iA Financial Group Announces Sustainability Bond Framework
iA Financial Group is pleased to announce its Sustainability Bond Framework (the “Framework”). The Framework is intended to enhance iA Financial Group’s ability to finance its sustainability strategy in support of its commitment to environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) standards.
“Our decision to develop the Sustainability Bond Framework is part of our dynamic commitment to sustainable finance,” stated Denis Ricard, President and Chief Executive Officer of iA Financial Group. “We are proud to continue addressing climate change as well as supporting social initiatives to positively contribute to the economy.”
Under the Framework, iA Financial Group intends to allocate an amount equal to the net proceeds from the issuance of green, social, or sustainability bonds to finance or re-finance, in part or in full, new and/or existing Eligible Assets that meet the Eligibility Criteria within each of the Green Eligible Categories and Social Eligible Categories (each, as defined in the Framework).
The Framework has been reviewed by Sustainalytics, a global leader in providing ESG research, ratings and data. Sustainalytics has issued a second party opinion confirming alignment of the Framework with the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) Sustainability Bond Guidelines 2021, Green Bond Principles 2021 and Social Bond Principles 2021. CIBC Capital Markets and National Bank Financial Markets acted as Co-Sustainability Structuring Advisors on the Framework.
Upon issuance, iA Financial Group intends to publish an annual Sustainability Bond allocation and impact report on its website until full allocation of proceeds. The report will contain information including the net proceeds raised, amount allocated, the balance of unallocated proceeds, the amount used for financing vs re-financing, and relevant quantitative and qualitative performance descriptions subject to confidentiality considerations.
Copies of the Framework and Sustainalytics’ second party opinion are available on the Corporation’s website: https://ia.ca/sustainable-development.
Climate change is a key priority for iA Financial Group. That's why iA Financial Group has created a climate change working group to implement the “Towards a Carbon-Free Future” project. The objective of this project is to establish a long-term decarbonization strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and offset the remaining emissions.
iA Financial Group has been carbon neutral since 2020 and has set a target of 20% greenhouse gas emissions reduction per employee by 2025.
iA Financial Group is signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and the Declaration for a Quebec Financial Place for Sustainable Finance. iA Financial Group is also one of the Canadian financial institutions that actively supported the Canadian position to host the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). In addition, the company has adopted and published a responsible investment policy and a proxy voting guideline.
This document may contain statements relating to strategies used by iA Financial Group or statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as “may”, “will”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “suspect”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”, “estimate”, and “continue” (or the negative thereof), as well as words such as “objective”, “goal”, “guidance”, “outlook” and “forecast”, or other similar words or expressions. Such statements constitute forward‑looking statements within the meaning of securities laws. In this document, forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, information concerning possible or assumed future operating results. These statements are not historical facts; they represent only expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events and are subject to change, particularly in light of the ongoing and evolving COVID-19 pandemic, its effect on the global economy and its uncertain impact on our operations.
Although iA Financial Group believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. In addition, certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making forward-looking statements, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements.
Material factors and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, but are not limited to: insurance, market, credit, liquidity, strategic and operational risks, such as: general business and economic conditions; level of competition and consolidation; changes in laws and regulations, including tax laws and changes made to capital and liquidity guidelines; risks associated with the political and social environment; risks related to climate change including the transition to a low-carbon economy and iA Financial Group’s ability to satisfy stakeholder expectations on environmental and social issues; date and cyber risks; risks related to human resources; hedging strategy risks; liquidity of iA Financial Group, including the availability of financing to meet existing financial commitments on their expected maturity dates when required; accuracy of information received from counterparties and the ability of counterparties to meet their obligations; the occurrence of natural or man‑made disasters, international conflicts, pandemic diseases (such as the current COVID-19 pandemic) and acts of terrorism.
Material factors and assumptions used in the preparation of financial outlooks include, but are not limited to: accuracy of accounting policies and best estimate actuarial and economic assumptions used by the Company such as mortality, morbidity, longevity and policyholder behaviour; continued business growth; changes in the economic, competitive, insurance, legal or regulatory environment; risks and conditions; and the Company’s recent performance and results, as discussed elsewhere in this document.
Potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had major, unprecedented implications for both society and the economy. The overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still uncertain and depends on many factors, such as the progression of the virus, the emergence of new variants, the duration of the pandemic, potential treatments and therapies, the availability of vaccines, the effectiveness of government measures to slow the virus’s spread and the impact of those measures on the economy. As a result, we cannot accurately predict the total bearing the pandemic will have, but the impact on iA Financial Group’s business and financial results could be material. However, despite the short‑term negative impacts of the pandemic on its results, iA Financial Group remains financially solid. In addition, iA Financial Group’s business continuity protocol has continued, ensuring that the quality of service clients receive is similar to or better than before the pandemic and enabling employees and advisors to continue to work safely and securely.
Additional information about the material factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations and about material factors or assumptions applied in making forward-looking statements may be found in this “Risk Management” section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis for 2021, the “Management of Risks Associated with Financial Instruments” note to the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2021, and elsewhere in iA Financial Group’s filings with the Canadian Securities Administrators, which are available for review at sedar.com.
The forward-looking statements in this document reflect iA Financial Group’s expectations as of the date of this document. iA Financial Group does not undertake to update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.