Canada’s leading financial institutions commit $5M to Institute for Sustainable Finance

Canada’s leading financial institutions commit $5M to Institute for Sustainable Finance

By Communications Staff

November 19, 2020


The Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) today announced that Canada’s big five banks, TD Bank Group, Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO and RBC, have committed $5 million to support ISF’s mission of aligning mainstream financial markets with Canada’s transition to a lower carbon economy. 

ISF is the first-ever collaborative hub in Canada that brings together academia, the private sector, and government with the singular focus of increasing Canada’s sustainable finance capacity. Sustainable finance is the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into business and investment decisions.

ISF recently released a landmark research report that outlines the investment requirements and opportunities to achieve Canada’s 2030 climate targets. The Capital Mobilization Plan for a Canadian Low Carbon Economy provides a concrete, data-driven capital blueprint for the country’s low carbon transition.

This major bank funding will support ISF’s efforts in education, professional training, research and collaboration, as well as outreach to advance Canada’s leadership in sustainable finance.   

“We are very excited to have Canada’s leading financial institutions supporting ISF and our initiatives. Their funding will be critically important as we accelerate our efforts to produce robust resources and insights about sustainable finance, particularly in the Canadian context,” says ISF executive director, Sean Cleary, BMO Professor of Finance and founding director of the Master of Finance program at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University.  

As founding contributors, the banks’ support is as follows: TD - $1.25M; Scotiabank - $1.25M; CIBC - $1.25M; and BMO - $1M — all with commitments over five years. RBC has made an initial $250K commitment over one year.

As part of its mandate, the ISF established the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN), an independent formal research and educational network for academia, industry and government to bring together talented university faculty members and relevant members from industry, government and civil society. 

“The CSFN’s research will close the knowledge gap around the competitive advantages of a lower carbon economy, including helping Canadians understand the cost of inaction and the investment opportunities that will finance our transition,” says Ryan Riordan, ISF director of research and associate professor at Smith School of Business.

Since its inception the CSFN has grown to include 65 members from over 20 universities across Canada, and also hosts a monthly webinar series, open to the public, on topics related to sustainable finance.

The Institute for Sustainable Finance is based at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University and is supported by the Ivey Foundation, the McCall MacBain Foundation, the Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation, the McConnell Foundation, and now TD Bank Group, Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO and RBC. 

To learn more about the Institute for Sustainable Finance, visit

The full release can be read here.

Smith Business