Why I joined the A4S CFO Leadership Network
By David McGraw, Chief Financial Officer, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Member of the A4S CFO Leadership Network
Retirement security for pension fund members — today and tomorrow – cannot be achieved without a disciplined, thoughtful and sustainable approach to investing. Our mission is to pay pensions for generations to come, which is why Ontario Teachers’ approach to investing is rooted in sustainability.
Being a steward of long term capital, a conscientious approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors is vital to our culture and the way we invest. We understand that ESG factors today will impact our members’ futures, and actively managing the related risks and opportunities must be core to our investment strategy.
WHAT DOES A SUSTAINABLE PENSION FUND LOOK LIKE?
In part, this means looking for investments in sustainable companies, and walking away from investments where we are not comfortable with the ESG factors, or the company’s ability to manage them. We believe looking at opportunities through this lens can give us an edge in capturing value and mitigating downside risk.
We believe using influence can drive meaningful change and position companies for success. We don’t just emphasize sustainability within our own business, but actively urge our asset companies to put sustainability at the heart of their business strategy. We believe encouraging and helping companies adopt responsible, forward looking business practices can drive long term value. It is well worth the time and investment.
Collaboration is key. Even though sustainability is core to what we do at Ontario Teachers’, we know we don’t have all of the answers, which is why I chose to join the Canadian Chapter of the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) CFO Leadership Network. I look forward to working with peers from organizations that span multiple sectors and geographies. Working together at A4S, I believe we can work together, share best practices and come up with practical solutions that allow us to move our organizations – and encourage others – toward more sustainable outcomes.
I encourage you to follow the progress of the Canadian Chapter, learn more about the Chapter members and to keep an eye on the A4S Knowledge Hub as we gear up for A4S Summit 2018 in London at which we will be launching the first outputs from the Canadian Chapter.