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REPORTS & PUBLICATIONS

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Can and should the financial sector lead the energy transition?  - A conversation with Robert Eccles & Milla Craig
June 2024

 

The role of the financial sector in supporting the energy transition has been a subject of discussion in the last years. We have been receiving questions on the matter as financial institutions shape their sustainable finance strategies. 

During this webinar, Milla Craig, President and CEO of Millani, was joined by Robert Eccles, Visiting Professor of Management Practice at Oxford University. A thought leader in the move towards integrated reporting, academic and market research, he is now questioning the growing theory of change, that the finance sector can and should lead the energy transition. 

In addition, Robert has been a leader in understanding the "ESG Culture Wars" in the USA and shared some of his perspectives on the current situation and impacts within the financial community. 

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Embracing double materiality: The key for corporate disclosures in Canada
May 2024

 

On March 13th, 2024, the Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB) released exposure drafts for the first Canadian sustainability disclosure standards, marking a significant step towards aligning Canadian corporate disclosures with the two standards  developed by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). With some modifications to IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, CSDS 1 and CSDS 2 push out the effective dates for companies disclosing in Canada.

 

Feedback from stakeholders is being solicited until June 10, 2024, and the standards are proposed to become voluntarily effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after
January 1, 2025.

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Should the board or management of a company take a public position on social issues?
March 2024

 

How do investors feel about boards or management teams taking a position on social issues? This short report shares reactions gathered during Millani's latest study of the ESG sentiment of Canadian institutional investors.

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Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors
February 2024

 

Millani's eighth Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors reveals an emergent trend towards a greater emphasis on sustainability outcomes and impacts. The study indicates that 43% of asset managers interviewed are planning to launch impact-oriented products in 2024, marking a notable shift in the industry as investors move beyond ESG integration. Asset owners, asset managers, and issuers who diligently prepare for this shift are likely to secure a competitive advantage, positioning themselves favorably in an investment landscape that is increasingly overseen by regulators and attentive to the tangible impacts of sustainable investing.

Our findings were obtained from 32 interviews conducted in December 2023 with asset owners and managers across Canada totalling over       

CA $4.5 trillion in AUM.

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To be or not to be 'ESG'?: Sustainability-related report labelling trends in Canada
November 2023

 

In the current corporate reporting landscape, the nomenclature of sustainability-related reports has become of substantial importance. This publication, informed by Millani's thought leadership pieces on investor and disclosure trends, responds to market demand for clarity around report titling by exploring the subtleties underlying the decision for organizations to refer to their sustainability-related disclosures as "ESG" or "Sustainability" reports, terms often used interchangeably. Beyond semantics, this choice should reflect an issuer's approach to managing sustainability-related topics.

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Millani’s 7th Annual ESG Disclosure Study: Are Canadian companies ready for ISSB?
October 2023

 

Since 2017, Millani has been conducting an annual review to assess and understand the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) reporting landscape in Canada, identifying trends, and providing insights and context which complement our various thought leadership publications. A thorough analysis was conducted on the latest ESG disclosures from the 227 constituents of the S&P/TSX Composite Index. This year’s edition provides a lens on Canadian issuers’ preparedness to report to the two newly issued global International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) Standards, IFRS S1 and IFRS S2.

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Biodiversity, Finance and Mining: Understanding the Link
September 2023

What is biodiversity and why does it matter?

 

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and Millani’s recent collaborative report helps explore these questions in the context of the mining sector and capital markets, explain related regulations, and provide insights on what biodiversity means for issuers and what investors are looking for when it comes to related disclosures.

 

This report is the outcome of Biodiversity, Finance and Mining: Understanding the Link, a conference and roundtable session which took place in June 2023.

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Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors
August 2023

 

Millani’s seventh Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors highlights that the ESG pushback in the U.S., along with regulatory pressures, have increased the rigor of ESG integration within investment processes of many institutional investors. It is now more mainstream within their firms, rather than being a sidelined approach. Of the investors who commented on the pushback, 89% said it had no impact on their business.

 

Our findings were obtained from 40 interviews conducted in June 2023 with asset owners and managers across Canada totalling over CA $5.8 trillion in AUM.

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The Conservation Exchange and Canada's biodiversity finance ecosystem
Millani's research findings
June 2023

 

Millani summarizes key findings on the potential relationship between Environment & Climate Change Canada's The Conservation Exchange and biodiversity finance. 

Navigating ESG's political divide - Millani summary 
June 2023

 

Millani put together a two-page summary of the key points that were discussed by Bob Eccles, Dan Crowley and Millani Craig during the Navigating ESG's political divide webinar organized in May 2023.

