The Canadian Investment Funds Standards Committee is releasing the final framework it will use to identify investment funds that disclose adopting responsible investing strategies.

“Given the rapidly developing nature of global [environmental, social and governance]-related and sustainable investing frameworks, the CIFSC’s intent is not to further complicate the global or Canadian landscape but, rather, to develop a pragmatic identification standard that assists Canadian investors and their advisors and allows for investors and fund manufacturers to align on common language and definitions,” the organization said in the framework.

In a press release, Ian Tam, chair of the CIFSC, said the framework will help investors find products suitable for certain non-financial investment criteria in a manner that allows for easy comparability across the Canadian investment landscape.

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“As responsible investing quickly evolves, it is vitally important that investors understand the concept spans far beyond just excluding certain sectors or industries in a portfolio. This framework . . . will add clarity for investors who wish to invest in a responsible manner.”

According to the CIFSC, the framework is being used to create a list of funds that disclose using an accepted responsible investment approach. The list will be published in August and made available online. It’s also expected to be integrated into major Canadian research databases.

Inclusion on the list won’t involve auditing funds to confirm their compliance with responsible investment strategies. Rather, it’s an indication that a fund has disclosed any responsible investment strategies fitting within a broad definition.

“Though the CIFSC encourages transparency by fund manufacturers, such as through the use of CFA Institute’s global ESG disclosure standards for investment products, a claim of compliance with these standards for a given investment fund is not a requirement to be identified under the CIFSC’s responsible investment identification framework.”

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