The Co-operators in the Top 5 corporate citizens in Canada thanks to impact investing, employee satisfaction and sustainable revenue sources

Monday, 20 July 2020

For the eleventh consecutive year, ICMIF member The Co-operators has been recognised as a Corporate Knights Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada. The annual ranking issued by Corporate Knights measures companies' environmental, social, and governance–related performance. In the 2020 ranking, The Co-operators was recognised for leadership in sustainability, earning the number 4 spot. Last year, it was named Canada's number one corporate citizen on the 2019 list.

"This recognition as a meaningful contributor to a sustainable economy is an important reflection of our commitment to helping to build more resilient communities," says Rob Wesseling, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "At a time when many people are experiencing significant challenges and uncertainty, the case for sustainability is clear. It enables us to navigate complexity and crises guided by a collaborative, long-term view of success – not only for our co-operative, but for all Canadians."

Highlights of The Co-operators 2019 sustainability performance include:

  • Products and services that enable a sustainable, low-carbon, resilient society (including its overland flood product, Comprehensive Water).
  • Leadership in impact investing, with CAD 2.07 billion invested at the end of 2019, representing 19.4% of its invested assets.
  • Strong employee retention rate of 91%.

More details about The Co-operators sustainability, governance and financial performance can be found in its 2019 Integrated Annual Report.

The Co-operators published its first TCFD report

The Co-operators has also issued its inaugural Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) report, Managing Climate-related Risks and Opportunities. The report is a stand-alone summary of The Co-operator’s efforts to implement the TCFD recommendations as issued by the Financial Stability Board. These disclosures cover a reporting period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 and provide an overview of its approach to identifying and managing climate-related risks and opportunities. Improving TCFD practices is a multi-year progression, and The Co-operators is currently in the second year of a three-year roadmap.

In the foreword to the report, Karen Higgins, Executive Vice-President and CFO of The Co-operators writes: “To protect the financial security and peace of mind of Canadians and their communities, we must understand the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. We strive to be a champion and a catalyst of a sustainable, climate-resilient society, and are committed to integrating climate-related risk into our governance models and business practices. As a long-time advocate for increased focus and action on climate change, we welcome the Financial Stability Board’s mandate to increase investor and consumer awareness over what we believe is the most pressing issue of our time.”

The Co-operator’s full TCFD report is available online.

ICMIF webinars on impact investing and TCFD reporting

Members of the team at The Co-operators have participated in two recent ICMIF webinars, sharing their sustainability leadership with other ICMIF members in our exclusive webinars.

Karen Higgins and Roger Beauchemin, President & CEO of Addenda Capital (the institutional asset management arm of The Co-operators Group) shared their approach and commitment to impact investing in the webinar Impact Investing: why and how?.

Karen also spoke about The Co-operators’ TCFD journey in a webinar led by ICMIF Supporting Member Aviva Investors, Disclosing your climate risks: being prepared to report against the TCFD framework.

Recordings of both these webinars are available for ICMIF members to view. Please send an email to webinars@icmif.org to receive the recording links.