As the world recovers from the pandemic, we’re determined to help usher in a better way of doing business – one that is greener, more inclusive and sustainable.
lending exposure to carbon-intensive sectors, down from $22.4B in 2018
transactions underwent human rights risk screenings, compared to 226 in 2019
of EDC leadership roles held by women
Inclusion, diversity and equity
In 2020, troubling incidents of racism sparked an awakening to the realities of inequity and systemic racism in our society. These events brought fresh urgency to EDC’s own inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) efforts, challenging us to examine our values, practices and processes to ensure that all employees – including Black people, Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, and those of various genders and abilities – feel safe and included, and are treated with respect and dignity.
We hired our first Chief Diversity Officer to provide expert advice and guide the development of a new ID&E strategy. Learn more
Recognizing corruption and bribery as real and costly risks in global trade, EDC takes a strong stance against them. We abide by all laws and international guidelines that apply to us, and actively support Canada and other leading trading nations in efforts to fight corruption.
Our Financial Crime team was heavily involved in the development of EDC’s COVID-19 relief programs to ensure that reasonable financial crime mitigations were being maintained. The team also performed financial crime due diligence of new financial institutions and private insurer partners that were being onboarded to deliver some of the COVID-19 programs. Learn more
Listening and learning
2020 was a year in which EDC spent a lot of time listening. We listened to our employees as they addressed issues that ranged from workplace health to home schooling. We listened to civil society stakeholders working hard to keep a distracted world’s attention on climate change and human rights. And we listened to our partners and customers, as we worked together to navigate the pandemic and prepare for the recovery to come.
EDC’s large and diverse portfolio includes companies operating in carbon-intensive sectors, as well as businesses at the leading edge of cleantech. In 2020, we achieved an important milestone well ahead of schedule by meeting our 2023 target to reduce our lending exposure to these sectors.
We also increased our support of Canada’s burgeoning cleantech industry. The number of cleantech companies served in 2020 grew by 27 per cent compared to 2019, to 288 businesses, and we facilitated $4.55 billion in business – an 80 per cent year-over-year increase. Learn more
We advanced our Human Rights Policy and implementation plans with the approval of our Principles on Leverage and Remedy. Our approach to leverage and remedy was developed through extensive stakeholder engagement, and we consider it to be critical to our broader objective of equipping Canadian businesses with the right risk management approaches to participate and compete in a global economy where expectations for responsible business conduct are rising. Learn more
Transparency and disclosure
EDC completed the review and update of its Transparency and Disclosure Policy to reflect a more open, clear and responsive approach and to align with stakeholder needs. In keeping with our policy commitments, we’ve included information in this year’s Annual Report on the number of transactions and companies turned down because of their ESG risks. Learn more
In 2020, employees delivered our biggest, most generous response to EDC’s Donations Matching Program yet, giving $42,763 (which was then doubled by EDC) to more than 70 organizations across Canada in support of causes focused on COVID-19 relief, including shelters, food banks and seniors’ centres. Through the matching program, we and our employees gave another $18,515 to 17 organizations focused on empowering Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) communities. Learn more
Success story: Hammerhead Resources
In 2020, Calgary-based Hammerhead Resources was in the process of producing its first-ever sustainability report, when it became involved with EDC through the BCAP Guarantee, a financial product EDC introduced to help companies through the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to providing financial support, EDC helped Hammerhead Resources through the climate disclosure process, as publishing a disclosure aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) was made a condition of our support.
Hammerhead Resources went one step further by committing to the TCFD themselves. Hammerhead Resources aims to follow TCFD reporting requirements and communicate its commitment and intent in its 2021 Sustainability Report. Read the full story in our annual report.