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Navigating ESG's political divide - A conversation with Bob Eccles and Dan Crowley
May 2023

 

Our latest ESG Sentiment Study identified that investors are observing an increased polarization of ESG. We have been receiving many questions on the matter as the term continues to be used as political fodder. During this webinar, Milla Craig, President and CEO of Millani, was joined by special guests Robert Eccles, Visiting Professor of Management Practice at Oxford University, and Dan Crowley, Partner at K&L Gates LLP as they shared their perspectives on the political divide of ESG.

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The Great Canadian ESG Championship
State of the Industry Report

 

The Great Canadian ESG Championship has come to a close with 7 asset managers taking a slice of the $104.5M investment mandate from 9 co-investors. This competition proved to co-investors that there are many great Canadian asset managers offering robust ESG products. The winning asset managers stood out by integrating ESG throughout their firm, improving transparency, and ultimately demonstrating how their policies are communicated. For more key insights about what we learned through the competition, read the Millani-authored State of the Industry Report.

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Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors
February 2023

 

Despite significant ESG pushback in the market, 100% of institutional investors interviewed in our latest ESG sentiment study continue to recognize the value of integrating ESG factors in their investment process. However, there is recognition that there are opportunities for improvement in marketing and communications. 

 

Millani’s latest Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors summarizes the key insights uncovered from 27 interviews with Canadian institutional investors, representing CA $6.1 trillion of assets under management.

 

The report outlines the major trends surrounding the ESG landscape in Canada, including new governance developments, executive compensation clarity, and the increased focus on biodiversity and human rights.

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ESG-Related Initiatives: Federal Budget 2023
March 2023

 

Millani has completed a review of the 2023 Federal Budget. To learn more about the different ESG-related initiatives that have been included, take a look at Millani's one-page summary.

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Bill S-211 Summary
March 2023

 

Canada is committed to fighting against modern-day slavery, and Bill S-211 aims to remove child labour and forced labour from Canadian supply chains. If passed, Bill S-211 will serve as a tool to hold certain government institutions and private sector entities accountable for their supply chains. The Bill would require select entities to complete annual reports outlining the measures they are taking to remove child labour and forced labour from their respective supply chains. For more information on Bill S-211, read the Millani-authored one-page report. 

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Do Net-Zero Commitments belong in Pension Plans?
October 2022

André Choquet and Milla Craig wrote an article for the October issue of the Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM) Observer newsletter.  They discuss the current regulatory framework, fiduciary duties, and pension practices locally and abroad.  They ask the question: should pension plans be managed with a dual focus mindset? i.e. inwardly to maximize risk-adjusted returns and meet their financial obligations and outwardly to contribute to a more sustainable economic and natural environment for plan members to retire into.

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ESG in evolution:
Moving from the Why to the How
A summary of Millani’s panel at GPC’s annual conference

ESG. It’s become a mainstream term – not only for investment professionals conducting ESG analysis, but for corporate issuers and the public. The business case for WHY ESG is important has become understood. But HOW businesses implement ESG into their strategies is where Governance professionals can play an important role.

 

Read Millani’s summary of the related panel discussion at the Governance Professionals of Canada’s 24th annual conference in Kelowna, BC, in August 2022. The session was moderated by Millani’s President and CEO. Milla Craig was joined by investor and governance professionals Jamie Bonham (NEI Investments), Nancy Brennan (Keyera), Hubert Lacroix (Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP) and Annie Laurenson (Lundin Mining Corporation).

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Millani's 6th Annual ESG Disclosure Study:        A Canadian Perspective
September 2022

Over the past six years, Millani has assessed the environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability disclosures of the S&P/TSX Composite Index constituents, providing insight and context to the research and identified trends.

This year, we share the most up-to-date trends on the level of readiness of Canadian issuers to align with new standards and regulations, which ESG frameworks are being used, and trends on climate change, equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), Indigenous relations, and biodiversity disclosures.

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Millani and MAC present: Mining in Transition
The people powering the transition
August 2022

As the world relies on more minerals and metals in support of the transition to a lower carbon economy, the mining industry will need people to make this happen.

 

Is the mining sector well placed to attract and retain this talent? What is the state of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the industry? Can disclosure on workplace culture and EDI help companies make positive and lasting changes?

 

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and Millani’s recent collaborative report is the outcome of Mining in Transition: People Powering the Transition, a conference and roundtable session sponsored by Rio Tinto and Addenda Capital, which explores these questions and more.

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Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors
July 2022

In June 2022, Millani conducted its Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors. The latest results reveal that despite recent market volatility, the geopolitical landscape and the Bank of Canada’s measures to combat inflation, the resolve of institutional investors seems solid: 97% of interviewees indicated they have not changed their approach to ESG over the last six months, although many did increase their focus on engagement.

