Concordia’s comprehensive approach to sustainability includes a responsible investment strategy as well as Canada’s first sustainability-linked loan and ESG-based investment education program.
Concordia University Foundation
The Concordia University Foundation, which acts as Concordia’s primary investment arm, remains at the forefront of responsible investing. The foundation is on track to meet its commitment to achieve 100 per cent sustainable investments by 2025. It has been actively working to achieve its sustainable activities and investing goals through several initiatives.
Concordia partnered with BMO Financial Group in 2022 to become the Canadian first university to introduce a sustainability-linked loan. The loan instrument motivates borrowers to achieve meaningful, predetermined sustainability objectives. It underpins the university’s pledge to advance sustainability in its operations, management, research and curriculum.
Responsible investment policy
In 2018, the Concordia University Foundation became a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. That same year it implemented a new responsible investment policy, which integrates environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) aspects into decision-making and aligns with the university’s goal of reaching 100 per cent sustainable investments by 2025.
The plan was updated in 2021 to further enhance its capacity to reach its objective by investing in assets that focus, among other goals, on reducing greenhouse gases, promoting healthy ecosystems and building sustainable industry.
University Network for Investor Engagement
The university is a member of the University Network for Investor Engagement initiative, a coalition of Canadian university endowments and pension plans. The initiative was launched by SHARE, a non-profit investor advocacy organization that engages with North American public companies held in university endowment and pension portfolios to address pervasive risks associated with climate change.
Great Canadian Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Championship
Concordia was the only university to team with seven other Canadian institutional investors for the Great Canadian ESG Championship in 2022. Asset managers sought to demonstrate the most credible approaches to ESG investing in three different asset classes: equity and/or fixed income, alternatives and multi-asset.
In 2019, Concordia became the first Canadian university to issue a sustainable bond. The $25-million, 3.626 per cent, 20-year senior unsecured bond provides Concordia with the capital for its share of financing for the LEED Gold-certified Applied Science Hub on Loyola Campus.
Teaching & research
Sustainable Investing Practicum
In 2020 the John Molson School of Business launched the Sustainable Investing Practicum, a Canadian first, which trains students to integrate long-term environmental, social and governance criteria into investment and ownership decision-making with the objective of generating superior risk-adjusted financial returns.
The Sustainability Ecosystem fosters constructive interactions and strengthens multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaboration in Montreal and beyond. The group creates opportunities to meet and exchange information, experiences and ideas for collaboration.