Based in Montreal, Quebec, the Finance and Sustainability Initiative (FSI) is a non-profit organization that brings together finance professionals dedicated to promoting sustainable finance and, more specifically, responsible investment to financial institutions, companies, and universities.
Responsible investment is not a revolution but rather an evolution in how to analyze, select, and manage investments by integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria in order to achieve better long-term returns, contribute to the sustainability of companies and financial markets, and promote a more stable and inclusive world economy. Today, responsible investment is emerging as a best practice in the field of finance.
The FSI also represents an evolution in the promotion of responsible investment and sustainable development through education, professional development, and support of pragmatic university research projects that effectively meet the needs of financial institutions and companies seeking to integrate ESG criteria into their strategies and business models. The FSI thereby helps to connect the theory and practice of sustainable finance.
Our vision is a world where investment decisions are always made with responsible investment in mind in order to promote sustainable development.
Our mission is to facilitate the evolution of financial institutions’ “traditional” investment practices by integrating ESG criteria into investment analysis, selection, and management, all with a view to sustainable development.
The FSI adopts a collaborative approach to reach its objectives based on dialogue, exchange, and partnership with its stakeholders.
The FSI promotes education to raise its stakeholders’ awareness about the importance and benefits of responsible investment and sustainable development.
The FSI operates with an awareness of our responsibility toward future generations.
In pursuing its mission, the FSI has identified four main stakeholders: financial institutions, companies, universities, and regulatory bodies. Our commitments to each of these stakeholders are as follows:
The Finance and Sustainability Initiative has chosen a collaborative approach, centered on education, professional development, university research, and partnerships.
FSI Award for Best Sustainable Development Report
This annual competition launched in the spring of 2013 aims to promote excellence in sustainable development reporting among Canadian companies. It is conducted in collaboration with university students, who determine their own evaluation criteria for specific industry sectors. The awards for best sustainable development report for each sector are announced during a luncheon-conference.
Click here to find out more about the FSI Award for Best Sustainable Development Report.
Sustainable Investment Professional Certification (SIPC)
The FSI is the originator of this online certification program, which was launched in the fall of 2011 and is administered by the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise at Concordia University. The program contains six modules that must be completed over a 12-month period and correspond to approximately 120 hours of study. Registration is in the spring and fall. The program content is offered in English and French and qualifies for continuing education credits with the CFA Institute. The number of participants is rising steadily.
Click here to find out more about the Sustainable Investment Professional Certification program.
FSI-PRI Competition and Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment
The aim of this annual competition, which launched in the fall of 2014, is to recognize the best Quebec-based research on responsible investment. Every Fall, a scholarship is awarded to the student who submits the best graduate-level research paper (masters or doctorate).
Click here to find out more about the FSI-PRI Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment.
COLLABORATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS
The FSI is proud to join forces with renowned organizations in achieving its mission to encourage financial institutions to evolve their “traditional” investment practices by integrating ESG criteria into investment analysis, selection, and management, all with a view to sustainable development. The FSI’s commitments and initiatives have rapidly attracted the support of some of Montreal’s largest financial institutions.
The FSI offers several sponsorship, collaboration, and partnership options to organizations that share the same vision and pursue similar objectives. For more information about collaboration and partnership opportunities with the FSI or about sponsoring its activities, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Created in January 2010, the Finance and Sustainability Initiative was born of its members’ desire to have ESG criteria integrated into investment best practices. The FSI brings together over 100 members of the financial, university, and business communities. Through its commitment and initiative, the organization has rapidly attracted the support of some of Montreal’s largest financial institutions.
Reasons for its creation
The Finance and Sustainability Initiative addresses key societal issues. Rapid demographic and economic growth on a global scale have resulted in the unbridled consumption of finite natural resources and a development that may impair future generations’ ability to meet their own needs. The resulting environmental, social, and governance challenges represent not only risks but also opportunities that companies must manage to ensure their sustainability and that financial institutions must assess to optimize the long-term value of their portfolios. These challenges create the need for comprehensive and standardized measurement, assessment, and communication tools, for financial intermediaries as well as businesses. Sustainable finance and, more specifically, responsible investment are born of the need to overcome the disconnect between corporate responsibility and the allocation of capital, essentially by modifying the behaviour of financial markets so that ESG criteria are integrated into investment decisions.