Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals
We are committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and work to support the goals they outline, including the eradication of poverty, building economic growth, addressing social needs, and tackling climate change. Given the mainstay of our investments is in financial services, we believe we represent a positive force in society. Our major publicly traded operating companies offer life and health insurance, retirement savings programs and a broad range of investment vehicles, including socially responsible funds. The following examples demonstrate how products and services at the Power Corporation group of companies are contributing to the SDGs.
Target 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all
As an employer, we provide our employees and their families access to an Employee and Family Assistance Program to support work, health and life issues, including workplace challenges, nutrition, physical and mental health, addiction concerns, stress, depression and anxiety, family and parenting, relationships, and other situations. We also provide life insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, vision care, and dental coverage for our employees and retirees. We also provide employees with a yearly Wellbeing Allocation, which provides a flexible approach to wellness. Employees can use the allocation towards a gym membership, to purchase gym equipment or subscribe to on-line fitness classes, as well as for the purchase work-related equipment.
As an investor, we also invest in businesses that promote health and wellness. For instance, Great-West Lifeco’s health and life insurance business is helping thousands of Canadians manage their personal wellness. Working together with other healthcare partners, they are improving the accessibility and affordability of group benefits, providing education on physical health, and developing a greater understanding of mental health.
Another example is Dialogue, Canada’s premier virtual healthcare and wellness platform, in which we invest through Portage Ventures. Through its team of health professionals, Dialogue serves employers and organizations who have an interest in the health and well-being of their employees, members and their families. The company’s Integrated Health Platform™ is a one-stop healthcare hub that centralizes all of its programs in a single, user-friendly application, providing access to services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year from the convenience of a smartphone, computer or tablet, for on-demand access to quality care.
Canada Life, a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco, expanded their virtual health offering by adding Dialogue's internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) to all Canadian Consult+™ users this year. With iCBT, plan members can access self-led mental health support for mild to moderate depression and anxiety where and when they need it. The company was the first Canadian insurer to make Dialogue’s Consult+™ virtual health care a standard benefit for all group health plans with up to 400 plan sponsors. Power Corporation also offers its employees access to Dialogue.
Mental Health in the Workplace
Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, compliments of Canada Life (Workplace Strategies), initially established in 2007 as the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, offers a range of tools and resources for employers and employees to protect psychological health and safety at work.
Throughout 2021, Workplace Strategies teamed up with Mental Health Research Canada to research several important topics in the mental health landscape. The first survey, completed in fall 2021, looked at feedback from more than 1,200 Canadian managers on how they felt they were protecting their employees’ psychological health and safety. Many leaders struggled with being able to handle employees’ emotional reactions and discussing employee goals and fears. The second survey, completed in December 2021, collected data from more than 5,000 Canadian employers and employees including a strong representation of marginalized populations, such as Black and Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), as well as people of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. The survey explored how vulnerable and marginalized populations experience psychological health and safety in Canadian workplaces.
In May 2021, Canada Life marked the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week by offering a webinar for employees that explained how flourishing is part of positive psychology, and how we can flourish now and in the post-COVID future. Four webinars were also offered in collaboration with Canada Life’s Occupational Health consultants focused on addressing issues related to COVID-19. These quarterly webinars were posted to the Workplace Strategies YouTube channel.
In October 2021, Workplace Strategies launched their new and improved website. Its resources are credible, evidence-based and free to all Canadians. They include materials on things like hybrid teams, trust for leaders, burnout and more. There are also many virtual workshop materials employers can pick up and use quickly and easily. Any workplace or employee can visit the site to help protect psychological safety at work.
Since January 2021, Canada Life has invested over $1 million in Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, and more than 762,000 visitors browsed Workplace Strategies’ free online tools and resources. In addition, the group has made more than $11 million in charitable contributions to mental health-related initiatives.
Target 4.6: Ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
Financial literacy is fundamentally important for Canadians of all backgrounds and stages of life. Being financially literate means having the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make informed financial decisions. Through Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial, we support programs that promote financial literacy and education.
Canada Life, a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco, is the national development sponsor of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), which offers one of Canada’s most comprehensive financial literacy programs, delivering unbiased information in plain language to Canadians of all ages. They offer free resources, tools, and virtual sessions to anyone seeking a better grasp on their finances. More than 7,000 CPA Canada volunteers – including many Canada Life employees – deliver free financial literacy sessions through the country. In 2021, more than 205,000 people engaged with the program in various ways.
As the national development sponsor, Canada Life focuses on empowering women to take control of their finances. With their support, CPA Canada is helping develop resources focused on educating women to form practical financial decisions through the various stages of life. Canada Life has participants on the advisory committee contributing to material and strategy development and planning. In 2022, the network of Canada Life CPA Champions will deliver sessions in London, Toronto and Winnipeg.
In November 2021, Canada Life also sponsored the first day of CPA Canada’s virtual financial literacy conference, Mastering Money. More than 27,000 participants and financial leaders discussed everything from managing credit to understanding why financial confidence and wellness are essential to how individuals can plan to chase their dreams.
As an extension of IGM Financial’s day-to-day work of helping clients with their financial goals, the company is committed to improving the financial confidence of Canadians who need it the most, knowing that providing people with the knowledge and resources they need to understand their personal finances will help them build a better financial future for themselves, and in turn improve other aspects of their lives. Through the daily work of financial advisors who serve its clients, the financial literacy presentations these advisors deliver in the community, and as partners in the creation of financial education programs and curricula, IGM Financial is a leader in the ongoing effort to advance the financial confidence and financial security of Canadians.
In 2021, the role of Head of Financial Planning was created at IG Wealth Management to advance their financial planning and advice strategies and offerings. The new position and team will also work to enhance advisors’ skills and knowledge, and act as thought leaders and ambassadors in promoting the value of comprehensive financial planning. Moreover, as they continue to evolve their high-net-worth wealth management services, Investment Planning Counsel added a similar role, Head of Wealth Management, to strengthen capabilities to support services such as tax, estate and financial advice. IPC is also focused on deepening its talent in portfolio advisory to deliver high-value portfolio design consultation to support advisors’ growth.
IG Wealth Management’s longstanding partnership with the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) is one of IGM Financial’s main vehicles for advancing financial literacy. Together, they’ve impacted the financial education curriculum in provinces across Canada and improved the ability of hundreds of thousands of Canadians to better undertake their financial decisions. After shifting to virtual financial literacy workshops in 2020, the new format was continued in 2021. Over 80 workshops were delivered to more than 7,300 seniors, youth, parents and teachers in sessions during the year.
In addition, IGM Financial promotes financial confidence through its community program IG Empower Your Tomorrow. Through IG advisors, national partnerships, community seminars, events and educational materials, the program works to remove barriers to financial confidence among four traditionally underserved groups: Indigenous peoples, newcomers, seniors and youth. 2021 was the first official year of the IG Empower Your Tomorrow Indigenous Commitment, which will dedicate $5 million over five years to support programs and initiatives to further the financial confidence of Indigenous communities in Canada. As part of this commitment, the company has partnered with Prosper Canada to deliver customized financial literacy and education training. This education focuses on vital topics, such as access to personal identification, tax filing, benefits applications, money management and Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) workshops. Through a train-the-trainer approach, this work will include a capacity-building element for Indigenous communities that will benefit future generations.
Lastly, knowing that learning the financial systems of a new country can be daunting, IGM Financial works with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) to provide financial education in newcomers’ first language. The company also has a long-standing partnership with the United Way and support local chapters across the country so they can offer financial literacy programs to newcomers.
Target 5.5: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making
We have a commitment to promote gender diversity at the Board and at senior management levels, which we articulate through our Board and Senior Management Diversity Policy. The Board believes diversity ensures directors provide the necessary range of perspectives to achieve effective stewardship and recognizes that gender diversity is a significant aspect of diversity. We aim to have at least 30 per cent of our Board composed of women by 2025. Following the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the number of women elected to the Board increased to four, representing 29 per cent of Board. In addition, 43 per cent at the management level at Power Corporation are women and 31 per cent at the executive officer level within the Corporation's group companies (including its publicly traded operating companies and their respective principal subsidiaries).
Of the initiatives funded by the Power group in 2021, a key focus was on the advancement of women and gender equality. One such organization supported by Power Corporation in 2021 was Fora: Network for Change, a centre for excellence for young women’s leadership development. Through its signature programs - Global Summit, Girls on Boards and Next Level – the organization makes strategic investments in young women through education and training, building networks, and access to unparalleled opportunities at home and abroad. Power Corporation also supports the École de technologie supérieure’s (ÉTS) Objectif Féminin pluriel which has as its goal to increase female representation in the field of engineering. The program is inspired by Engineers Canada’s vision of 30 in 30, which aims to increase the proportion of women in engineering up to 30 percent by 2030. In light of this, ÉTS has introduced a number of activities (conferences, public consultations, discussion groups, etc.) designed to gain a better understanding of the concerns affecting current female engineering students and the role of women in engineering.
