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Sustainable fund providers say too early for new regulations amid rapid evolution

TORONTO — Providers of sustainable investing products say the sector is evolving too rapidly to impose new regulations. 

Speaking Monday at an online roundtable organized by the Canadian Securities Administrators, several industry executives industry said there needed to be more consensus within the sector before new standards are imposed that could limit options. 

National Bank of Canada's senior manager of sustainable investment Mari Brossard said that Canadian regulators already have oversight powers on misleading representation that should cover concerns over greenwashing in the industry.

BlackRock managing director of investment stewardship Michelle Edkins said there is a clear need for more consensus around terminology but that it needs to happen at a global level, led by industry. 

However Ian Howard, executive director of corporate solutions at Sustainalytics, said that there was room for more requirements on company disclosures around sustainability issues while still allowing the sector to grow. 

The roundtable comes as the sector has seen tremendous growth coupled with rising concerns about potentially misleading claims and a lack of information for investors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press