A group of 31 Canadian institutional investors representing $2.3 trillion in assets has signed a joint statement acknowledging systemic racism against black and indigenous populations and pledging to take steps to integrate diversity and inclusion into their investment processes.
The Canadian Investor Statement on Diversity & Inclusion has been signed by Canadian pension plans and money managers including the C$330 billion ($249.8 billion) Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Montreal, according to a news release Thursday from the Responsible Investment Association.
"We all have a responsibility to ensure that the persistent inequities in business and our society are eliminated," the joint statement said. "As institutional investors, we can contribute to addressing these inequities in Canada by taking intentional steps to promote diversity and inclusion across our portfolios and within our organizations."
The institutional investors further said in the statement they will make efforts to improve diversity and inclusion within their organizations, commit to reporting on those efforts and review and update their approaches as time goes on. The investors also pledge to engage with the companies in which they invest to convey their expectations of better disclosure and performance regarding diversity and inclusion.
"Acknowledging the existence of systemic racism is a recognition that we have a lot of work to do to level the playing field in business and society," said Dustyn Lanz, the Responsible Investment Association's CEO, in the news release. "These investors are stepping up to do the work because it's the right thing to do, and because there's a strong business case for doing so."
Other institutional investors that have signed the Canadian Investor Statement on Diversity & Inclusion include OPTrust, which manages the assets of the C$22 billion Ontario Public Service Employees' Union Pension Plan, Toronto; Alberta Investment Management Corp., which manages the assets of the C$5.6 billion Alberta Pensions Services Corp., Edmonton; Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management; RBC Global Asset Management; and SEI Investments.
The full statement and list of signatories is available on RIA's website.