In recent years, Great-West Lifeco's Canadian companies supported the launch of networking and mentoring groups, such as the Women in Leadership group, and other initiatives for up-and-coming female leaders, focusing on education and inspiration. These groups reflect the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and in particular support the advancement of women in the organization. In 2021, 68 per cent of Great-West Lifeco’s Canadian workforce and 46 per cent of its management-level employees in the country were women.
Canada Life’s contribution to the Lead with Us Campaign supported the development of diversity in leadership programs at Brescia University College (Brescia) at Western University in London, Ontario. These programs are a foundational element in the newly established Centre for Women and Leadership at Brescia, designed to be a nationally recognized hub for the scholarship and advancement of women’s leadership. Expected to launch in September 2022, the programs will aim to advance women in leadership and systems change, with a particular focus on attracting a diverse student population through outreach and financial support. This includes Canada Life scholarships and bursaries for students from equity-seeking communities.
At IGM Financial, the approach to Board and senior management diversity was formalized through a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy, which includes provisions relating to the process used to identify and evaluate individuals for both Board and executive management roles. The company’s Board had a diversity objective of at least 30 per cent both women and men directors by calendar-end 2021 – which was surpassed. IGM Financial had a target for women to hold 35 per cent of vice president and above roles by the end of 2021. While they did not meet this target, increasing the representation of women in their leadership is a priority in the company’s corporate strategy. As such, to drive continued progress, the company has updated its leadership targets to 35 per cent women at the vice-president level or above by 2025 (including 40 per cent at the assistant vice-president level or above).
Moreover, in 2021 IGM Financial created business resource groups (BRGs) to replace their more informal Partners in Action teams. BRGs are volunteer employee-led groups with a common goal of cultivating an inclusive work environment through a focus on career development, mentoring, networking and business impact. One of the four BRGs created in 2021 was the Women Business Resource Group. For its part, Mackenzie Investments also have a number of BRGs in their organization, including a Women Business Resource Group, whose core mission is to advocate internally for the retention and progression of women by encouraging greater diversity and using data to keep itself accountable. In addition, Mackenzie Investments has introduced a number of investment funds that prioritize sustainability or ESG in the investment objective, two of which, the Mackenzie Global Women’s Leadership Fund and the Mackenzie Global Women’s Leadership ETF, are aimed at driving social and governance change through a focus on companies that promote gender diversity and women’s leadership.
Following its 2020 publication of commitments to help make Wealthsimple more inclusive, the company has been proactive in sharing regular updates about how it is working to make itself more inclusive and diverse. In March 2022 Wealthsimple announced a new goal to increase gender diversity among senior leadership from 42 per cent to 45 per cent by mid-2023. Moreover, it also expanded a peer-mentoring program that enables women from across the company to share experiences and receive sponsorship from senior company leaders, to help them grow both personally and professionally.
Aligned with its diversity-in-leadership efforts, Wealthsimple is in the process of conducting a company-wide audit to identify and address areas where bias exists, especially concerning marginalized communities. As part of that effort, they partnered with the consultancy group Feminuity, to help them better understand women’s experiences at Wealthsimple. A report by the consultancy group revealed that there were six main barriers to inclusion faced by women at the company: lack of representation and in leadership, poor work-life balance, inclusive mindset, not enough psychological safety, a lack of recognition, and too much “glue work” (work that is less prestigious and less promotable). As a result of this report, Wealthsimple is committing to improve work conditions, hold leadership accountable, and establish accountability metrics to ensure women feel empowered and supported.
Target 7.1: Ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services
Target 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
Renewable Energy Financing
We invest in the renewable energy sector through our alternative asset investment platform Power Sustainable, which actively manages investments in companies that benefit from the global energy transformation. Power Sustainable has invested in companies that develop, own and operate solar and wind generating assets in North America as well as in leading manufacturers of sustainable technologies. Through its platform Power Sustainable Energy Infrastructure (PSEI), it holds 100 per cent interest in Potentia Renewables, a renewable energy generation company, active in North America, that is a fully integrated developer, operator and manager of solar and wind energy assets; and Nautilus Solar, a company headquartered in New Jersey, U.S., that acquires, develops, finances and manages distributed solar projects across community, municipal/utility-scale, commercial and industrial markets.
In addition, Power Sustainable also has equity investments in Lion Electric, also through PSEI, a North American leader in electric transportation and innovative manufacturer of zero-emission vehicles, buses and minibuses for the school, paratransit and mass transit segments that designs, builds and assembles many of its vehicles’ components.
Investments in Green Energy Projects
To take advantage of the low carbon transition, Great-West Lifeco also increased investments in the cleaner energy market by 26 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020, amounting to over $5.54 billion in wind, solar, and hydro renewable energy projects, as well as purchases of Ontario and Quebec’s green bonds.
Target 8.3: Support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
Job creation and benefits
Power Corporation and its group companies employed approximately 33,700 individuals and paid out $5.68 billion in salaries and other benefits in 2021. These funds flow through the economy, impacting the hundreds of communities in which our employees live and work. Our investments in training and new technologies also contribute to develop local talent and the intellectual capital of our people.
INVESTMENTS TO SPUR GROWTH
Through its investment activities, Great-West Lifeco provides long-term capital, contributing to economic growth, and helping Canadians reach their financial goals. The company’s commercial mortgages, public bond and private placement investments provide opportunities for businesses and governments to help create employment, fund research and development, and support infrastructure, healthcare, and renewable energy projects. In 2021, the company funded more than $2.9 billion in new private debt and commercial mortgages across Canada.
In partnership with our group companies, Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial, Power Corporation has been actively participating in the emerging fintech industry. The group believes that fintech will change business models in financial services, making financial advice, insurance and investment services more accessible to consumers and available to them by the means and at the times that best suit them. One of our alternative asset investment platforms, Sagard, is committed to supporting the business building process. Through its Canadian private equity business (Sagard Private Equity – Canada) the company hopes to build a private equity franchise that will be recognized as the partner of choice for Canadian mid-market entrepreneurs and management on their quest to become market leaders. Meanwhile, through Sagard Private Equity – Europe, the company invests in small and middle market opportunities focused on transformational growth companies in Europe. Moreover, in November 2021 Sagard announced the successful first closing of Sagard Private Equity Canada’s Canadian mid-market private equity fund with commitments totaling CA$200 million.
Diagram, an ecosystem partner of our alternative asset investment platform, Sagard, is a venture builder specialized in identifying and launching new companies in the financial services, insurance, and health and tech industries. Working alongside proven founders, Diagram combines venture capital investment, incubator-style support and access to large incumbents to create a differentiated platform to launch businesses and pursue global success. Moreover, the company helps match proven and determined entrepreneurs with vetted ideas and larger capital investment, giving the runway and focus needed to build great companies that can, from day one, hit the ground running.
REGISTERED DISABILITY SAVINGS PLANS
IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie Investments have continued to be market leaders in offering Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) for clients or their family members with disabilities, providing them access to a tax-preferred savings vehicle and the opportunity to take advantage of generous government grants and bonds.
Target 10.2: Empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
Target 10.3: Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome
All three of IGM Financial’s operating companies – IG Wealth Management, Mackenzie Investments and Investment Planning Counsel – are signatories to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, which promote gender equality in the workplace, communities and marketplace. These group companies have also made public pledges to end anti-Black systemic racism by signing the BlackNorth Initiative.
In addition, both Canada Life, a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco, and IG Wealth Management are signatories of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord, committing to fostering a workplace culture in which Indigenous peoples and all employees can contribute to their fullest potential. Also, IGM Financial has endorsed the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #92, which calls on companies to ensure that Indigenous Peoples are included in and benefit from their business activities.
Power Corporation supports initiatives that promote human rights in our community. For example, the company supports Lawyers Without Borders Canada, a non-governmental international cooperation organization whose mission is to support the defense of the human rights of people in situations of vulnerability by strengthening access to justice and legal representation. We also contribute to Equitas and support its series of Equitalks conferences that focus on addressing inequities and discrimination and work to build safer and more inclusive communities throughout the world.
Power Corporation also supports the work of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), whose programs and special projects aim to inspire inclusion, celebrate newcomers and encourage active citizenship. Notable is the organization’s Canoo Cultural Access Pass, a mobile phone application that provides new Canadian citizens free admission to 1,400 of Canada’s best museums, galleries, science centres, parks, and other cultural sites. Canoo allows the country’s newest members to enjoy the unique opportunity to learn, explore, and engage fully with their communities and others across Canada. Moreover, in partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the ICC hosts enhanced citizenship ceremonies in both official languages. These ceremonies turn one-way citizenship ceremonies into open dialogues that bring new citizens into conversation with Indigenous people and longer-standing local citizens to reflect on what it means to be Canadian, the value of active citizenship and inclusion, and their personal journeys to citizenship.
Our financial services companies provide clients with a financial advisor who is encouraged and trained to recommend products that are suitable for each client’s individual situation.
IGM Financial believes that providing Canadians with the knowledge and resources they need to understand and feel confident about their personal finances will help them build a better financial future for themselves, and in turn improve other aspects of their lives. Across its operating companies, IGM Financial builds financial confidence by sharing expertise and relevant news, tools and resources with financial advisors, clients and communities. IG Wealth Management and Investment Planning Council advisors provide comprehensive financial planning, advice and related services to Canadians in communities from coast to coast. At Mackenzie Investments, the focus is on helping advisors stay at the forefront of our industry, keeping them informed and educated so they can support their clients and build their financial future. Moreover, IGM Financial continues to introduce sophisticated digital tools and new processes to modernize the client experience and free up more time for its advisors to attend to their clients’ financial planning needs.
In 2021, the role of Head of Financial Planning at IG Wealth Management was created to advance the company’s financial planning and advice strategies and offerings. This new position and team will also work to enhance advisors’ skills and knowledge, and act as thought leaders and ambassadors in promoting the value of comprehensive financial planning.
The IG Financial Confidence Index, which is part of the IG Empower Your Tomorrow program, tracks and reports on Canadians’ overall financial confidence through ten survey questions. The 2021 end-of-year survey showed Canadians’ financial confidence steadily climbing from late 2020 to the fall of 2021. However, certain groups such as Indigenous communities still sit below the national average, and only one in two women feels she’s better off coming out of the pandemic. To help with this issue, IGM Financial utilizes the IG National Service Centre and IPC National Accounts Desk, centralized services for providing account support and financial advice to client households with smaller accounts, helping offer a targeted, consistent and real-time experience. The licensed financial representatives leverage technology to help clients manage their plans and investment accounts, and they assist with mortgage, banking and insurance needs. As their needs evolve, clients have access to advisors who focus on more complicated and sophisticated financial planning.
We also invest in Wealthsimple, a new kind of financial company that allows Canadians to invest, trade, save, spend, and even do taxes in a low-cost, transparent, and simpler way. Using smart technology to make powerful financial tools, Wealthsimple is on a mission to help everyone achieve financial freedom, no matter who they are or how much they have.
Power Corporation supports Windmill Microlending, Canada’s only national charity offering affordable loans to skilled immigrants and refugees that strives to ensure skilled newcomers are equitably integrated into the workforce while contributing their expertise to Canada’s economic and social success. The organization’s microloans help pay for the costs of accreditation, training and career development. In addition to the loans, the organization also offers client success coaching, a mentorship program, financial planning and budgeting tools, and career development resources.
Target 11.6: Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
Greener Real Estate
GWL Realty Advisors, Great-West Lifeco’s real estate subsidiary, manages all of Canada Life’s corporate office properties and more than 300 additional Canadian properties. All of Canada Life’s main corporate offices participate in GWL Realty Advisors’ Sustainability Benchmarking and Conservation Program (SBCP), setting reduction targets for energy, water and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. GWL Realty Advisors reported that since the program was initially introduced in 2013, it reduced GHG emissions intensity by 32 per cent, energy intensity by 19 per cent, water intensity by 26 per cent, and waste to landfill by 18 per cent.
As of 2021, 86 per cent of GWL Realty Advisors’ eligible portfolio by floor area had green building certifications, such as BOMA BEST or LEED, representing 37 million square feet of their managed portfolio. As part of the SBCP, GWL Realty Advisor launched the Building Owners and Managers Associations (BOMA) BEST ‘Going for Gold’ challenge, where all office properties are challenged to achieve a minimum BOMA BEST ‘Gold’ certification by 2023. All of Canada Life’s main office properties have now reached this milestone, and more than 95 per cent of GWLRA’s office properties are participating in the challenge. BOMA Canada, at their National Awards Gala, honoured Canada Life’s 330 University Ave. and 190 Simcoe St. with The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY®) awards in the ‘Historical Building’ and ‘Corporate Facility’ categories, respectively. Additionally, GWL Realty Advisors’ Dynamic Funds Tower took home a national TOBY in the 500,000 to one million sq. ft category. The TOBY award recognizes excellence in building management and all facets of operations, including community involvement, sustainability, and environmental management.
Their properties also undertook new initiatives to support accessibility and sustainable urban agriculture over the past year. Twelve of their properties attained the new Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) Accessibility Certification, which encourages companies to create or enhance the accessibility of spaces through inclusive design, and 18 properties added rooftop urban gardens, where food is harvested throughout the growing season and donated to local food banks.
In 2021, GWL Realty Advisors was again recognized by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) for its leadership in sustainability. The company earned its seventh consecutive ‘Green Star’ and its fifth consecutive ‘5 Star’ rating and placed in the top 8 per cent in the global ‘Diversified/Non-Listed/Core’ category. The Canadian Real Estate Investment Fund No. 1 made its fourth GRESB submission, earning a ‘5 Star’ rating and placing among the top 11 per cent of participants globally in the ‘Diversified/Non-listed/Core’ category.
For its part, Putnam Investments’ Boston-based head office was LEED Silver certified in 2011 by the U.S. Green Building Council. To achieve this certification, the property had to meet certain benchmarks in several categories including sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor air quality. The site is also ENERGY STAR labeled, a government-backed designation. The label is based on Environmental Protection Agency energy performance standards and indicates a performance score of 75 per cent or higher when compared with similar buildings nationwide. In addition, the company actively advocates for improving energy efficiency in building operations and water conservation in the office locations it leases in Massachusetts.
Power Sustainable, through its platform Power Sustainable Energy Infrastructure, holds a controlling interest in LMPG, an internationally recognized designer, developer, and manufacturer of a wide range of high-performance and sustainable specification-grade LED solutions for commercial, institutional, and urban environments.
Target 12.5: Reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
Target 12.6: Encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
Target 12.7: Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
As long-term investors, we believe in investing in quality companies with attractive long-term growth prospects that are managed in a responsible manner. We integrate ESG factors in our investment analysis, which is helping encourage more sustainable consumption and production patterns at the companies where we invest. Many of our group companies are signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), including Putnam Investments, Irish Life Investment Managers, IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie Investments, which are integrating ESG factors into their investment processes as a way to identify both risks and opportunities to enhance long-term returns for investors. Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) is also signatory to the PRI, furthering its commitment to pursue the development of its responsible investment approach, as are our alternative asset investment platforms Sagard and Power Sustainable.
IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie Investments are also members of the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).
Sagard and Power Sustainable, via its platform Power Sustainable China, have also formalized, through a CSR statement and/or a responsible investment policy, their commitment to consider ESG factors into their investment analysis process.
GBL has formalized its commitment to incorporate ESG considerations into its investment analysis process through its ESG Policy, which was made public in March 2021. In December 2021, Putnam Investments also formalized its commitment to incorporating relevant ESG considerations into its investment processes through an ESG policy.
We work collaboratively with our third parties to extend our responsible management philosophy through our Third Party Code of Conduct, and to encourage more sustainable products and services. In 2021 and in 2022, as part of our continuous Third Party Code deployment, we reached out to new key suppliers, consultants, advisors and other business partners, asking them to confirm their compliance to the requirements of our Code. By engaging with suppliers and contractors, we have been able to source more environmentally friendly products, including LED lighting and energy-efficient building equipment, among others, to reduce our energy consumption and related GHG emissions.
In its Canadian operations, Great-West Lifeco specifically engages its critical suppliers to understand the products and services that could reduce the environmental footprint of its buildings, operations, and processes. Supplier evaluation and its Supplier Risk Management Policy includes sustainability, including climate change, as one of its considerations. This includes suppliers that support the company in improving the sustainability of its real estate assets, as well as other products and services that enable them to reduce energy, water, and material consumption (e.g. building equipment retrofits, utility providers, data centre optimization, LED lighting, paper, and building materials).
IGM Financial’s Supplier Code of Conduct was put in place to address environmental and social risks in its supply chain and set out expectations for its suppliers. It includes provisions related to human rights and labour practices, and to improving environmental performance. The company continually seeks opportunities to reduce its environmental footprint by managing direct impacts from its operations, including its paper use. Employee green committees are drivers of many initiatives to reduce paper, waste and energy consumption. These volunteers raise awareness and engagement around the importance of adopting environmentally responsible practices at work, at home and in the community.
Forest-related risks and opportunities are taken into account as part of Power Corporation and Great-West Lifeco corporate initiatives, including with respect to our community investment strategy and our strategy when procuring products and services. For example, Great-West Lifeco is a member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and has committed to using responsibly sourced paper and other forest products that meet the FSC's strict environmental and social standards. From a community investment standpoint, we are committed to supporting causes that protect and regenerate forests. Moreover, since 2009, Great-West Lifeco has been supporting Reforest London as they plant, grow and sustain urban forests.
Power Corporation engages with its suppliers and contractors to influence the provision of environmentally friendly products and services for the business. Our measure of success is the collaboration and innovation influenced in our supply chain and the number of more environmentally friendly products and services procured. With investors, responsible investment organizations and ESG rating organizations, including Sustainalytics, FTSE4Good and Vigeo Eiris, engagement is aimed mainly at providing information about waste reduction commitments, initiatives and metrics, and enhancing understanding of Power’s overall performance in this area considering the indicators followed by these third parties. Power Corporation also engaged with those of our group companies in which it has financial control and significant influence, specifically our major publicly traded operating companies, Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial, as well as with our wholly owned subsidiaries. This engagement took place mainly as part of our annual data collection process for the purposes of our environmental public disclosure.
Great-West Lifeco engages employees through its Global Real Estate Sustainability Council and Corporate Properties Sustainability Working Group, which consists of experienced property management and building operations employees, to direct sustainability initiatives at its corporate properties. So far, they have concentrated on retrofits focusing, among others, on energy, water and waste reduction and the sharing of best practices and strategies among their facilities. Moreover, Great-West Lifeco’s subsidiary GWL Realty Advisors is working collaboratively with service providers to support environmentally conscious activities, products and services. Through GWL Realty Advisors’ commercial and multi-residential property managers, Great-West Lifeco engages with the tenants, residents, and occupants of its downstream real estate assets under management to better understand their changing needs and share information on sustainability-related metrics such as green building certification status and waste production, as well as on the Sustainability Benchmarking and Conservation Program (establishing energy, water, waste, and GHG targets) for GWL Realty Advisors’ managed office assets. Lastly, Great-West Lifeco specifically engages its critical suppliers to understand the products and services that could reduce the environmental footprint of its buildings, operations, and processes. This includes suppliers that support them in improving the sustainability of their real estate assets, as well as other products and services that enable them to reduce energy, water, and material consumption. Working collaboratively with these suppliers enables Great-West Lifeco to meet its green building certification targets.
IGM Financial engages employees through employee green committees, which are the drivers of many of its initiatives to reduce paper, waste and energy consumption, and through its IGM Green Council, which is responsible for creating a consistent culture of environmental awareness and practices across its operating companies and consists of leaders from Facility Management, Human Resources, Corporate Sustainability, Information Services and Community Investments, as well as the chairs of the employee green committees. IGM Financial conducts annual waste audits in its corporate offices to highlight improvement opportunities and increase engagement with employees. Moreover, for its part, IGM Financial’s operating company IG Wealth Management engages landlords of their leased offices across Canada to increase waste diversion services.
For IGM Financial, with the upgrade of the 180 Simcoe office in 2021, the company made a good start of putting its commitment to sustainability into practice. They partnered with more than 12 companies to ensure sustainable practices throughout the process, including Green Standards, a firm that facilitates charitable donations, resale and recycling to keep workplace furniture and equipment out of landfill while generating positive local community impact. Green Standards helped the company turn 132 tonnes of corporate waste into charitable donations to six organizations. Great consideration was given to the responsible disposal of demolition materials, and the recyclability of usable office items to ensure no waste went to landfill.
Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
As a group, we are committed to playing our part in accelerating climate action and finding suitable financial solutions. From an investment standpoint, we are helping finance cleaner and renewable energy projects through Power Sustainable and Great-West Lifeco. Despite our limited environmental impact as a holding company, we make every effort to conserve resources, improve energy efficiency, and manage waste effectively.
Together with our major publicly traded operating companies, we continue to reduce our GHG emissions and implement innovative environmental initiatives. 2022 marked Power Corporation’s eleventh year responding to the CDP climate change questionnaire, for which Power received a score of A- (Leadership) from the CDP, the same score received by its publicly traded operating companies, Great-West Lifeco, IGM Financial and Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL).
As a global financial institution, Great-West Lifeco understands that its largest opportunity to address climate change stems from the activities they enable through loans, investments and insurance underwriting. In November 2021, Great-West Lifeco announced its commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before 2050 for its operations and by 2050 for financial emissions, with interim science-based targets to be announced in 2022.
For its part, the IGM Financial group of companies announced in November 2021 their climate commitment to becoming carbon neutral and supporting the transition to net zero. These commitments include investing toward a greener, climate resilient economy, collaborating and engaging to help share the global transition, and demonstrating alignment through corporate actions. To help the financial sector stand as a confident ally in the fight against climate change, the IGM Financial group of companies are engaging in regulatory and policy dialogue, and collaborating to advance science-based approaches, data and tools. Recent initiatives include:
IGM Financial joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials to support their journey to measure and disclose GHG emissions associated with their loans and investments;
IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie Investments became founding signatories to the Canadian Investor Statement on Climate Change, calling for increased accountability in the private sector;
IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie Investments joined Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate emitters take action on climate change;
Mackenzie Investments became a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, joining global asset managers committed to supporting the goal of net-zero financed emissions; and
Mackenzie Investments is a founding participant in Climate Engagement Canada, a finance-led initiative driving dialogue with industry to promote a just transition to a net-zero economy.
In addition, GBL committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in May 2021 and submitted its targets to SBTi. In January 2022, GBL became the first investment holding company to have climate targets aligned with a 1.5°C pathway approved by SBTi for both its own operations and its eligible portfolio of participations. Target 1 consists of a 50 per cent reduction of GBL’s Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 (electricity-related emissions) greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from a 2019 baseline. Target 2 consists of 100 per cent of eligible portfolio positions aligned with SBTi climate strategy and targets aligned with a 1.5°C pathway approved by SBTi by 2030 from a 2020 baseline. For this target, an intermediary target of 50 per cent coverage by 2025 has been retained. In 2021, GBL achieved a climate-neutral company status by offsetting its carbon footprint (direct and indirect emissions excluding portfolio emissions).
Reducing the energy and carbon footprint of its clients’ portfolios is a priority that enables GWL Realty Advisors to do its part to support the transition towards a low-carbon economy. Since 2013, it has reduced the carbon intensity of its portfolio by 34 per cent, representing 51,408 tonnes of CO2e.
CLIMATE ADVOCACY AND OUTREACH
Power Corporation has been supporting Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) since 2005. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for the country’s most natural areas and the plants and animals that sustain them. Canada Life, one of Great-West Lifeco’s subsidiaries, also supports the NCC and its mission. In 2021 the company acted as National Sponsor of the Big Backyard BioBlitz series, helping offer Canadians nation-wide a meaningful way to contribute as citizen scientists. More than 6,600 participants from across Canada used the iNaturalist mobile app, visited their local green space and made more than 36,800 observations as possible.
Great-West Lifeco also engages with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in the bringing together of local knowledge and scientific information to aid in the development of strategies, tools, and policy advice needed to respond effectively to the impacts of a changing climate on livelihoods, cultures, economies, and the environment. Through engagement with the IISD, Great-West Lifeco has supported coordinated research, advice and policy development on climate change. In 2021, they supported IISD’s climate adaptation strategic focus in Canada, helping provide and accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resources, and fair economies with a focus on driving action on climate adaptation in Canada, all the while leveraging IISD’s global and Prairies-focused expertise.
Lastly, Great-West Lifeco also collaborates with the Green Action Centre for the National Commuter Challenge with their employees across Canada and as a sponsor locally in Winnipeg. Through their participation, they are engaging their employees to take action and providing education and awareness of the impact of active and sustainable transportation on climate change and effect on air quality and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The National Commuter Challenge is a friendly competition between Canadian cities and workplaces that encourages Canadians to leave their cars at home. The event rewards walking, cycling, carpooling/ride-sharing, taking transit and telecommuting and celebrates active and sustainable transportation. In 2021, more than 516 workplaces participated, with 3,053 individuals registered resulting in 69,411 Kg CO2 avoided by eliminating 336,151 km travelled.