Toronto should lead the world on sustainable finance

Report calls on industry to seize the growth opportunity

Toronto should lead the world on sustainable finance
Steve Randall

There is a huge opportunity for Canada’s finance industry to be a world-leader on sustainable finance.

A report published Monday (Sept. 17) highlights the growth opportunity created by intensifying demand for a global low-carbon economy – if Canada takes a collaborative approach.

Toronto Finance International (TFI) says that the city’s financial sector – and Canada more broadly – is well-positioned to develop and expand expertise and talent in sustainable finance.

"There are many examples of sustainable finance leadership across Canada from both the public and private sectors, however, a broader, coordinated strategy will be required to drive a more active and robust sustainable finance market in Canada," said Jennifer Reynolds, President & CEO of TFI.

She added that there are considerable benefits to Canada’s finance industry and the wider economy.

The report - Capitalizing on Sustainable Finance: A growth opportunity for Toronto's financial sector – includes insights from 70 stakeholders and notes that financial centres worldwide are reacting to demand for sustainable investments.

This could be worth $110 billion annually
It highlights that global green bond issuance has tripled to US$163 billion in the last two years and the total responsible investment market has reached nearly US$23 trillion.

A recent report estimates that the annual value of the sustainable finance opportunity for Canada's financial sector is at least $27 billion and could be as high as $110 billion annually by 2025.

"Economics--not policy--is now the driving force toward a low-carbon sustainable economy. The Canadian financial sector has all the ingredients to accelerate and benefit from this capital-intensive transition. By focusing on the size of the prize, we hope this report will help galvanize Canadian financial sector leaders to seize upon the opportunity," said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights.