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February

Award Ceremony for the 5th Edition of the FSI Competition for Best Sustainability Report

On the 1st February 2018, over 160 people from the Montreal business, financial and academic communities gathered at the St-James Club for the award ceremony of the 5th edition of the FSI Competition for Best Sustainability Report.

This annual competition, launched in the spring of 2013, aims to promote excellence in sustainable development reporting among Canadian companies. The ceremony is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the work and dedication of sustainability professionals in developing report content and to hear what the student juries found appealing or in need of improvement.

It is also an opportunity to celebrate the impact that improved sustainability reporting and informed investor decision-making can have on planet and society!

The jury teams

The competition is organized by an FSI steering committee, and the report assessments are carried out by jury teams composed of bachelor’s or master’s level university students, assembled for the purpose each year, working under the supervision of an associate professor.  This year, we were privileged to have juries from Concordia, UQAM, HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, McGill University, Waterloo University, and Université de Sherbrooke.

To commemorate the 5th edition of the Competition, the FSI announced during the event the creation of a reward program for jury members, to be funded by an anonymous donor within the community; this year, each team will be receiving a $500 gift!

Did you know…?

37% of the companies in the S&P/TSX Composite Index produce a sustainability report.
Source: FSI Best Sustainability Report Competition research

In the US, 82% of S&P500 companies produce a sustainability report.
Source: Governance and Accountability Institute Inc


Jury members from Polytechnique Montréal
See more photos below.

Sector grouping and material issues

One of the distinguishing feature of this competition is that all companies that are part of the S&P/TSX Composite Index are automatically entered. Companies are divided into eleven sectors, using the SASB SICSTM sector classification. Consistent with the FSI’s mission, one of the goals of the competition is to encourage reporting of decision-useful information for investors. This year, jury teams were specifically encouraged to refer to the SASB materiality matrix, which identifies key material issues specific to each sector, as well as peer-based data analytics of reporting topics provided by Datamaran.

The chart below illustrates the top 10 issues disclosed by companies grouped under the Consumption sector, generated based on 2016 reporting documents. Datamaran use proprietary artificial intelligence, including natural language processing, to “read” all the companies’ reports (annual reports, sustainability reports and SEC filings), in order to identify topics of interest.

High, medium, low is the indication of the number of times the topic was mentioned, weighted for context and location of the information.

An investor's perspective

The rapid growth of responsible investment practices means an increased demand for information on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues from publicly traded companies. But not enough companies are yet publishing investor-focused information on key sustainability issues like climate risk or diversity, for example.

The 2018 edition of the FSI Competition for Best Sustainability Report refocuses the report assessments on the investor perspective by asking the jury teams to pay particular attention to information contained in the reports that is material and decision-useful to investors.

Did you know…?

The average score of the 82 sustainability reports assessed last year as part of the FSI Competition was 57%

The report assessments are conducted using the FSI’s proprietary assessment grid. This framework is updated on an annual basis by a team of investment and sustainability professionals, in order to reflect emerging best practices and trends in sustainability and ESG reporting.

The image illustrates the 12 criteria used in Part I of the assessment grid, which are common to all sectors.

SHARING THE DATA

Perhaps the most significant milestone in the Competition’s evolution is the creation this year of an online results platform in collaboration with Metrio. There is now a tool that allows the public to get an overview of the sustainability reporting practices of Canadian public companies, with access to the Competition’s sectoral and overall results.

Did your company publish a sustainability report in 2016? You can request a secure login to view your assessment results, as well as any commentary by the jury. Write to us at rapport-reporting@ifd-fsi.org. One access per company.

The Award Ceremony

The award ceremony was opened by FSI President, Milla Craig, who introduced Odrey Robillard, Senior Advisor, Responsible Investment and Proxy Voting at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Odrey underscored the rise of responsible investment and shared with the audience the Caisse’s recent low-carbon strategy. Maeva Charles, Director of Customer Success at Datamaran, then presented some recent statistics on the increasing requirements for disclosure on sustainability issues and how  the rules of investment were changing. Then it was over to Marie-Josée Privyk, Associate at Millani and Chair of the FSI Competition Steering Committee, to invite the jury teams to present their assessment process, their observations and the winners and runners-up in each of the eleven sector categories.

Opposite: Marie-Josée Privyk

And the winners are ...

Transformation of resources

Finalist: Potash Corp

Transportation

Finalist: CP

Renewable resources and alternative energy

Services

Consumption

Finalists: BRP, Maple Leaf

Non-renewable resources – Oil and gas

Finalists: Enbridge, TransCanada

Non-renewable resources – Gold companies

Finalists: Barrick Gold, Oceana Gold

Non-renewable resources – Mining and metals other than gold

Finalists: Lucara Diamond, Lundin mining

Technology and  communications

Finalists: Bell, Celestica

Infrastructure

Finalists: First Capital, TransAlta

Finance


Finalists: BMO, IGM

SPONSORS AND PARTNERS

The FSI gratefully acknowledges the support of its 2018 sponsors and partners for the FSI Competition for Best Sustainability Report: