As a financial institution supporting the export activities of Canadian companies, we have a responsibility to assess and manage the environmental and social risks of our customers. Through our relationships, we strive to ensure that the companies we support abide by regulations and seek to uphold best practices.
EDC’s environmental and social risk review and due diligence policies and practices are aligned with and informed by our international commitments, including relevant guidelines at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for export credit agencies. For project finance transactions (those where we commit to financing international projects such as wind farms and mines), we also apply the IFC Performance Standards on environmental and social sustainability and the Equator Principles (EP).
In 2019, we released our updated Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM) Policy Framework, including new policies on climate change and human rights, which reflect our commitment to remaining timely and relevant while serving our customers and other stakeholders in a progressive, responsible and sustainable way.
All told, the review, which included broad stakeholder consultation throughout 2018, resulted in:
Along with the policies, we issued public response papers explaining the changes and how stakeholder input was considered, which can be found on a dedicated ESRM Policy Review page of our website.
Climate Change Policy and implementation – see our TCFD Disclosure
Human Rights Policy and implementation – see our Human Rights Disclosure
Disclosure Policy and implementation – see Promoting Business Integrity
With global interest in climate financing continuing to rise, EDC issued a $500 million green bond in 2019. This was our second green bond in Canadian dollars and our fifth green bond since 2014.
Proceeds of all EDC’s green bond offerings go toward our portfolio of green assets, including loans made to companies active in the preservation, protection or remediation of air, water or soil; the creation of renewable energy; or the mitigation of climate change. So far, these proceeds have helped finance approximately 30 transactions in support of environmentally beneficial companies or projects. Among other potential benefits, it’s estimated these efforts have helped to avoid more than four million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
With the issuance of this latest bond, we’re hoping to bring more domestic and international investors to the table to further stimulate the growth of the green bond market in Canada.
Visit our Green Bonds web page to access our Green Bond Framework and annual green bond impact reports.