 

This study summarizes key insights drawn from interviews with 37 Canadian institutional investors, representing CA $5 trillion of assets under management on top ESG trends, changes in investor and issuer reporting practices and disclosure, what Canada must do to remain a leader in ESG and expected headwinds over the coming year.

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Millani's 2022 MarketTrends
February 2022

2021 saw many targets and commitments made by investors, corporate issuers, governments, and regulators on ESG-related topics. We believe 2022 will be the year that promises, commitments, and targets evolve into action.

 

Each year, Millani provides insights on the most significant ESG integration trends for the year ahead, and shares these with investors and issuers at our annual MarketTrends event. Highlights and key trends are summarised in this report.

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Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors
February 2022

In December 2021, Millani conducted its Semi-Annual ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors, with asset owners and managers responsible for managing over CA $4 trillion.  The goal is to highlight and understand key trends related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration and to capture a uniquely Canadian perspective. In this latest study, Millani found that 85% of investors plan to enhance responsible investing (RI) offerings in 2022.

This report provides a deep dive of the key changes and trends observed by some of Canada’s largest asset owners and managers.

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Is Water an Issue in Canada?
January 2022

Water is an ESG topic that is increasingly catching the attention of the capital markets. Companies are becoming more aware of their water risk, water-specific investment frameworks have been created, and financial products in the blue economy are developing.

 

Hear Millani’s perspectives on water and how it can significantly affect company and portfolio valuations. 

 

Millani has also written a chapter in “Water Risk and Its Impact on the Financial Markets and Society” (Palgrave MacMillan).

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Philanthropic Foundations Canada & Millani: Investment & Disbursement Survey
November 2021

In May 2021, Millani conducted a member survey on behalf of Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) to assess members' views regarding the following areas: management of investment portfolios and performance, potential changes in the Disbursement Quota and charitable expenditures, and responsible, impact- and mission-related investments.

 

The outcomes of the surveys and discussions have been summarized in PFC's latest executive summary, which has been written in collaboration with Millani.

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The Value in Indigenous Relations
September 2021

In June 2021, Millani facilitated a roundtable with The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) which brought together representatives from Indigenous communities, institutional investors, and the mining industry.

 

The goal of the discussion was to provide issuers, investors and others in the financial ecosystem with insights on the best practices to promote sincere and successful Indigenous relationships.

 

The outcomes of the roundtable discussion have been synthesized in Millani & MAC's latest report.

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Millani's 5th Annual ESG Disclosure Study:        A Canadian Perspective
September 2021

Over the past five years, Millani has assessed the environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability disclosures of the S&P/TSX Composite Index constituents, providing insight and context to the research and identified trends. 

 

Millani gathered data on Canadian issuers’ uses of reporting standards and frameworks such as the GRI, SASB and TCFD, along with data on how many companies are disclosing on topics such as climate change, diversity, and Indigenous relations.

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Semi-Annual Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors:
Climate Change and TCFD-Aligned Reporting

July 2021

This study summarizes key insights drawn from interviews with 23 Canadian institutional investors, representing $4.4 trillion of assets under management, on how issuers can align with TCFD recommendations and provide decision-useful information for investors.

 

The results reveal that the investor community is mindful of the challenges of TCFD-aligned reporting. Most respondents advised to start with what can be reported for now, and to think about the reporting journey as iterative and progressive.

This report can be read in conjunction with Millani’s June 2021 publication, “TCFD Disclosure Study: A Canadian Perspective”, in which Millani examined the extent to which the S&P/TSX Composite Index constituents align with the TCFD recommendations.

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Millani's TCFD Disclosure Study:
A Canadian Perspective

June 2021

In May 2021, Millani evaluated the quantity and the quality of current TCFD disclosure by issuers listed on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. Millani found that 23% of listed issuers are currently aligning to TCFD recommendations


The results demonstrate a current gap in climate reporting for Canadian issuers amidst increasing regulatory pressures and investor demand for climate-related disclosures. Further findings of the analysis are presented in this report.

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Digging Deeper: Understanding the disclosure disconnect in the mining sector 

May 2021

In December 2020, Millani facilitated a roundtable session with members of The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and selected investors. The session was centered around the disconnect that issuers and investors have experienced, relating to the disclosure of relevant environmental and social information.

The key challenges that were highlighted in the session, along with some action items for market participants, have been drawn together Millani & MAC’s latest report. 

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Millani's 2021 MarketTrends 

February 2021

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (and other major global movements) put the spotlight on a variety of economic, environmental, social and governance issues, which societies continue to navigate through. The world of sustainable finance also witnessed major developments, accelerating responsible investing into the mainstream.

