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Responsible investment workshop for UBC and SFU students a success

Tagged: Responsible Business

UBC Sauder's Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics recently concluded its responsible investing workshop, which was focused on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria of responsible investing.

The event, co-hosted by SFU's Beedie Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainbility,  took place at the Segal Graduate School in downtown Vancouver. It hosted approximately 25 students from across the two universities and included participation from industry experts who are actively involved in responsible investment. It was led by Shannon Rohan, the Director of Responsible Investment at the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE). Rohan built off of the first day of the workshop in November, which was led by the Dhillon Centre Executive Director Christie Stephenson and attracted almost 60 students.

“The RI workshop was an incredible opportunity to understand why ESG screening should be a necessity in our financial market, and to learn about various ESG valuation tools” said fourth year UBC Sauder student Darya Jalali. “The structure allowed us to actively test the content that was being taught."  

The day began with a session on ESG screening by Rohan and Stephanie Bertels, the Director at Beedie’s Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability. The workshop included splitting students into groups of five to research background on ESG for a specific company. Assisted by industry professionals, the groups analyzed companies and presented their findings and understanding of how to use ESG factors in the selection of securities.

After lunch, the students engaged in a second session on ESG stewardship of funds, focusing on proxy voting and engagement. SHARE’s Manager of Proxy Voting Services, Catherine Smith, shared her insights on this important engagement tool. Groups then conducted a case study using sample proxy voting guidelines.

The day concluded with a panel of responsible investment industry leaders. Stephenson moderated a discussion on corporate engagement approaches and issues with panelists Michelle de Cordova, the Director of Corporate Engagement & Public Policy at NEI Investments, Jason Milne, the Vice President of Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment at RBC Global Asset Management, and Kevin Thomas, the Director of shareholder Engagement at SHARE.