency:

  • EDC will not offer any new funding for coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines or dedicated thermal coal-related infrastructure. For carbon intense sectors other than the thermal coal sector, EDC will start collecting data about its customers’ greenhouse gas emissions and how they are being managed.
  • EDC will report publicly about its climate-related risks and opportunities, in line with the TCFD recommendations, starting with its integrated 2018 Annual Report.
  • EDC will start using the greenhouse gas data collected from customers or public sources to analyze its lending portfolio. This data will be used to help set targets linked to the carbon intensity of the portfolio, starting in 2020. EDC will also continue to report on and improve its operational environmental footprint.
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