Issue Briefs

2017

Trustee Guidance on Decent Work

This guide is a product of the VALUING DECENT WORK INITIATIVE – a joint initiative of SHARE and the Atkinson Foundation. We are increasing the visibility of decent work as an important investment consideration in capital markets and mobilizing investors to advocate for robust decent work policies and practices in investee companies.

October 2017

Valoriser le travail décent: un guide pour les investisseurs

Ce guide est un produit de l’INITIATIVE VALORISER LE TRAVAIL DÉCENT, une initiative conjointe de SHARE et de l’Atkinson Foundation. Nous augmentons la visibilité du travail décent comme facteur d’investissement important dans les marchés de capitaux et nous mobilisons les investisseurs dans la défense de politiques et de bonnes pratiques de travail décent dans les sociétés

octobre 2017

Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century: Canadian pension regulation analysis – Alberta

This report, co-published by SHARE and the UNPRI, provides an international analysis of pension regulation to support the Alberta Treasury Board and Finance (ATBF) in updating regulation and guidance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure. The report demonstrates how ESG disclosure requirements, if enacted in Alberta, would support the government’s stated policy priorities.

September 2017

Canada’s lobbyist registries: What can they tell investors about corporate lobbying?

This briefing note rates federal and provincial lobbyist registries against a series of transparency measures in order to determine how effective current public registries are in providing disclosure of corporate lobbying. It includes five key recommendations to enhance the transparency and usefulness of lobbyist registries in Canada.

September 2017

Is Canadian trade association lobbying aligned with Canada’s Paris Agreements commitments?

This briefing note examines arguments made by over 20 Canadian trade associations representing publicly-traded companies that actively lobby on climate change issues, and provides a set of questions that member companies and their shareholders can raise to ensure greater clarity as the climate policy debate continues.

August 2017

Business and Reconciliation: How can investors evaluate the efforts of Canadian public companies?

This report introduces a new investor-led effort to put reconciliation on the agenda for Canadian companies. Step one: bring reconciliation and Indigenous relations into the open through better corporate disclosure, which the report finds is often incomplete, inconsistent or lacking altogether.

July 2017

Off the Ballot: Why Alberta’s business laws need to catch up on shareholder democracy

Shareholders of Alberta-incorporated companies face regulatory impediments under the Alberta Business Corporations Act (ABCA) making it effectively impossible for shareholders to file resolutions to be voted at company’s annual meeting. This report compares Alberta-incorporated companies on the TSX-Composite Index to their peers and finds Alberta-incorporated companies lag on the issues of gender diversity, corporate governance, and disclosures of information related to climate change.

April 2017

The Rise of Supply Chain Transparency Legislation: What is at stake for Canadian investors?

Canada’s regulatory framework for human rights due diligence in global supply chains lags that of other jurisdictions, and that’s a concern for Canadian institutional investors. This report reviews supply chain transparency legislation around the world and argues that similar federal legislation here in Canada could be beneficial to investors if properly crafted.

February 2017

Taking Climate on Board: Are Canadian energy and utilities company boards equipped to address climate change? 

Despite growing attention to the physical, financial and regulatory impacts of global climate change, this report finds that companies in Canada’s most carbon-intensive sectors are not demonstrating “climate competency” in the boardroom.

January 2017

2016

Étude de cas: évaluation de la performance des entreprises canadiennes de commerce au détail

Les arguments en faveur de l’adoption de politiques et de pratiques qui donnent un salaire équitable, stabilisent la main-d’oeuvre et valorisent les apports et contributions des travailleurs séduisent de plus en plus investisseurs et
chefs d’entreprise. Ce rapport examine ce que les entreprises du commerce au détail au Canada divulguent au public concernant leurs politiques et leurs pratiques dans le milieu de travail.

octobre 2016

Valuing Decent Work: How do retail companies measure up?

This report reveals that Canadian retail companies lag behind their global peers in their disclosure of decent work metrics. It identifies the important role investors can play in seeking improved corporate disclosure of this information through engagement with retail companies in their portfolios.

October 2016

Case Study: Corporate donation to Canadian think tanks

This case study looks at how companies oversee contributions to think tanks engaged in policy advocacy and what those companies disclose to shareholders.

September 2016

SHARE Roundtable: Barriers and Opportunities to the Integration of Responsible Investment by Pension Boards

This Roundtable provided a forum for academics, pension trustees and practitioners to exchange knowledge and ideas about the relationship between investment decision-making at the portfolio level and at the broader systems level.

May 2016

Attacking the Clean Power Plan

This report looks at how Canadian corporations are indirectly supporting action against US climate regulations and studies the risks that can arise for investors linked to aggressive lobbying, especially as it relates to management and disclosure of political spending associated with climate action.

March 2016

Investor Water Risks and the Cotton Supply Chain
This investor brief examines water risk associated with the cotton supply chain. The report draws attention to potential negative environmental impacts associated with cotton as a supply chain input, including depletion of water availability and pollution of water resources.
March 2016

2015

Investor Brief on Climate Risk
Learn how climate change presents risks and opportunities for institutional investors and steps that investors are taking to address these.
April 2015

Vancouver Proclamation Investors Climate Day
Proclamation from Gregor Robertson, Mayor of the City of Vancouver, proclaiming Thursday, February 26, 2015 Vancouver Investor Climate Action Day
February 2015

Banking on 2 Degrees: The Hidden Risks of Climate Change for Canada’s Banks
SHARE’s report outlines the impacts that climate change-related risks could have for Canada’s banking sector. It also provides a set of recommendations for how Canada’s banks can more effectively manage these risks and catalyze the transition to a low carbon economy.
October 2015

Dollars, Democracy and Disclosure
Second in a series as part of a 3-year project, this investor briefing outlines some of the ways Canadian corporations engage in political spending and whether investors need to demand better disclosure from companies on these activities.
January 2015

Safety Risks in Bangladesh Apparel Factories
This brief looks at publicly-traded apparel companies in Canada to determine what the have reported publicly about their post-Rana Plaza efforts to address health and safety.
April 2015

Board Diversity Roundtable Report

This report summarizes what was discussed at a issuer-investor roundtable on board diversity co-sponsored by SHARE and the Centre for Corporate Governance and Risk Management at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. The summary is presented on a non-attribution basis and does not necessarily represent conclusions agreed to by the participants.

