Canadian Lawyer

September 2022

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 30 of 51 29 2019 2020 2021 emissions data from their clients, forcing companies with which they do business to make climate-related disclosures to access financing and other financial services. Aaron Atkinson, a partner with Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg whose prac- tice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, shareholder activism, capital markets and securities, and corporate governance, says it makes sense for government and regula- tors to focus on the role that financial insti- tutions and pension funds play in helping get to a net-zero reality. "They obviously have clout when it comes to where to put their money, and any time you have large sources of capital, they can help dictate the terms of investment." He adds, "We wouldn't be talking about ESG as much if we didn't have pension funds and large governance groups like the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance being open advocates for taking ESG more seriously." It might seem counterintuitive, but extractive industries such as energy and mining can often be at the forefront of good ESG. Andrew McLaughlin, VP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel at Major Drilling Group, points out that companies in these sectors have had years of dealing with regulators and communities concerning their projects and have a framework to help them develop ESG standards. McLaughlin adds that, in his company's experience, it is best to focus on ESG from a "holistic" perspective. This approach helps achieve broader goals on climate, diver- sity, sustainability, and good governance, and "it also is a pretty good indication that a company that takes this into account is a well-managed company." And, of course, being a well-managed company means you'll have the investment and financing to continue being a well-managed company. "ESG is an extremely broad topic, and one that might be a bit daunting to companies" Andrew McLaughlin, Major Drilling Group INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS WHO USE ESG FACTORS Source: RBC Global Asset Management 100 80 60 40 20 0 US Canada Europe Asia 66 65 64 80 89 81 90 94 96 46 72 76 Percentage

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