Each year, Millani provides insights on the most significant ESG integration trends for the year ahead, and shares these with investors and issuers at our annual MarketTrends event.

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ESG Sentiment Study of Canadian Institutional Investors 

February 2021

In April 2020, Millani conducted a sentiment study with Canada’s largest institutional investors to understand how they thought ESG integration might change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We shared the results of the study in May 2020.


As a follow-up, during the period of December 14th to December 22nd, 2020, we interviewed a sample of the same investors to gather their views on what surprises they had witnessed in 2020, and to understand the key ESG trends that they envision for 2021.

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Millani’s Annual ESG Disclosure Study:  A year in review|
January 2021

From our initial review in September 2020 to the year-end review in December 2020, we found an increase from 58% to 71% in the number of 2019 reports dedicated to ESG issues.
 

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Millani’s Annual ESG Disclosure Study: 
A Canadian Perspective 
A study of the S&P/TSX Composite Index and their ESG disclosures in 2019

September 2020

Over the past several years, Millani has been assessing the ESG (environmental, social and governance) and sustainability disclosures of the S&P/TSX Composite Index constituents, providing insight and context to the research and identified trends. With increasing demands from financial stakeholders for material information, we have gathered data on Canadian companies’ uses of reporting standards and frameworks such as the GRI, SASB and TCFD, along with data on how many companies are disclosing on topics such as diversity, water scarcity and climate change.

Is COVID-19 Affecting ESG Integration?
A Canadian Investor Perspective 

May 2020 

 

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted every industry of our economy, but what will be the effects on ESG, Responsible Investment and Sustainable Finance? From April 20th to April 30th, 2020, Millani conducted in-depth interviews with more than 20 Canadian institutional investors, representing $2.3 trillion of assets under management, to gather their views on what the crisis may mean for ESG, and what their expectations are towards corporate issuers.

 

 

ESG and the Culture Imperative 

April 2020 

 

During the latter part of 2019 and into early 2020, Millani, in collaboration with our partners, the TMX Group and MNP Consulting, hosted a number of events across Canada on “ESG and the Culture Imperative”. Our speakers made it clear that corporate culture is a valuable intangible asset that will determine the success of an organization’s ability to weather economic storms. This is its connection to ESG.

 

 

 

COVID-19 and its Connection to ESG

March 2020 

 

The financial markets are giving signs that the COVID-19 pandemic will have deep and lasting impacts on our economy. As a leader in the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) space globally, over the past two weeks we’ve repeatedly been asked: “How will investors react? What will they be expecting of corporates?”.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2019: A Milestone Year for ESG 
February 2020 

 

2019 was a milestone year for Sustainable Finance and Responsible Investment. Record-breaking assets flowed into sustainable investment funds and various stakeholders started to integrate ESG in a more sophisticated way. These trends are likely to continue into 2020, and all stakeholders will need to educate themselves on the potential implications.

 

 

 

The Role of CDP Disclosure to

Improve Access to Capital

A study of the impact of disclosure through the CDP and the SEC on a firm’s access to capital
October 2019

 

Do climate-related disclosures lead to better financial performance, or are they merely a symbolic measure to improve public reputation, without materially affecting the firm’s performance? Does disclosing climate-related information create value and does it justify the costs? If so, where should firms disclose climate-related information given the proliferation of rules, guidelines and standards on sustainability?

 

ESG Disclosures: A Canadian Perspective

A study of the S&P/TSX Composite Index and their sustainability communications in 2018
September 2019

 

How are Canadian companies doing in disclosing ESG issues? Our white paper reveals that the proportion of companies on the S&P/TSX Composite Index with a dedicated report on sustainability, increased from 45% in 2017 towards an estimated 54% in 2018. Of the 115 companies that published a 2018 sustainability report to date, 15% looked to the SASB framework to inform on their material issues and while 25% indicated their support for the TCFD recommendations.

 

The Evolution of Long-term Emerging Qualitative Risks (LTEQR) Analysis

co-authored by Stéfanie Kibsey, Amr Addas, and Milla Craig (with advice from Stephen Kibsey)
September 2019

 

Investors increasingly realize long-term emerging qualitative risks (LTEQR) have financial consequences on investments, yet these risks are very difficult to assess due to their intangibility. LTEQR analysis is complementary to traditional fundamental analysis of enterprises. It continues to evolve over time and intersects with many of the concepts introduced by sustainability and ESG analysis. The challenge to the investor is having the appropriate risk analysis tools available to help make a judgement on the investment’s vulnerability and resilience to a LTEQR. 

 

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