June 2015

Psychological Health and Safety and the Canadian Financial Sector
This investor brief looks at what Canadian financial sector companies report about the protection and promotion of mental health at work.
October 2015

2014

Building Sustainable Food Systems in Canada
This paper outlines the social and environmental challenges facing Canada’s food system and analyses these challenges from a responsible investment perspective.
November 2014

Rail Safety and Executive Compensation in the TSX 60
This investor briefing reviews 17 energy and railway companies in the TSX60 Index to determine whether they base any part of their executives’ compensation on better safety performance. Just under half of the companies analyzed have identified rail transportation as a possible material risk factor for the company.
July 2014

Are Canadian Corporations Spending to Influence the US Political Process?
Political spending by corporations raises questions of corporate governance and accountability to share owners. This first report in an upcoming series on political spending by Canadian corporations looks at that spending in the US context.
October 2014

2013

Resources, Rights and Respect
This report highlights areas that typically have human rights impacts for Canadian mining companies, outlines corporate policies and management systems to meet human rights responsibilities, and sets out expectations of corporate performance in these areas.
October 2013

Promoting Financial Inclusion in Canada’s Financial Services Sector
This investor brief outlines the risks and opportunities for investors of financial exclusion and recommends that institutional investors engage with Canada’s mainstream banks to encourage greater product, service and delivery innovations to improve financial service provision to low-income and underserved groups.
October 2013

Canadian Investor Statement on Bangladesh
Joint statement of institutions representing more than $44 billion in assets under management supporting the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
July 2013

2012

Review of CAPP’s Hydraulic Fracturing Operating Practices
This report reviews the Hydraulic Fracturing Operating Practices to guide water management and improve practices for shale and tight gas development published by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The report provides analysis of the requirements of each Practice and discusses their strengths and weaknesses with respect to how they might contribute to mitigating risk.
February 2012

Cleaning Up: Assessment of Responsible Contracting in Canada’s Commercial Real Estate Sector
This report assesses and compares commercial real estate companies and major commercial property tenants on the degree to which they have incorporated labour considerations into company policies that apply to the procurement of property services
June 2012

Cleaning Up: Executive Summary
The executive summary provides an overview of the results of SHARE’s Cleaning Up report, which assesses and compares commercial real estate companies and major commercial property tenants on the degree to which they have incorporated labour considerations into company policies that apply to the procurement of property services, including janitorial, maintenance, and security services.
June 2012

Conflict Minerals and the Eastern Congo: Implications for Investors
This brief reviews the key issues related to the trade in conflict minerals, including conflict-minerals related risks and engagement recommendations for investors who want to manage these risks in their portfolios. It provides an overview of recent efforts aimed at addressing conflict minerals in the supply chain and provides a roadmap for investors to engage companies in implementing responsible supply chains.
October 2012

Investor Guidance on Occupational Health and Safety
This guidance document is designed to assist investors in assessing how well companies are meeting their responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace by outlining general best practice principles for Canadian companies.
April 2012

2011

Cleaning Up: Assessment of Responsible Contracting and Procurement in Canada’s Commercial Real Estate Sector
This report assesses and compares commercial real estate companies and major commercial property tenants on the degree to which they have incorporated labour considerations into company policies that apply to the procurement of property services
June 2011

Investor Statement on Transparency in the Extractive Industries
The statement puts forward a set of recommendations regarding transparency of payments by extractive industry companies to host governments to contribute to good governance and sustainable development in resource-rich countries as well as being in the interests of public companies and their investors.
November 2011

FSC Certification and Timberland Investments

This briefing note seeks to assist institutional investors in choosing among the major forest certification schemes available in Canada to mitigate environmental risks and protect the long- term value of their timberland investments. The document shows how FSC certification is superior to competing systems in mitigating risks and adding value to timberland investments.
June 2011

2010

The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline
This report outlines the environmental and social risks to investors from the Unbridle Northern Gateway Pipeline project. We examine those risks, and some of the steps that Enbridge and its shareholders are taking— or could take—to mitigate them.
October 2010

Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Pollution
This investor brief outlines investor risks from North America’s shale gas boom, particularly from polluting drinking water sources with toxic chemicals.
June 2010

What Investors Need to Know About Reclamation Risks in the Oil Sands
This briefing note summarizes SHARE’s discussions with five Canadian companies involved in Alberta’s oil sands region and highlights areas where greater information is required for investors to assess the risks associated with their investments.
March 2010

Addressing Toxics in Consumer Products
This report provides a closer look at investor risks from toxic chemicals in the supply chain.
September 2010

2009

Responsible Property Investing in Canada
This report explores the impacts of good labour practices on property performance.
January 2009

Model Responsible Property Services Code
The Code outlines a set of principles for real estate investors related to appropriate working conditions, fair wages, and benefits for workers and contractors hired to provide services in the maintenance and management of commercial properties.
October 2009

Fair Trade Coffee
This investor brief provides an overview of the challenges facing coffee producers and the role investors can play to seek increased sourcing from companies of fair trade certified coffee.
August 2009